Day Five: 

Vallecitos to Spencer Valley School

 Thursday, April 10, 2003: 32 miles

One Eyed Jacks at Vallecito Stage Station

Thursday is Hill Climb day, and as such we need lots of energy.  So it is also One Eyed Jacks day.  Mr. Fickel comes in from San Diego to help Mr. Bueker cook for the entire crew.

Mr. Bueker runs the stove, cooking....

..while Mr. Fickel keeps him supplied.
There's Tony in line for food.

There's Tony again, eating.  We'll see a lot of him eating.
The recipe for One Eyed Jacks is quite simple:  knock out a hole in the middle of some bread, smother both sides with margerine, place on a griddle, then plop an egg down in the hole.  Fry until bread and egg are cooked.

Mr. Bueker serves another happy customer.

Vallecito to Butterfield Ranch

Yet another mass start.
A pretty desolate valley floor, walled in by the Laguna Mountains, is our path.

Joann Ordonez in front of Mt. Laguna.

The first hill of the day, Campbell's Grade.
Almost to the top of Campbell's Grade.  With Campbell's Grade, what you see is what you get; there is no hidden part of the hill around another corner.  An excellent first hill of the day.

Snack is taken shortly thereafter at Butterfield Ranch.

Box Canyon to Highway 78 and Banner

Note a picture of Tony without food.
The second hill is Box Canyon, a longer and more deceptive hill than the first.

After the Box Canyon hill, it's down hill into Earthquake Valley as we give back some of that hard won altitude.

The traditional photo op in Earthquake Valley at Saddle Sore.
Whoa, is that a police escort for us at the intersection of S2 and Highway 78?  No, it's just the Immigration and Naturalization Service inspecting all cars passing through the intersection.  Hmmm, the things one never sees traveling these roads on the weekends.  To my knowledge, no bikers were stopped and asked to open their trunks.  The officers did feel compelled, however, to direct us and tell us when we could and could not cross the highway.

Twelve miles and over 2000' elevation gain to Julian.  Five miles just to Banner Store.
The third hill of the day was bad.  An unnamed beast nearly a mile long cut straight up the hill.  But the headwinds after the hill were worse, the worst we had since Monday morning riding Olgiby Road up to 78.

Lunch was at Banner, before the eponymous grade.  There are no pictures of the trek up the 6 mile grade because for once I put away the camera and stuck to my role as shepherding adult.


We're here!
Tony and Brad relax and eat in Julian.

This is the one day of the year there are more bicycles than motorcycles parked in front of Mom's Pie Shop on Main Street.
Julian looked like a scene from The Wild Ones.  Everywhere you looked there were bikers.  Except instead of Brando in leather on a Harley, it was Bueker and orange vests and Schwinns.

Julian to Spencer Valley

This is just another spectacular ride, out Julian to the north until meeting up with Wynola Road, and then heading west.

Spencer Valley School, the last one room school house in San Diego still in use, Mr. Bueker will tell you.  This was the hardest night for Mr. Bueker and the Y to find the riders accomodations.  But this was a wonderful, pretty site.
The School now has other buildings beside the original school house, but is still quite small and charming.

Everyone relaxes at the end of the day in their own way: the kids play basketball and the parents circle up for the bull session.

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