What a Weekend! May 23, 2016

That tree!

Weekends this time of year require special planning. As the temperatures rise, the National and local parks will be littered with people, making escapism difficult and privacy impossible. Luckily for us in Southern California, there are enough spots within a couple hours, both by bike and by car, where you can partake in a little R&R, without being overly crowded.


Last Thursday night Cari and I spent the night in the Oak Flat Lookout. Available by reservation only and usually fairly booked out, we leapt at the opportunity to stay in this unique locale. Just outside Bakersfield, Oak Flat is only two hours from my home in Silverlake and while the road to the lookout requires a high clearance vehicle and at times, 4WD, it’s generally very accessible.

Max's Cactus Mart, now open for business!

After deciding to not battle the campsites nestled around Ojai, we swung by the Cactus Mart before heading back to town to undertake some prickly repotting. It had been a very photogenic 24 hours and the weekend hadn’t even begun!

Which way are we going home?

Cari was really hankering for another bike ride. Well, one without pushwacking anyway, so I corralled her and Liz to go ride in the Verdugo mountains. The Verdugos are almost always empty of people which has always surprised me seeing as how they’re much bigger and more diverse than the ever-so-popular Griffith park. Granted, the 20% dirt grades might keep some people at bay…

Full moon ride!

That night, Jocelyn was in town, and we had a full moon with clear skies so once the sun set on Saturday night we took off to the dirt once again for some midnight marauding. Five bottles of booze, one bag of chips, a package of RedVines later, and we were ready to call it a night but not before a few dusty and dirty spills!

Happens every night

I’m not sure what prompted this post, other than how I woke up this morning feeling sated and ready to take on the week, for next weekend’s plans have yet to be made. Here are a few more shots to hold you over…

  • Most excellent. I love these personal posts, thanks for sharing.

  • I am freaking stoked for an upcoming whirlwind tour of a bunch of National Parks. Bummed that we don’t have time with out schedule to avoid the big campsites and/or really explore.

    • Arches, Zion, Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite, Redwoods, Crater Lake (I think)

      • So rad! Bring bug spray for Crater Lake. It’s a ‘skeeter haven.

        • Good to know! I wish we could see more of each park, we won’t even scratch the surface, but it’ll be a rad trip still. Figure we may cram it in while we’re living out here.

  • Nico

    Great photos. Looks like a full weekend.

    How was it to get the hound up the (steep) stairs? Considered bringing the dogs with us last time but was worried one, or both, would biff it badly…

    • Max is great with stairs but he took a little coaxing.

  • Nash Keanu Jacquez

    where and how can i stay in this awesome environment and tower

  • Tyler Shannon

    Damn, that lookout is booked until October! That’s nuts.

  • David

    Can your common Subaru Forrester make the unpaved/unimproved section of the road?

    • Yes, just fine!

      • David

        Thanks John. Wife is gonna scope daily for new register-able dates.

  • Wow…. thanks for sharing!

  • Jeremy Thomas

    Definitely need more photo-heavy personal posts like this. These are givin me vibe bonerz.

  • Trev

    Photosets like these really make me want to switch from track bikes to MTB/Cross bikes.

    • Thisisntreally Mike

      WHY NOT BOTH?!

      • Trev

        Because I’ll forever be in debt to sally mae