Saturday April 2, 2011 my good friend Jack and I got on our bikes and rode north from San Diego to Stone Breweries in Escondido, Ca to meet up with some other like minded dirtbags for a day of riding, drinking, and camping.
If you read my write up of the Slab City Riot 2 you know that Jack is a badass who will ride her sportster anywhere, with little more than the clothes on her back and a GI woodland cammo poncho for a bedroll. What is the "North Drinks With the South" you ask? Well it’s the brain child of Atom Rotten of http://www.beerbreed.com/ who is also the loose organizer of our little semi-weekly Wednesday night ride here in SD (we’re not big on schedules ).
The idea is simple: There are a bunch of us chopper jockeys scattered around San Diego and Orange County and Atom wanted a reason for us all to get together ride and drink so the "North Drinks with the South" was born. The first event was held right after the new year and was over on the beach, but for this one Atom wanted us a bit more off the grid, and boy did he accomplish that, but more on that in a bit.
So we met a few other people at Stone had a quick beer and hit the road to Ramona for the next gas stop, then it was on to the twisty mountain roads of Julian another gas stop to meet up with the boys from Biltwell and some folks from further up north. After topping off the tanks at $4.30 a gallon we hit the Sunrise Hwy headed south. This road is amazing! Quiet mountain road with very little traffic and lots of scenery. There is an old Lodge here that has been open since 1926 were we all stopped and had a beer and rested up for the next leg of our journey, 11.5 miles of rutted washboard dirt road! Our final destination was the McCain Valley Lark Canyon camp grounds just east of Boulevard, Ca.
Now Atom had mentioned this dirt road before but being the salesman that he is he down played it just a bit: “Three miles of the ride into the camp ground is on a manicured dirt road so don’t freak out”, that was his story when he first posted the plan on ChopCult.com. A few weeks later it was like this: “The camp ground is remote down a 5 mile fire road.” No big deal. Day before the ride he posts this: “Follow it under the freeway until you come to where it turns into a dirt road. You will then ride almost 11.5 miles on the dirt road to Cottonwood Camp Grounds and go left over the tiny stream and you will run straight into our site.”
Now that dirt road is 11.5 miles long and we are crossing a stream! HAHAHA, nice. I spoke with Atom on the phone the day of the ride and asked him about that magic growing dirt road and his answer was simply “I want people to come”, I love this guy!
The dirt road was in pretty good shape for the most part although there were a few good sized washouts, one of which attempted to swallow my bike. Only one guy went down in the sand sustaining a bent shifter peg and some broken turn signals (Guess it’s time to chop that sportster, eh DD?). The stream was nice on the way into the campground as it washed some of the dust off of us from that 11.5 miles.
As soon as the bikes were shutdown the beverages started to flow and the party kicked into high gear. We had it all, a guitar sing along, a drunken ranting Reverend, stick-on cop mustaches, all the politically incorrect jokes you could ever want and a seemingly endless supply of beer. The party went on into the wee hours of the morning with me and one other lasting till after 4:30am. Not sure how everyone else got to sleep with me and Marc yelling from the fire pit calling them all pussies.
A damn good overnighter! Thanks to Atom for putting this together. Let this be a lesson to anyone reading this, you don’t need some big national event to go out and ride to, just some friends and a campground far away on the map is all you need to have one hell of a good time.
Most of the pics are from Bill at Biltwell or Atom of Beer Breed, I forgot my camera...