Wednesday, January 9, 2013

P4W2 Day 2 Julian - Mecca, CA 85 miles

Today was another day of extremes but in the opposite direction as Day 1. 
I woke to sub-freezing temps and a couple inches of snow in Julian.  Fortunately
it melted quickly under abundant sunshine.  The first miles of the day were down elevation out of the scrub oak country of Cleveland National Forest and into the heart of the California desert.  I crossed into the vast Anza Borrego State Park and eventually made my way into Borrego Springs on a five mile gradual downhill that bikers' dreams are made of.  Borrego Springs is an oasis of a palm-lined community in the heart of the desert.  My early-day wildlife sightings included buteos, wild turkeys, and a coyote that looked very
confused about what I was. 

The afternoon featured a ride along the Salton Sea right into a really tough headwind where I made 8 mph for three hours.  Dust whipped into my face, teeth, and water bottle.  The wind then mysteriously died out right when I commenced my eastward jaunt up the rocky but beautiful Box Canyon. At the base of the canyon are the citrus groves that make southern California
famous for production of oranges, lemons, grapefruits, etc., and in one stretch
I had to avoid the grapefruits that had been smoothie'd on the road by an accidental
spill.   By all appearances, the California strawberries will be hitting national markets
soon...perhaps only in this state can you snap a photo of cold-hating crops in the
foreground and snow capped peaks in the background.  For the east coaster used
similar weather patterns even hundreds of miles apart, it really is amazing how varied
this California climate is. 

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