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Old 05-03-08, 03:13 PM   #1
BRNRBR
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Palomar Mt: Nate Harrison Grade (report)

Tony and I went up Palomar Mountain's Nate Harrison Grade via mountain bike. Most of this ride is on dirt road, but there are some paved sections. We went with the support help of Monte, who you never see pictured. Monte took all the pics. I took my camera and never once used it. What can I say; Monte takes about 2 gigs of pictures!


The starting area was alice-in-wonderland in the orange groves of Pauma Valley. We began just east of state hiway 76. We're also just a little south of Casino Pauma.




Our first rendevouz after a mile and a half.



Nothing like a good solid warm-up.



Somewhere on the trail, in the 1st half.



I thought this to be about the half-way point.



I added X's to this one to point out this area that you'll see later from furthur up the hill.



The cooling breeze we had at first turned into some major wind gusts higher up on the hill. Here, Tony is on the left. His hat was blown off for the 3rd time. I'm chasing it down. Too bad you can't tell it's windy from looking at the pic.



Evidence of the wind, and this is protected in the trees!




Same place. As we stop for a break, we're watching out for "widow makers."



Finally cross the line into "official" State Park territory. We're near the top now. I do recall being low on steam at this point.

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Old 05-03-08, 03:17 PM   #2
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About a half mile after the last pic, Tony thinks we're done (I guess cuz Monte seemed to think so).



No, guys, we're not done. I kept going. And Tony's saying, "Hey, what's he doing?" Little did we know, there was another mile and a half of up.



Finally, we're at the top. After 9.2 miles in just under 4 hours. 4150' climbed.



I put an X in the trail on this one too. This looks back to the same spot I mentioned w/ the X's before.



Looking down from the top (Boucher Lookout) to Pauma Valley. I marked the start w/ and arrow. Nothing left but standing sticks from the October fires. Good viewing weather today, at least.
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Old 05-03-08, 03:18 PM   #3
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Congratulations.

I'm always depressed at how photos never seem to capture the steepness of the grades.
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Old 05-03-08, 03:26 PM   #4
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What a great ride. Get that road paved so we roadies can climb it! The "Xs" really helped to give some perspective on the epicness of the ride. Nice job.
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Old 05-03-08, 03:28 PM   #5
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But Mojo, Palomar has 2 other routes that are paved. No excuses, now.
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Old 05-03-08, 04:12 PM   #6
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But Mojo, Palomar has 2 other routes that are paved. No excuses, now.
The climb up the south grade from beyond Valley Center is rated among the toughest climbs in the US of A.

Floyd Landis's 5-Figure Elevation Gainer

Age: 30

Hometown: Temecula, California

Team: Phonak

Credentials: Ninth in 2005 Tour de France; won 2006 Tour of California and Paris-Nice

My favorite ride is Palomar Mountain--it has a good road and is one of the longest climbs in the area," says America's soft-spoken stage-race hope, who averages 300-350 watts on the loop.

The 100-mile ride packs in about 10,000 feet of climbing, first in the drier, desert-like lower elevations and then in the more alpine--think Douglas and white fir and yellow pine--environs of California's Palomar Mountain State Park, which averages 5,000 feet of elevation. A good portion of the climbing comes on the 12-mile ascent to the high point of the state park. Halfway up the climb, you turn onto South Grade Road, which throws Alpe d'Huez-quality switchbacks at you en route to the summit. Landis says on weekdays you won't see much of anyone on the climb, but on weekends you should watch out for motorcyclists, who are fond of the road. Once you reach the summit, you're rewarded with views of the surrounding mountains, and on clear days you can see all the way to the _Pacific. Before the big descent down the east side of the mountain and the return to Landis's hometown of Temecula, refuel at Mother's Kitchen. "I usually stop there and get a muffin and fill up my water bottles," Landis says. "You could get a bowl of homemade chili if you want--but that'd probably be a bad idea."

The Ride: Temecula-Palomar Mountain Loop

Distance: 100 miles

Landis's Time: 4 hours


By the way, when I was a summer camp counselor at Palomar Mtn Family Camp - in the state park - in 1955 and 1956, we had a different name for Nate Harrison's grade. But, it would be totally politically INcorrect to use that name here. It was not graded then, simply ruts.

Also, I am glad to see that everything wasn't burned.

That camp in eastern Pauma Valley (closer to Lake Henshaw) - the Denver C. Fox Outdoor Education Camp is named for my father.

http://www.sdcoe.k12.ca.us/outdoored2/?loc=fox

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Old 05-03-08, 04:56 PM   #7
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But Mojo, Palomar has 2 other routes that are paved. No excuses, now.
I'm sorry. We do not know this "Mr. Mojo" of whom you speak.
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Old 05-04-08, 03:31 PM   #8
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OK, well after Denver's addition of info, we'll think up lots of excuses.
Actually, I have been up and down the "east grade road". Not too bad.
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Old 05-04-08, 03:35 PM   #9
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DF -
I've never been to either of those camps, but glad to know 'ya! See, there's celebrities all over.
I thought your screenname was from living in Colorado. You know, Denver...Colorado...Smart like a FOX. That's how I put it together. Well, now I know.
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