Chip goes on a Toy Run!

Sachi took me on a toy run this weekend!  (November 17, 2007 to be precise.)  We met the other Women in the Wind for an early breakfast and then rode north to Oceanside to sign in for the ride.  After we all signed in and met Santa and his wife, we rode out Highway 76 through the foothills to the Pauma Indian reservation, about 40-45 miles away.  It was a nice ride (if herky-jerky because of all the bikes lined up).  At the reservation, we met at the Casino (which was a very pretty place!) and dropped off the toys and had lunch.  Sachi signed me up so I have my very own Toy Run pin -- not to mention I had my very OWN beef sandwich.  MMmm!  I love beef.  Not as much as salmon, but it’s tasty. 


Toys for Tots

After we ate and watched the Gold Wing synchronized riding team (the Gold Angels, complete with matching jump suits) we (Sachi, me, and five of the other Women in the Wind) rode east on Highway 76.  That heads toward Palomar Mountain, the home of the huge telescope, and the Tecate Mountains.  We rode for several miles and then started to ride into the land that was burned by the Poomacha and Witch fires last month.  Oh, it was sad!  So many grand oak trees burned and dead.  So much charred land.  I could smell the ash and sadness as we rode by . . . .

Fortunately the burned lands were not extensive and we soon came to green again.  Southern California is VERY different from Vermont!  It is just as beautiful though -- with live oaks, cacti, and other low-water plants thriving in the hills.  We did not stop to take pictures (Sachi wanted to RIDE today) but it was a very, very gorgeous country, and I can see why she and Claire love it so much.

Anyway, we rode out the 76 towards Lake Hensshaw, and then we turned up the hill toward Mesa Verda.  Wow!  What a great road!  It was 15-20 mph switchbacks up a cliff to the mesa, and then a long ride across beautiful farmland.  When we hit the east side of the mesa, we smoothly ran down the road, turning all the way, back to the main road. 

At the main highway we headed toward Santa Ysabel, a small town in the high plains.  At a gas station there, Sachi and her friend Kathy decided to ride farther into the mountains, and the rest of Sachi’s friends headed back towards San Diego.  So Kathy, Sachi, and I rode northeast toward Julian.  Hot dang, I could have stopped there -- Julian is famous for its fruit pies and I smelled apple pie for miles!  But Sachi (damn her) (oops did I say that) kept riding, and then turned south toward Descanso and Pine Valley, where Kathy lived. 

OH MY GOD!!  What gorgeous country . . . hills, lakes, oaks, pines, scrub bushes, cacti . . . a bear could learn to love this land.  I was enraptured during this ride!  (And Sachi was an excellent pilot . . . smooth and concise, and safe.)  I wish I could see more of this country - and Sachi says that I’ll get a chance in a week or so.  I hope so!

Here is a map of our route.  The pointer is at Santa Ysabel.  We came from Oceanside on the left of the map, and took the road that goes through Bonsall and Pala.  The lunch was at Pauma Valley.  The road then goes past Lake Henshaw.  At Santa Ysabel, we headed east to Julian, and then took the road past the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park down to Descanso.  Sachi said there are some lovely twisty roads home, south of the 8, but because the sun was getting low and would get in our eyes, we decided to burn home on the 8.  A good decision.