Today Jason and I rode one of my favourite routes. Box Canyon, from Mecca to Joshua Tree. We rode this last year, and on every crappy, rainy ride since I have thought of Box Canyon and it's got me through.
The ride starts through citrus groves. Orange, grapefruit and lemon tree groves line the roads. The blooms smell so fragrant, it's intoxicating! Last year after a couple of rides through citrus groves, I said I never want to ride anywhere else. The grapefruits looked so thick and juicy, and I really wanted to stuff my jersey pockets full. Jason assured me that would be stealing, so I didn't.
Orange trees in bloom.
Yummy looking grapefruits.
We're headed to the mountains in the distance.
The road then winds through Box Canyon; steep walls to either side and lots of evidence of past geologic activity. We're not far from the actual San Andreas fault line, and it shows. The road climbs up gradually, and it's nice steady pedaling while enjoying the scenery. I also half expected Sand People riding Bantha to appear on the horizon.
Riding up Box Canyon.
We pop out of the canyon, and then it's another gradual grade before the road kicks up to climb up to the south entrance of Joshua Tree National Park. We turned around just before that, as Jason wanted to get back to our posh resort in Rancho Mirage to spend the afternoon by the pool. Thanks Tiimaahhh for getting us set up there!
Need a rest?
Headed back down to Mecca.
We flew back down through the canyon and hit some good speed despite a strong headwind. The Salton Sea appeared, shimmering down in the valley just as three F18 fighter jets blasted overhead. We weren't far from Edwards and Nellis Air Force bases, so I assume military jets are a common occurrence here. They did a nice arc over the Salton Sea and disappeared into the distance before we could even fumble with the camera.
Soon enough we were back in Mecca (a mecca for what, I'm not sure. Sand? Dust?), and the ride will be another memory to get me through riding in the rain again this season.