Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day tripping through Marshall Canyon...

One of the advantages of living in a foothill community should be that you have selection of trails you can take your knobby-tired bikes out on and challenge your handling skills in the dirt. If those routes happen to be within riding distance of the garage door, so much the better. Marshall Canyon is a county park in the neighboring city of LaVerne, and connects to our own Claremont Hills Wilderness Park (CHWP) via dirt road, several of them in fact as you find out after a little exploration of the area. Marshall Canyon has what the CHWP lacks, and that is single-track, which makes it an especially popular place with local mountain bikers. The trail, until you start to climb out of the canyon on your way to CHWP stays for the most part down in the oak shaded recesses, following and crossing a small stream. Weekends can get quite crowded with riders, walkers, trail runners, and equestrians, so I like to ride there Friday afternoons when I can pretty much have the place to myself.
Ain't oak shade great!

Normally I will ride up into the CHWP first, get the climbing done and then get to ride down the single-track in the canyon; I am and always have been a climber, not a descender, but I will admit that doing the route in this direction is the most fun. Yesterday, however, I decided to roll it in the other direction, from the low end of the canyon to the top. Normally, in August, I would not consider this a good idea since the upper portion, the connection to CHWP is a mostly hot, full sun exposed fire road. But since the weather has been abnormally cool lately, I took this more challenging option.
This spot is known as "Owen's Plunge" because a handful of years ago my son, on his little 18" wheeled Marin came down that hill at the left and crashed into the mud beside the stream. None the worse for wear, he rides single-track better than me now.

Mind your line; riding off into all that stuff beside the trail might cause profuse itching.

Here comes the sun.

Not yet ripe. Who has a recipe for elderberry wine?

The San Gabriel Mountains; where balloons go to die.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the pictures. I want to be sitting on that bench in the shade. Not sure how I would get there but it looks very inviting.


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