Sunday, January 20, 2013

Base Miles...and views of the Channel Islands

One of the great things about the Santa Ana winds in Southern CA is that it makes for really clear days. So clear that you can get unobstructed views of downtown LA, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the Channel Islands. When it's relatively clear you can usually see Catalina Island, but we were lucky to even see further than Catalina and got slight views of San Clemente Island, the southernmost of eight of the Channel Islands located off the coast of Southern CA.

Saturday morning I left from home and headed out the canyon road. While it was much warmer than I had anticipated due to the Santa Ana winds, it was definitely a grind getting out to the trails with the wind feeling like it was coming straight at me. I met up with some riding friends on the way out to the Maple Springs gate and we headed up the trail eventually to the "saddle" which is the area between Santiago Peak and Modjeska Peak and is also the start/top of the Joplin trail head.
From the "saddle" alongside Brian and Matt...thanks for the pic Josh!
We descended Joplin, a challenging loose rocky descent that eventually takes you to an area known as Old Camp. The trail from Old Camp down to the Luge turnoff is a fast and flowy somewhat wider singletrack. It's a great descent although it's just as great of a climb so on a Saturday morning you definitely have to be aware of uphill traffic. We got down the Luge and I eventually split from the group and headed home via the canyon road. Thanks to the same wind that was in my face on the way out I had a nice tailwind returning home. What a great day of riding!

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