A short note this time, because I've literally covered this ground before. I went for a short ride up the Kennedy Trail on my mountain bike on Sunday. For me, this was the first ride this year when it's been actually hot. The first ride on which I've been wiping sweat from my eyes. And it was probably 70 degrees. It's going to be a long summer.
I can't quite remember why I thought it might be a good idea to climb Kennedy again. It's probably just the fact that I'm always looking at that Sombroso ridge whenever I'm driving to my house. It's subliminal.
|A fixer-upper on Kennedy Road
By the time I got to the tree at about the mid-point of the climb, I was done with one water bottle and had only one left. I drink a lot of water, probably more than I really need to, and I have no idea what I was thinking leaving the house with just two.
Cherry Springs Reservoir,
from the Kennedy Trail
After this section is a grind in which you climb about 500 feet in a little over half a mile. Then you actually descend a little, climb a couple of steep but short hills, and (if you're me) get off your bike and start walking about a quarter of the way up the final ramp. Ugh.
|The Kennedy Trail toward El Sombroso
It's steeper than it looks.
Either the energy I expend trying to climb these hills or the fact that I am defeated several times in a row leaves me with the certainty, on this section of the ride, that I can't climb anything at all. The trail climbs the in the last few hundred yards toward El Sombroso, and I was almost surprised to be able to get up there.
I made the obligatory trip up to the power line towers, which I think is the high point of this ride. But I had something a little way down the trail I wanted to check out....
|Umunhum, from El Sombroso
|The trail from El Sombroso to
The entrance to the trail isn't obvious, but there's only one place it could logically be. It's basically the southern-most part of trail before it heads down the mountain. I pushed between two bushes, and it seemed like there was something vaguely linear about the spaces between plants, so I guess that's a trail. I would have explored a little further on this ridge, but it dips down quite a bit between the peaks and my bike shoes aren't really suited for hiking. The trail is overgrown; I'd definitely suggest head-to-toe clothing (and a winter's day) if you're going to try it.
The last time through here, I continued down the trail to Woods Road. This time I turned around and headed the other way, back the way I came, to the Limekiln Trail. I've ridden this trail once before, and I remembered the great views of the canyon. Having a little more experience in the area, I now know that on the other side of that canyon is Soda Springs Road, and I was hoping to get a picture of a road I've ridden up before.
Limekiln drops quickly from about 2800 feet to 1500 feet, then climbs back up to 1650 to the junction with the Priest Rock trail. Somewhere near the bottom of that section, after having run out of water before I even reached El Sombroso, I rode by a briskly-flowing stream. Thirstiness being the mother of invention, I filled a water bottle. I fully expecting the water to be beige, but it was clear as... well, water, I guess. It smelled good, which is to say not at all. Having thus run my full suite of chemical tests on the sample, I drank a bit, and did not die. More than 24 hours later, I remain not dead. Look at me, I'm Survivorman!
|Limekiln Trail and Soda Springs Canyon
|A not-tricky part of Limekiln Trail
The Limekiln Trail passes near the quarry, which I think I must have completely missed the first time I took this trail. It then descends down the canyon and parallels a creek until it empties onto Alma Bridge Road.
|The Lexington Quarry
|The Lexington Dam Spillway, still flowing
From there, a straightforward ride home. The Garmin tells me it was 25 miles and almost 3800 feet of climbing, which sounds about right. Insanely low average speed, I must admit.