Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Angeles Crest Highway with the Guys

A few weeks back, early in December, our son-in-law, The Pilot, was here for the weekend.  He was the management's representative on a Christmas party circuit for his company.  One of those stops was here in our town, and he worked out the schedule so he could stay the weekend.
He had decided to rent a bike while he was here, so that we could all go riding together.  He had shipped his gear and reserved a bike.
On Saturday morning, The Pilot and The Male geared up, and I drove my car, while The Pilot, who's 6'2" rode my bike to the motorcycle rental shop.  Poor guy; his knees were up around his ears.
Once there, he got his rental ST1300, I parked the car and the three of us, each on a bike, headed up the freeway to meet The Professor at the start of the Angeles Crest Highway.  On the way there, I only had one near-death experience, when I didn't see a truck in my blind spot and started to merge.  I caught myself before any damage or shrieking was done.
I so wish I could have taken my iPhone out of my pocket and taken a photograph as we made a transition from one freeway to another.  The transition road was a huge, high, beautiful, sweeping expanse of concrete.  From it I could see miles and miles across downtown LA.  It was gorgeous.
As we headed north toward Sunland, the freeway begins to pass in to quite a rural area; there were tall pines along the freeway and the air smelled thickly of their piney scent.
Once off the freeway in Sunland, we met up with The Professor, made a quick stop for gas, and headed up the road.
 It wasn't too long before The Pilot and The Professor passed us by (We told them they didn't have to go along at my stately and age-appropriate pace, and they didn't!).  The curves on this road will enchant even the most reluctant of bikers.  Our destination was Newcomb's Ranch, a biker hangout about 35 miles up the road.
The Male and I enjoyed the ride and the beautiful scenery.  I had never been through this part of Southern California, and LA seemed a world away.
It took us about an hour to get to Newcomb's Ranch, where we were surprised that the guys weren't there yet.  We thought that they might have continued up the road to Wrightwood.  But, no, they had taken a wrong turn and had headed back to civilization.  They turned around, we were soon enough having lunch together. 
By this time, the sun had gone behind the tallest mountains, casting deep shadows in the curves.  On the way down the road, I had trouble with my eyes adjusting and would experience a few brief moments of not being able to see anything upon entering the shadow.  That took a little fun out of the ride down the hills.
Once again, the younger set took off down the road, planning to meet us on a turnout before getting to the freeway.  From this stop, we could see over the LA basin, and this photo doesn't do the view justice.
Checking out the map for the ride home:
We had to make a stop to gas up my bike (tiny gas tank), and i had trouble making a sharp enough turn into the gas station.  So, I just went down the side road and turned around.
On the 605, our last stretch of freeway toward home, the traffic bunched up a bit.  The Male was in front, and The Pilot and The Professor were behind me.  And, I found that rather comforting.  I knew if I got into any trouble that they would be right there.  Fortunately, they weren't called to duty, but I knew that they would!  I love you guys.
We made it home all in one piece, 182 miles in all for the guys, and 162 for me (I drove up to the bike rental shop.).  It was a great day, and I'm gaining confidence with every successful outing and looking forward to the next one!


  1. Very nice write-up! Thanks for posting. I shared with Marney and she appreciated seeing all of our bikes.

  2. I'm always so proud of you, Barbara. And I agree with Nathan - you always do such a grand job at writing up your experiences. Very fun to read. So glad you all had such a gorgeous day out together!

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