Mountain Bike Club
out at Chilao
photos and text Copyright © 1998 Jon Trent Adams
of the latter half of August 1998, LA wasn't exactly as hot as
Hell, but if you stood on your handlebars you could see it from
there. So it seemed like an ideal time to take leave of the blistering
heat and high tropical-storm-driven humidity of the basin and
drive up the Angeles Crest into the mile-high peace and coolness
(relative) of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Up at the
6,000'-high Chilao campground, I fearlessly led our little ground
into a hopeless bit of thicket thrashing about aimlessly. Then
Richard or John found the correct path, the Silver Mocassin Trail,
which we flew downhill on. Then a long dusty climb up a fire road
that led to pavement that led eventually to the Charlton Flats
Near the entrance to Charlton Flats: The gaggle of happy campers
in a rare moment of stillness (the tiny flies were thick and liked
nostrils, eyes, mouths and ears). From left, it's Richard Barnes,
Chris the mystery Brit, John Khao, Scott and Katrina Dayman. Jon's
behind the camera. From this point it was a not-too-grueling climb
up the Vetter Lookout road (paved most of the way).
High atop Vetter Mountain,
at the recently reopened US Forest Service's Vetter Lookout. The
gang takes a sweet break from the hillclimb, enjoys the breeze,
and chats with the volunteers on duty at the lookout.
While inside the lookout, Chris and Scott discuss the pros and
cons of fire spotting using Osbornes as opposed to aircraft and
satellites (well, not really).
Meanwhile, Chris and Richard relax outside wondering how far one
can lean out on the rail before falling to an early demise.
Soon we left
the top of Vetter to enjoy a fun-filled single-track downhill
that wound down a little gully.
We stopped at our favorite "jump" where we could repeatedly
ride real fast and catch a little air under our wheels. Unfortunately
for John in the picture above, my little digital camera doesn't
have a reliable shutter release so I wasn't able to time the photo
well enough to catch him with over two feet of air under his wheels.
we crossed over Angeles Crest Highway at Charlton Flats and rode
up the Mooney Mountain side then down a long fire road which took
us back to the entrance to Chilao and the end of the ride.