Lakeside, CA

The hostel seemed to clear out after the weekend. On Sunday night, the two Brazilian guys and myself went to sleep in our dorm room. I left the light on, as it was only maybe 10:30 pm, and there were still so many empty beds. I didn’t notice that no one else came in until 3:45, when Angela came in (perhaps finishing night shift?) I went back to sleep until just before 6.

I got out of the hostel at 9:15. It would have been most efficient to turn left at the intersection of the Pacific Coast Route and Southern Tier Route, but I turned right, in order to get to the official start of the Southern Tier.

dog beach
This is the start of the Southern Tier, at Dog Beach (where leashes are not required). Goodbye, Pacific Ocean! Won’t see you for a while.
san diego river
The first part of the route is a bike path along the San Diego River.

There were a fair number of tents or just people sleeping at tables or under trees near the bike path. One pair may have been surfers – I saw wetsuits hanging up to dry. But I think most of them were homeless.

I took a side trip to Big 5 Sporting Goods, and used my 10% off coupon to get 3 freeze-dried meals. Those would be my food if I had to improvise in the desert.

detour
There was a detour off the bike path. It was not hard to follow, once I knew to look for the orange signs.
mission trails park
There was a climb up to the entrance of Mission Trails Regional Park. I’m learning to pace the climbs, now, and think I’m doing better. When I got to the actual road inside, it was gated off “Due to inclement weather or emergency conditions,” but I saw lots of walkers that had simply gone around the gate. I took the gamble that the closure sign was left over from the past 3 days, but that it would be okay since it was not raining that day.
The road in the park basically looked like this. Right out of a western, or old star trek show. As I went down it, I kept asking people coming my way whether the trail was all right ahead, and they all said yes. When I got to the lowest point of the trail, there were two small puddles on the SIDE of the road.
san diego river
This is what the San Diego River looks like after Mission Trails (this shot taken from a bridge). It’s more like a forest, whose floor sometimes floods.

The Adventure Cycling maps listed motels in Santee, which was where I originally had planned to stay. But there was nothing about the motels being OFF ROUTE, so I expected them to be in plain view somewhere. I never did see them, so I continued on to the next town, Lakeview. That town was listed as having no motels, only campsites. I stopped at a small grocery in Lakeview, got a coconut popsicle (my favorite), and asked the cashier whether she knew where the RV park was. Simple, just down the road half a mile on the left.

Rancho Los Conches RV Park
The Rancho Los Conchos RV park is actually right on the route. If going EB on the Southern Tier, turn left at US 8 Business route, and go 0.5 mile.
Denise Nuchols
Denise N at registration gave especially kind service. She offered me a choice of sites, explaining the advantages of each. The site was $30, and far larger than I needed. A team of 4 or 6 could probably have fit. The office also had coffee and hot water, a few pastries, and oranges from their tree.
pool
There is a pool (heated) on site, but I didn’t use it. (Took this shot with a tripod and self timer). Also a rec room with ping pong, pool, and darts, conference room with tables, a laundry, and of course, hot showers (the only thing I actually used).
This is my site. It actually has a light, a power outlet on the pole next to the picnic table, and wi-fi.

I’m updating the blog here at the picnic table, even though it’s night. Basically, I have all the advantages of a motel that I care about, at a fraction of the cost.

The disadvantage of an RV park over a campground is that many of the residents of the park are long-term, so it’s just like any other suburban area. People stay in their homes, and there isn’t much socialization.

I don’t care much for the urban riding segments of this trip. Too many turns, too much figuring out where the bike path is, constantly needing to be alert for street names, and cars in driveways. Hopefully the route will be more simple in the coming days in the desert; the kind of riding I find meditative.

The frogs at night are loud here. Doesn’t bother me, though.

Tomorrow, I hope to make Pine Valley. Google says it’s 4 hours away by bike, which means at least 6 for me, not counting lunch. It’s only about 30 miles away, but almost 4000 feet of climbing. Like doing Mt. Hamilton back home, except with full packs. If I can’t make that, I can stop at Alpine – but that still sounds like its a serious climb, doesn’t it?

Miles for the day: 37.5

(Visited 51 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply