Poppy Reserve Ride

Saturday (May 13), Lewis and I took a ride out to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, near Lancaster, CA, ate lunch at the Rock Inn, and enjo...

Poppy Reserve Ride (May 13, 2006)Saturday (May 13), Lewis and I took a ride out to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, near Lancaster, CA, ate lunch at the Rock Inn, and enjoyed riding San Francisquito Road, putting on about 300 miles.

The Poppy Reserve is supposed to put on its best display during the months of April and May with acres upon acres of golden poppy blooms. You're supposed to be able to walk on top of one of the hills and see a mile of bright orange emblazoned all around you.

But it wasn't to be. A poor rainy season produced very little poppies this year, and I guess the best of what it could produce had already passed. Still, the ride fun.

We started the ride by leaving Tom's Farms in Corona, CA, we headed north on I-15 up to just before the Cajon Summit, and took Highway 138 north to Palmdale. Riding along the 138, we ran into a swarm of bees, which peppered my Ultra Classic with stick-gooey muck. I looked in my mirror and saw Lewis wiping dead bees off of his pants and jacket.

Eventually we got into Palmdale and took some city streets until we came to Highway 14. Then it was a few miles north to Avenue I. Avenue I heads west towards the Poppy Reserve, and provided about 11 miles of scenic riding, mostly hills and farm homes.

After the Poppy Reserve, we backtracked a little on Avenue I, and turned right on Munz Ranch Road. This road runs south ending at Elizabeth Lake and provides about 5 miles of twisty riding through grassy hills. The cooler air temperature at Elizabeth Lake was a welcome relief from the high-90s at the Poppy Reserve.

Turning right on Elizabeth Lake Road, we rode up along the side of the lake enjoying views of million dollar lake-front homes until we got into the town of Lake Hughes, and the famous Rock Inn.

Harley's Rock InnThe Rock Inn used to be known as Harley's Rock Inn. It's an actual Inn, with rooms, a restaurant and bar. For the most part, it's a popular destination for bikers. The entire Inn is made of large river-smoothed rocks. The inside revealed a great place for bikers to hang out, lots of tables, low-lighting, air conditioning, and cold beer. Lewis and I ordered BBQ Pork sandwiches which are said to be the best thing on the menu. They were definitely great.

We backtracked down Elizabeth Lake Road to San Francisquito Road, and took it all the way to the end, at the City of Valencia. San Francisquito Road is another great road for riding, filled with hills, twisties, and straigh-aways. Many of the curves are wide sweepers and many of them tight-twisties. It was along this road we ran into another swarm of bees, with more gooey stuff on my bike.

In Valencia, we connected up with Interstate 5, and slabbed it back to Lewis' house, where we hung for awhile with cold bottles of water.

All in all, about 300 miles of riding starting from Toms Farms, to Lewis' house in Riverside, spending about 7 hours.

Some photos posted here.


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