Ultra-endurance athlete, outdoor-adventure blogger and social media expert based in San Diego, California.

When I'm not online connecting people to the things they love to do, I'm out training for my next big adventure.

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Cuyamaca Campout

Posted by Unknown Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A few weekends back, I booked a campsite via Reserve America (part of the Active Network) in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park to be used as a basecamp for both Friday and Saturday nights. After growler fills at the Alpine Brewery on Friday evening, I started my weekend of camping, mountain biking and good times with my friends.


Alicia cooked up some delicious backcountry Gnocchi at our camp in Paso Picachu campgound for dinner on Friday night.

Then first thing Saturday, Alicia and her pro photographer friend, Chip Allen, and I were up at 5 a.m. and had coffee in-hand by 5:20 a.m. on our drive to catch sunrise. We got to the Sunrise Highway and hiked out to the Pacific Crest Trail via Penny Pines to take photos just as the sun crested the eastern horizon at 6:15 a.m. and warm sunlight flooded the Anza Borrego Desert valley directly below us.


Chip killed it with his legit camera while I snapped a bunch of photos with my iPhone. I was pleased with the following:




Alicia at Sunrise

On the drive back to camp, we crossed ways with Ryan Denner on his first of many climbs during the Mt. Laguna Classic. We drove along side him and had a quick chat before he took off to continue his long day on the bike. It was great to see him out there enjoying the peaceful morning and preparing for Ironman St. George.

Denner riding Mt. Laguna Classic

After breakfast at the restaurant on Lake Cuyamaca (which was quite decent), I geared up at camp and embarked upon a solo epic mountain bike ride. I had all the gear I needed in my pack for a full day on the bike, and Alicia and Chip headed back to the city when I hit the trail. 


Inidian Creek Trail

I was riding for 4 hours and 45 minutes and covered a huge loop in the park. I know the park well from all the miles that went into running the San Diego 100-Mile Endurance Run in 2008, but there still remains many many miles of trail that I've yet to touch. So I got on some new stuff and connected with some familiar sections. It was tough. The park is rocky and it felt like I was climbing for the majority of the day. It was the ride I needed to get ready for the Whiskey 25-Proof MTB race in Prescott, AZ the next weekend.

Mr. Snake

Wild Flowers 

Back at camp, I took a shower (50 cents for 4 minutes) and cracked into my first brew of the day just as the Dirt Devils arrived. These guys are great. I've had the pleasure of running quite a few miles with them. They were out in Cuyamaca to hit the trails and train for a couple of upcoming socal ultra series races. They had just finished 32 miles of running and stopped by my camp to take a break for lunch before their evening run. After they headed out, my good friend Albert and the members of the internationally know Valley of the Khans Project joined us. They had a field exercise to perform and needed to simulate it on terrain like what they'll see this summer when they return to Mongolia for the next phase of their expedition.

Around the same time, 3 carloads of my colleagues from Active.com arrived. I think all-in-all, I got to see 20 of my friends in Cuyamaca State Park that weekend!

Sunday morning I hit a quick climb straight up Cuyamaca Peak, called my mom from the summit and then headed back to camp to pack up and drive back to SD and meet up with Alicia for a roof-top party at my old housemate Jordan's new place downtown. A well-balanced weekend for sure!

Cuyamaca Lake view from Cuyamaca Peak 
See the yellow meadow in the upper right corner? That's the meadow in the photo above!

Jordan's place 

Here's my Flickr album from the Cuyamaca Campout.

More blogs are on the way. Thanks for staying tuned while I catch up with a few older posts :)