Of dogs and deserts…
After leaving San Elijo we turned East towards Escondido. Riding up Lake Wolhford, I snap a chain and we call in the calvary. We were to stay with Jeanne at her business Two Paws Up, a cageless dog day care. She sends out the doggy van to rescue us from the side of a busy windy road.
Once there, we learn about dog and human behavior (not a whole lot different). It is amazing to watch her work with the dogs as she guides them with a Zen-like calm. I recorded some audio that I’ll have to edit, but her story is pretty fascinating.
After our stay in Valley Center we head towards Palomar and climb up to Lake Henshaw for the night. We didn’t eat enough that day so we’re both in the tent with growling stomachs waiting out one of the longest nights of the year.
We dream of a hot breakfast at the camp restaurant, only to find that they are closed. We stuff ourselves with nuts, tuna, tortillas and beef jerky. Our stomachs disagree with our nutritional choice and feel queasy for most of the next morning. Thankfully, it is mostly a gentle climb from Lake Henshaw to Ranchita. We gain a few thousand feet over several miles, so it is slow going but nothing gut busting. We snack, drink some ginger ale and hot tea from the single store in Ranchita – which also happens to be right next to a strange sasquatch looking sculpture.
After Ranchita, it is a screaming downhill to Borrego Springs. We quickly dump all the elevation we’ve been gaining all day. We hardly pedal for the next 40 minutes, gripping our handlebars and brakes trying not to be distracted by the amazing views of the valley below. We stop a few times to let the rims cool but to also to drink in the vastness of the desert.
It is immense here. After finishing our descent we look up at the mountain we just came down from and don’t envy anyone that has to ride up it. It is several degrees warmer in the desert proper. Laura and I were here several years ago and it was easily 110-115 degrees. Right now, it is a cool 60.
We have left the coast. We have left the forest. We are in a completely different biome now, one that I haven’t spent that much time in so everything is a bit surreal and overwhelming. Space is vast and the earth offers no shadow except for what you bring with you. Today, the forecast is high winds. We stayed in a motel last night to charge some batteries and do some laundry before the next few days of camping.
It really does feel like we are on the next part of our journey and feels so different from the last few months – quieter, more desolate and beautiful in its own strange way.
The other Carl December 22, 2009 at 1:26 pm
Anza Borrego is one of my favorite places in the desert. It is a ride from town, but Agua Caliente has naturally geothermal heated pools one is inside one not. Down the road from vallecito? the mountains jut straight up near there spelling. Anyway lots of history. Look real hard for Borrego desert sheep they blend in with the rocks perfectly. They are a site to be seen a very rare animal very beautiful.
It is so fun seeing your reports, just love it…
Derek (100 Peaks) December 23, 2009 at 12:53 am
Just started following your journey. Your photos are great.
Enjoy Anza-Borrego. It is vast and beautiful. You planned well to be there this time of year.
Looking forward to future posts.
Kim December 23, 2009 at 1:21 pm
Hi guys! Kim, here from San Diego. I’ve been following your fantastic Journey, and will be camping at Agua Caliente with my family on the 25th & 26th. If you happen to be in the area, I’d love to meet you. Look for the campsites with two VW Vanagons.
san elijo hills March 4, 2010 at 11:05 am
[…] Elijo State Beach, California. Next Post: Corona, California: Glen Ivy Hot Springs Day Spa. 6 …Of dogs and deserts… | The Path Less PedaledAfter leaving San Elijo we turned East towards Escondido. Riding up Lake Wolhford, I snap … Mail […]
Leave a Reply to san elijo hills
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Join Team Supple on Patreon
We had the same issue with breakfast the first night we stayed there – had to settle for peanut butter and bagels – so disappointing 🙁