Today's exploration opened up quite a bit of new, very interesting territory for me. I can easily keep myself busy in this new pocket of the San Diego outback for several years, exploring interesting canyons, hunting down rogue palm oases, and finding blissful roads to ride out. I love these initial forays into new areas -- exploring a little randomly, seeing which areas pique my interest and starting to think of my next few trips and which areas I want to delve deeper into.
I'm not sure why it took me so long to explore this area of Anza Borrego -- it's straight out Interstate 8, so it's an easy drive, but it is out there a ways, so I think I've always opted for targets a little closer. I have oddly explored just north of this area a bit; just never made it this far south.
I started my explorations by parking at the road to Indian Gorge. Initially though, I headed east, out the Overland Stage Route. The riding was nice -- it seems like most of the time I start my rides with a big hill climb of some sort, but this was mostly flat. I rode as far as I was allowed -- I eventually hit a gate across the road with a sign that the area was closed. A bit of a bummer, but there was still plenty to explore. I followed the path of least resistence south, up Canyon sin Nombre. I checked out a cool, narrow side canyon for quite some distance, then made my way up the main canyon more, until it started turning back towards Sweeney Pass and the main road. The canyon was definitely cool -- even cooler since I didn't know what this area was like before heading out.
I made my way back to the car, but since there was still some day left, I headed up Indian Gorge and rode until the low sun started hiding behind the mountains.
On the drive out, I stopped at an overlook at Sweeney Pass. I looked down on the canyon I rode up earlier, and a vast sea of canyons and folds to explore.