I have these hallelujah moments when I ride into certain places of grandeur. Borrego is one such place. I usually take Yaki pass. It's short but it's a nice set of twisties that dump you down into the Valley below. As I hit the valley floor, that familiar sight of magnificent mountains to your left behind Borrego, and the mountains to the north, well it takes my breath away every time. Maybe it's because I have great memories there. Maybe it's because Borrego is surrounded by Californias largest State Park Anza Borrego. It is grand and strangely this old Idaho/Colorado mountain boy desperately wants a crusty little broken down cabin out there with this view off his front porch. You could certainly do worse than spending winters in Borrego.
Friday is everyones Get-There day, and that evening we walked next door for margaritas and some dinnertime fun. Loved having just six of us as it allowed us all to really connect and talk over dinner!
Dusty and Cassie had been there all week filming with Mototrek for 2 new videos. They'd been baking in the sun for days and were thrilled to see cooler temps even if it did come with weather. Then to go sleep off some of those rice and beans.
Saturday morning came early, and per usual I peeked out the motel door to see if ol' Trigger was still in his stall. And of course, there he sat. Blinking occasionally and wondering when we were gonna fire up.
The gods took the time to point out where we should be eating breakfast.
As we dismounted and walked toward it, we saw the gods real message. "Grow Today"! And so we did.
We had a 1200, 1250 and a Mighty 1290 in the stables. Our Katoomer has a real nice set up, complete with Rekluse. And he came with strong credentials. The scratches silly, look at those battle scars!
The stickers are nice. And the scratches are nice. But combined they make strong medicine. He is not here to mess around. He's serious about going next level with the big Austrian.
All three students were there for Level 2 training which allowed us to all focus on the really really fun stuff.
With one eye on skill building, and other eye on the weather, we lucked out and once again benefited from the magic of that valley. Can't tell you how many times I've seen heavy storms sitting on top of the mountains above Borrego only to park there and not dare come across. The following pic doesn't show heavy rain inbound, but that's about where it usually splits and goes around. Saturday the wind kicked up to the 40's, carrying rain drops from the mountain tops. so we took a long lunch break back at the motel. Everyone brought their gps units in and we had a workshop going through whatever challenges folks were having. Then back out for some work in the sand.
Ol' Trigger spends a lot of time just sitting and waiting while I'm helping others.
But he always get's his turn roosting, lofting and sliding. And once and a while he even bucks me off and we have a good laugh.
Pro tip: When Dusty is teaching and a rainbow comes out of his mouth . . . . might want to remember what he just said.
Hill work is always fun regardless of the direction.
We warned Ryan of the Death Sand off the back side of the hills, but I guess he had to see for himself. And of course the others happily followed him.
Sometimes it just gets so soft and deep that all forward motion stops and any motion is straight down. But even that's great because they get to teamwork a solution out. This particular spot was rated a Level 3... because it takes 3 people to get it out. We were glad it was a cool 60* and not 110* out.
Sunday late afternoon I put the boxes back on and headed home. Montezuma was completely hidden in rain clouds so I took the usual route. Yaqui pass took me just around the edge of the downpour, but it didn't matter because as soon as I hit 78 all powers of hell unleashed. High winds driving sheets of rain across the road. The few cars encountered were crawling down the road, some with flashers on. With each foot of elevation gain the temps dropped dropped dropped. The face shield was trying to completely shut me in, to shut me off from anything beyond the steamed lens. Open it to the first indent? get a facial attack of stinging rain drops. Close it down and instantly 50% blind going to 100% quickly. Makes a guy wish he'd have put the OEM windscreen on for the weekend. I was dreading my favorite road not to far ahead.
I was gortexed head to toe . . . except for gloves. I had forgotten to pack real gloves. My KLIM baja gloves are just peachy for 100* days of desert riding. Of course the grips were set to warp 9 but it didn't matter. Elevation on my gps screen increased and the temps dropped. 46. . . 44 . . . 42. . . .39 . . . still gaining elevation dammit. At 4,235' above sea level (Julian) and 36 rain and wind driven degree's I knew there was no way I would take the usual route over Mt. Laguna to the 8. The Laguna mountain lodge is at 6,000' and it didn't seem possible to NOT hit driving snow and sub freezing temps. Grant it, I was warm enough, but those damn gloves! Couldn't hardly feel the grips. So down to the Chairs (Santa Ysabel) for a pitstop at the outhouses and a quick lens wipe. Fortunately the weather eased as I went through Ramona and elevation dropped. By the time I hit La Mesa the sun was shining and it was close to 60*.
Barb could see me coming on her iPhone so when I pulled in the driveway there she was with a nice pour of Pendleton in her outstretched hand. Charlie the Loan dog was dancing in circles at the sound of dads bike. Kickstand down, key off and Led Zeppelin faded to black as I powered off the Cardo. I left a trail of riding gear from the garage to the back yard and then whiskey in hand, jumped in the hot tub. Led Zeppelin resumed right where I'd left him while Charlie jumps up on his perch and the wife jumps into the co-pilots seat.
With a toast to friends, adventures and each other I ask . . . "tell me about your weekend Honey!"