And I thought Mt Wilson was a climb.
What do I know.
My pal Etsu was in town again doing his winter race training far from the East coast cold.
Let's go to Baldy Village!
"Yeah man, don't worry it'll just be a slow steady climb with a friend of mine."
He didn't mention his friend had nearly made the Olympic marathon cut and that the climb was.....24 miles.
Sure- on the return leg a lot of that is downhill, but I don't care what anyone says, when you've been climbing for an hour and a half....two hours....nothing but climbing, and your friends are wasting you....it starts to dig deep.
But what views and what divine air to breathe.
A small slide had cut off the road a few days before so for 15 of the miles we saw....nothing and no one. No cars. Not a one. Three other bikers. Total quiet.
A mt fire crew was doing a controlled burn along a ridgeline that led to LA. You could see the flames, the hot orange among the vast green carpet which covers LA's hills after their wet wet winter.
Little trucks and cars tucked in along the fire lane.
Smoke trailing in thin veils into the California sky.
The rainy season has come to an abrupt halt. It is straight up SoCal weather now. Not a cloud, no humidity and 80 some degrees.
Frankly bores the crap out of me but so it goes.
We made it to the little town at the foot of the mt in time for a perfect ski town lunch in a bar which hasnt seen an upgrade in 50 years. God bless it. You can get a side of cottage cheese. You can sit in the sun and experience mid century leisure time frozen in time.
The kind of place where you really feel bad you didn't order a beer. That's a true bar.
Snow walking distance away - 65 in the shade.
Climbed out into the sun and fell back for what seemed like eons into Glendora Heights, a kind of San Diego of the north and the sort of place makes me realize I will ALWAYS be an East Coaster.
Nice to be nearing 50 and the blood still pumping.