Following the Light
On Thursday I took a long ride. Out Interstate 8 east to Rt. 79 north stopping first at the Stonewall Mine trailhead to take a picture of the frosty meadow and then a quick hop over to Lake Cuyamaca where I found some nice light on the lake.
Without any real plan I followed 79 to Julian, (bypassing the temptation to take Sunrise Highway) where I picked up 78 East and wound my way down Banner Grade, cutting it short by turning left on Wynola Rd and taking a lazy route across the north side of Julian to pick up 78 westbound, down the mountain to Santa Ysabel, and a quick right on 79 where, in a few miles, I found Mesa Grande Road, now one of my favorite back country roads. Here I found two picturesque trees, a row of mailboxes and the deserted Mesa Grande Cafe.
At Scissors Crossing you can go left and head for the desert, right and return to Julian, or continue to follow S-2 into the desert, eventually reaching Interstate 8. I chose to return to Julian and look for more clouds and the interesting light they create. It would be many miles before I stopped though as I followed the road back up Banner Grade into Julian, turning left on Rt. 79 and down to Sunrise Highway, taking it this time. It wasn't until I reached the Pine Creek Rd. turn that I stopped for a picture. A stand of pines stood against a nice cloud formation and I snapped a few pictures there. They turned out to be the last images for this trip. It was then I decided to take Pine Creek Rd. and see where it led. I'd been on the road before but never it's full length. If you're ever in the position to do this, I'd advise just staying on Sunrise Hwy. Pine Creek winds down the mountain on a single-lane, unkept road, seeming to follow the Noble Canyon trail and, in fact, passing the trailhead before exiting on to Old Highway 80 in Guatay. I take a right and follow 80 to 79 which leads me to Interstate 8 and I take the 8-West onramp home.
I like that old row boat. Seems like it has seen better days, but it has seen a lot of use and has a lot of character with the blue paint peeling off.
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