Turning north on twisty Highway 79, we headed to the highest point of our two day climb, just under 5000 feet. While I knew it would be cold at night, I never assumed that the campgrounds would be closed due to snow.
According to the volunteer rangers that took pity on us and rented us a cabin with firewood at Paso Picacho, Vic and I managed to bike into the worst snow storm since 1991. Paso Picacho is one of the largest and the highest of the campgrounds in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park that runs along the spine of these mountains 45 miles out of San Diego. We were the only guests of the park that night. The wood stove almost thawed my fingers.
In the morning there was a fresh inch of snow on the ground. After a bit of consulting with the ranger on the road ahead and trying to figure out how low we’d need to get to lose the snow, I showed Vic my flawless hitchhiking tactics, and we threw the bikes in a passing car for the nine mile ride to Julian and some earlier than expected breakfast and pie.
Cuyamaca Rancho, Snow, and a Gruelling Start