I’ve been wanting to try a full weekend adventure in the desert for a couple years. It’s a decent drive from San Diego to get to Anza Borrego, and my single-day adventures had me driving for nearly as much as I was out on my bike. A full weekend would help tip the adventure-to-gas-expenditure ratio more in my favor.
Montero Wash, June Wash
For this trip, I wanted to hit a few new places. First on my list was Montero Wash, which actually leads to the old abandoned San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway line, along with a palm oasis, and plenty more roads to explore once you make it out the road a few miles. I would have liked to have explored more, but there was a fierce, cold wind that nearly blew me off my bike a few times. I imagine it’s like that fairly frequently, but hopefully someday I can find a calmer day to explore more of the area.
I wasn’t ready to be done for the day though, so I drove up the road to June Wash. The beginning of the road out was busy with day hikers. I’m not actually used to seeing so many people out on my desert adventures, but we’ve had a wet winter, and so I suspect it’s busier than usual for all of those looking to enjoy the abundant wildflowers. I almost moved on just to find a quieter place, but I pushed on, and soon I didn’t see too many people. The road was a nice mellow climb – actually pretty enjoyable. It’s one of those easy grinds that I really like. I know my body is working more than usual, and working well, but it wasn’t overly taxing, and I could sit tall on my bike and just slowly work my way out the road.
The scenery out June Wash was nice – not quite as impressive as some of the canyons just to the east, but still a great place to explore. I also didn’t push beyond where the road ended, but there is a trail that continues, so who knows what lies further in.
I found a spot to camp for the night, did another quick ride, just to stretch the legs some more, and made myself a nice little pepperoni pizza in the Ooni oven.
View of Badlands Wash, Jojoba Wash
The main reason for getting out on adventures is the bike riding, the trail runs, the long hikes. The act of propelling myself over a beautiful landscape. The second reason is waking up slowly, making some coffee, and listening to the birds while watching the sun slowly crawl up the eastern horizon.
For my second cup of coffee, I wandered around the surrounding area, coffee in hand. I found a nice small path along the spines of one of the ridges around camp which gave great views of my campsite and the entire valley.
I headed up to Vallecito Creek, parked the car, and took off down the dirt road. It was a chilly morning, especially once the cold air was moving past me at whatever speed I was pedaling at. I threw on my fleece, and was able to pull it up enough under my helmet to cover my ears, which made the riding far more pleasant. My first stop was Palm Spring, which was a nice little wet spot out in the middle of nowhere. I had envisioned multiple tall palms, but the one living palm was a bit scraggly. Still, a nice little area with birds singing and flowers blooming all over the hills. I then rode back towards the View of Badlands Wash – thanks to another road, I was able to make a short loop back and hit the road headed up the wash.
View of Badlands wash was nice. Much like June wash, the desert walls rose around it, but not quite as deep and narrow as some of the other canyons in the area. It was a nice steady ride up, and eventually hit the end, where the road suddenly stops, and the landscape drops out from below, revealing the jagged dirt landscape that stretches for miles.
I next tried Jojoba Wash, which was my first and only real fail of the trip. The road surface was extremely sandy, which made the riding extremely difficult. I told myself to “give it until the next turn”, for several turns, and it didn’t get any better. Honestly, I’ll probably try this one again at some point. I noticed on the return trip that I was able to get more speed since I was headed downhill, and since this road could form a nice little loop with some of the roads I rode out the day prior, I may be able to head in the downhill direction for that loop. So me and Jojoba Wash may go another round at some point over the coming months.
Just to get some more riding in, I crossed the highway and rode out Dolomite Mine Road, which had a much better riding surface. And then it was time for more pizza.
To conclude my trip, I found a nice pull off on the way to Bow Will Campground, set up my pizza oven, and just took it easy for a couple of hours, making and eating pizza, and doing a quick walk up Egg Mountain to check out the view.
This was a pretty incredible trip. I’ve been wanting to do a solo desert adventure like this one, where I just sample a few rides, and just pick and choose what to do basically when I’m ready to move onto the next thing. And the introduction of pizza into all of this is a stroke of genius. I can totally see more outings like this – riding my bike out random roads and making pizza. Sounds pretty great.