Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Disneyland, Temecula, and climbing Mt. Palomar January 21-23

Jan. 21....A day at Disneyland in Anaheim started with a 75 minute drive from north of LA to south of LA. We had done this trip 9-10 days ago to visit the California Adventure Park that is a twin park to Disneyland itself, so we knew the way, and traffic was actually better on this Tuesday morning than it was that Saturday. The day was a little overcast, so it stayed cool, but not too cool. Pam's birthday is in two days, so she wore her 'Disney birthday button' and many, many people wished her happy birthday as we strolled the park, which she seemed to enjoy very much. I had been to Disneyland a long time ago, and I was surprised how much I remembered, and how little it had changed. The Disney Castle that was made famous on TV is very small compared to the one in Orlando. The Matterhorn, the excellent roller coaster that I remember well,  was pretty tame compared to the roller coasters of today. Disneyland was opened in 1955, so it is as old as Pam and I, and it has an old fashioned feel that the newer Disney World in Orlando does not have. Many of the rides were closed down for seasonal maintenance, and there was no fireworks display, but we had plenty to do, and we closed the place down at 8 pm. We had a nice New Orleans style dinner, and shared a piece of 'Death by Chocolate' cake to celebrate Pam's big day. The parade at the end of the day was nice, but the nicest thing of all was the lack of lines for each attraction. The longest line we had was probably 20 minutes, for the turnpike cars. My favorite rides were the Matterhorn, and the Haunted Mansion, where a ghost rides right in the little car with you. The crazy rides were in the park next door, and this park was more about Mickey and Minnie, and tons of restaurants and gift shops. Our next Disney trip will include grandchildren, but this was a really nice way to celebrate Pam's birthday, and we will remember it forever.

Welcome to Disneyland!  Pam, Walt and the Magic Castle!

Donald and the many blooming flowers

The Matterhorn!  Not as wild as Mike remembered!


Going for a spin on the turnpike



Can you find us in Space Mountain?  Third row...

Cruising down the jungle river

Just hanging out waiting for the "old farts" celebrating their birthdays!

Heading into a 3D show

One of the rides

Standing up in Tarzan's Tree House, looking down

Climbing up into the tree house


At the Haunted Mansion (one of Mike's favorites!)

Toontown at night


The Magic Castle at night

The start of Mickey's parade

Mickey on drums

Goofy

The Little Mermaid


Donald Duck


Simba, the Lion King



From Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

Jan. 22....I got up in the morning and rode over to say my goodbyes to the cousins, while Pam followed her precisely choreographed procedure to get us on the road. We rolled around noon, after gassing up with propane and diesel. We drove a couple of hours to Temecula, to the same Pechanga Casino where we stayed before we got to Santa Clarita. I went out for a quick 8.71 miles around the local neighborhood before darkness began to set in.My cousin Lane, a contractor, is working on a million dollar home near here, so he stopped by and we went to the surf and turf buffet at the casino, and spent the evening filling each other in on the last 40 years of our lives since we last saw each other. 


Jan, 23..25.79 miles in 2:55..... Happy 'official' Birthday to Pam! We continued her celebration by crawling out of bed and going over to the hot tub for a morning soak, then omelets at the casino for brunch. At that point, with the weather being irresistibly perfect, I decided to ride to the top of Mt Polamar, which is at about 6,000 ft. Lane is working on his home remodeling and building job way up on top, and had invited us up to see the view. I knew I wouldn't make it to the top before Pam picked me up, but I actually made it further than I thought. Pam came by shortly before I had ascended 4000 ft, so I went ahead and achieved  over 4000 ft on my GPS, for one of the few times on the trip. I rode through three or four Indian reservations, and the scenery was not only of beautiful mountains on both sides of me, but orange groves and nurseries. Each Indian reservation also had a casino, so there were several, besides the one we were staying at. I passed right through the Pala and LaJolla reservations, two more of the many tribes I had never heard of. The perfect 75 degree day steadily deteriorated as I climbed up Palomar Mountain. The sign said it was a 7 degree climb for seven miles once the serious climb began. When Pam came by, it was down to about 55 degrees with a good wind that was either a head wind or tailwind, depending on which side of the many switchbacks I was on. For riding only 26 miles, I got in a very nice workout. Traffic was pretty heavy as I started out between Temecula and Pala, but it gradually became pretty thin as I climbed the mountain. The roads were not really bicycle safe through the reservations, with no shoulders and lots of curves, and even though I wouldn't recommend Temecula-Pala Rd to any biker, I tackled it successfully.  
By the time we pulled into the driveway on top of the hill, the wind was whipping and it was downright cold. Lane gave us a quick tour of his work, and we looked out over the hill to the west, and could see the ocean, which was 59-60 miles away. There was a screaming red sunset, which Lane said was very unusual, and as the darkness set in and lights in the valley came on, we could see the city of Escondido, as well as the smaller reservation towns, and the Rincon Casino. The top of the hill also is home to the famous Palomar Observatory, which claimed to have UFO sightings sometime back in the 60's, I think.



One of 5 Native American tribes in the area

Lane posing in the new wing of the house

This is going to be a huge window with an awesome view

Looking out over the valley - the ocean is at the horizon

Now this is a sunset!



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