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Harvey Bear - May 2, 2010

Distance: 17.0 miles Ascent: 2,249 feet Moving time: 2:03 hours

We had to see more wildflowers during the big bloom, so we gave Harvey Bear a try. We headed up Willow Springs, Townspring and Harvey Bear up and over the ridge. We really enjoyed Calaveras, including stops for pictures of the wildflowers and a few goofy shots, and Valley Oak. We used Campground to connect to Coyote Ridge that we rode out to the south end.

While on Coyote Ridge, we caught up with a couple of guys we met on this trail 11 months ago. We stopped to trade stories, ride recommendations, and destination ideas. It was nice seeing "old friends" and we might line up a future ride with them.

After we finished chatting, we headed up Mendoza expecting to climb to the top where I was going to show the others a fairly new trail. I was surprised to find a brand new trail (I don't remember the name) just a third of a mile up Mendoza. The trail was brand new with freshly turned dirt and a brand new signpost. This was too much to pass up, so we headed up the new trail. This turned out to be a great decision since the trail was quite a bit of fun rolling along the oak-covered hillside before heading up to the top and then dropping down near the gate at the top of Campground. Other than a stone staircase and a tight switchback near the bottom, this trail was not too technical. It offered some nice views of the lake from the top. This was definitely a big improvement over the fireroad climb up Mendoza!

We headed back on Coyote Ridge and discovered that the county is working on a new trail a bit to the north of the Coyote Ridge/Campground junction, but the trail is only about a quarter of a mile long so far. They seem to be actively working on this, so we should be seeing another new trail soon. After checking this out, we continued on Coyote Ridge to Rancho San Ysidro, Savannah and down Willow Springs. This was fun and we got to open things up a bit on Rancho San Ysidro and Savannah. There was a bit of a breeze on Savannah which was really blowing dust and pollen everywhere when we hit the parking lot. I was glad to get out of there before it made my allergies any worse.

We did see quite a few wildflowers, especially on Calaveras, but the density was much lower than recent rides at Coe or Canada del Oro. We all had a good time, especially Anna since this was her first time to Harvey Bear.

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