Thursday, July 5, 2012

Up Hwy 39 to Crystal Lake

And, all I have to show for it is a nice helmet-pressure knob on my forehead.  Which is great, considering all that could have gone wrong...
The Professor and his family came down to Long Beach for the 4th of July holiday.  He had ridden his bike down so that we three could head out for a ride on Wednesday morning.  Which is just exactly what we did. 
The weather could not have been more perfect.  It was actually so cool here when we set out at 9AM that I put on a long-sleeved t-shirt over my short-sleeved one at the last minute.  We expected the cloud cover to burn off by the time we got to the base of the mountains, but it remained cool until we stopped at the top, in the parking lot for Crustal Lake. 
The traffic both ways on the 605 was great.  So much better-- can I say that again, so much better-- than going to Azusa via city streets.  Which is how we got there last year, before The Male let me on the freeways. 
East on the 210 to Hwy 39 and then up the canyon, way past where we stopped on our first trip.  I felt so much more comfortable on the tight curves, it actually become enjoyable.  We still ride at a rather geriatric pace, being geriatric, so we pulled over at turn-outs often to let the crowd behind us pass.
We rode past the recreation area where there were literally hundreds of cars parked alongside the road on both sides.  So, take note: if you want to explore this recreation area, come early in the day or you will be scrambling for a parking spot. 
Once we got past the tight space through the day-use area, the road became much less crowded and more fun, too.  At about 5,600 ft. elevation, we arrived at the first of two parking lots for Crystal Lake. 

Take another note:  The second parking lot is quite a bit shadier.  It was HOT. 

The Professor and I walked over the hill to take a quick look at the lake, while The Male stayed with the bikes.  I was worried that we might get ticketed for not having a day pass.

We had a quick snack and drink of water before gearing up to head down the hill.  That's when I noticed that I had 59 miles on this tank of gas.  My tank's limit is about 80-90, which obviously wouldn't get me all the way home.

That's when my birthday present from The Professor and The Mommy came into play:  A bright red 1-gallon spare gas tank, that fits just perfectly in my saddlebag!  Yippee!  No more frantic searching in unknown parts for a gas station!  Thanks again, guys!

But, poor Male.... all suited up, in the hot, hot sun, with mean, biting flies buzzing around us, figuring out how to work the new can's nozzle...  He's a great guy. 
With my gas tank filled up, we made the loop through the perfectly lovely, shady little campground and began the ride downhill.  I rather enjoyed it! 
Then, on to the 210, the 605, and back to cool, still-cloudy Long Beach. 
It was a great way to spend the holiday. 
Love you guys!