Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gate Junction SGKiosk Gate

I was expecting frost this morning like we've had the last few days, but it was clear and mostly dry and not intolerably cold.

Rick and I met on NGR and we got started a couple minutes early. Not very many riders today, I think we only saw two on the whole way up. Sun got pretty strong around the Bump but it was still cold. Hard to believe we had a post-ride Jamba just a few weeks ago.

There were a few more riders at the Junction, but no big groups. We went down SGR and it was a lot windier and wet over there - we almost felt like a paper airplane in some places. We saw some big groups of tent campers too; that must have been a cold night. We turned around at the kiosk and rode back to Junction.

Just below Junction I got this photo of an old tree that had been partly sawed off and partly broken off, wonder what the story there is.

Rick kept on climbing and I went down NGR.

From Upper Washout on North Gate Road you can see South Gate Road along the ridge up their at the top.

The rest of the way down NGR was slow because of the headwind... no speed records today.

Dudley Driveby: Blue Oak Speedway (according to a text message from Rick)

For today's nature lesson we have:

The California Coffeeberry Bush - you'll see a lot of these - those berries look like coffee beans and aren't poisonous but not very good tasting either. Indians used to use them to make face paint though.

The California Buckeye - the tree in winter has no leaves at all and it drops these giant chestnut-looking things (size of a small apple) on the ground. The wood of the California Buckeye is supposedly one of your better choices if you ever have to start a fire using the rubbing sticks together method.

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