Monday, June 2, 2014

El Mirage Dry Lake, Angeles National Forest Ride


The Southern California Timing Associations (SCTA)  Land Speed Racing starts the season at El Mirage Dry Lake in Southern California. This event is something that is not advertised heavily so unless you know about it, you'll miss it. This was our second time going, the last was two years ago when we stayed for both days with great weather.

This year didn't go as planned but we had an amazing time anyway. The weather guessers indicated there could be high winds nearby but not in the immediate vicinity of El Mirage Dry Lake so we decided to chance it. We rode our street bikes this trip as we needed to cover 180 miles of interstate 15 in a short amount of time, not something our small dualsports do comfortably.

We left Saturday around 9am and arrived at noon. The lake was busy and dusty as usual, riding the sandy road unto the lake is always fun but once on the dry hard packed lake surface riding the heavy street bikes are no problem. There is no speed limit once on the lake, and there are all sorts of vehicles at all speeds moving about. Land sailing, ultralights and gyrocopter (in the air), dirt bikes, dune buggies, you name it, they are all here. Lots of car and other commercials are filmed here.

The land speed track area is coned off and patrolled by the great volunteers who make up the SCTA. We pick a spot near the timing gate and relax in the shade of you bikes. We see only one other street bike out here today.

The wind wasn't too strong when we arrived but started gusting to 25-30 knots within a couple hours shutting down the land speed racing for the day.

We had planned on camping on the edge of the lake but the winds continued to increase so we decided to head for the San Gabriel Mountains 30 miles South. Since the day was still young and the roads and views along the Angeles Crest Highway are awesome, we keep going until we need to find a campground. As luck would have we find a nice quiet spot at the Table Mountain Campground where we enjoy a nice night of fresh vegetable soup, a nice warm fire, and clear star filled skies. The campground is well kept, and the camp host very friendly and accomodating, bringing us fire wood as it got dark.

The following morning we head down into Wrightwood for a great breakfast at the Grizzly Cafe, good eats, good service, and decent prices. Then we head home the long way via the 138, Idylwild, Warner Springs, Julian, and home. We stopped for break at the Glider Port in Warner Springs, had a  small lunch and snack, watched the fellow riders go by, and got back on the road.

Despite missing the El Mirage Dry Lake Land Speed Racing, the road trip was a total success, and a much needed diversion from our work and school grinds to help recharge.

This trip we decided to not take any prepared food, and brought a large potato, carrots, small amount of olive oil, balsamic vinegar,  and other vegetables and spices so we could cook some fresh food for a change. This worked very well. With just the bare minimum of ingredients we made a delicious and filling soup/stew while warming by the fire. Since this took long to cook gas or fuel cans are out, twigs and small branches are in. Our simple folding stove works well for this.