Updated: Jul 9, 2020
The second day of the journey began with a nice descent of the huge climb we had done the day before. After a quick stop in Julian for a coffee and an interaction with a host of Warm Showers (couchsurfer for bike tourers), we began to get an idea of how to talk about the trip we are taking, and how to possibly leave a conversation with someone else inspired to take off on their own.
The rest of day ended up being another massive climb. Part of this section on the way to Anza lead to some of the most terrifying car passes we have had yet. I remember feeling dried up and in need of any kind of real nourishment to revive me of the funk that I had undergone over the past few miles. Slowly crawling up to where Joe and Zach had stopped for a rest, I notice a small fruit stand and as I met eyes with them I waved my arms like wild to indicate this was the savior we needed. We fill our hands with plums, a mango, an orange, an avocado and dates to satisfy the taste for something fresh. Only 48 hours after I had left home it felt like forever away from the foods I eat so often. Looking at all the fruit in there had awoken a carnal desire that arose the moment I stepped outside. I engulfed my 3 plums and mango within a few minutes of absolute and pure heaven.
After a few more miles we decided it was time for a midday break to wait out the intense heat of the southern Californian sun. While living on our bicycles we have learned a few things about where to stop and accommodate yourself and campgrounds are definitely one of them. With the freest and purest of water, having them along the way have been key to keep ourselves hydrated. The end of the day was a long haul over to Anza for the night so we could start the next day early climbing up our next ascent.
Day 3 was another gnarly day up to Idyllwild, but an absolutely rewarding break of live music from some local shredders and a patch of astro turf.
This break in the midst of a forest located 6,000 feet above sea level made it hard to still view this terrain as so far south. It was mind blowing to witness the harsh change of a complete desert to a shaded and thick forest. Conditions only stayed pleasant for a short period though... after coming down from the peak we came around a part of the mountain that put us directly into the path of the most voracious wind I had ever dared cross. Gripping onto my handbars so tightly resulted in my hands and body feeling a tension that would not come to unwind until miles up the road. This unease made the downhill views that were ever so spectacular hard to truly appreciate in the moment, and made our legs lay heavy on the pedals. The toll of the past two days were beginning to catch up to us and we were feeling worn out. We stopped for a quick break and realized that there was still another 15 miles of ground to cover before the next campsite, so we kept pushing, little did we know that minutes later we would meet one of the strangest and most inspiring bikers of our lives (a future blog post will cover the full story, there’s a LOT to tell.)