Freedom/Corralitos loop

After the long heat wave, it was a relief to wake to the overcast morning for our jaunt to Freedom/Corralitos in Santa Cruz County. I was joined by ALC friends Michael H. and Keith W. along with potential new DSSF members Chris T. and Jeremy J., who met last weekend on Stephanie’s East Bay BART to BART ride. Chris drove over from Fresno and Jeremy drove down from the City, pretty much a toss-up on who drove the furthest!

Keith, Chris, Michael, David & Jeremy (left to right)

We headed out Union Road and across the valley, bypassing busy Highway 156. While we were spared heat, we were not spared of headwinds, which is unusual for the morning heading west. We zig-zagged around San Juan Bautista, coming up on the backside of McAlpine Lake & Park where Anzar Road begins the easy ascent to Carr Avenue and the short climb to the top, followed by the descent down to Carpenteria Road and in to Aromas, where the librarian allowed us use of the facilities, before contining on our trek.

From Aromas, we got on Riverside Road Highway 129 for a couple miles, and then on to Carlton Road and more zig-zagging, and crossing Hecker Pass Highway 152 onto Casserly Road. This took us to Green Valley Road and after a few more turns, we arrive in Freedom, where four of us opted for Mexican food, and one opted for a sandwich from the grocery store. A few quick photos, before heading to Corralitos; Chris had headed out ahead of us to get a head start on the climb up Hazel Dell Road.

Hazel Dell Road has it’s memories for me, as my family owned 48 acres in the area known as Game Cock Canyon Ranch. This climb is actually higher than Carr Avenue, fortunately it’s not as steep.

The descent down Hazel Dell Road puts us on the lower portion of Mt. Madonna Road before we arrive at Casserly Road, and after a quick water refill, we continued on the return portion, onto Carlton Road again, and then east on Riverside Road Highway 129, and then to Aromas.

The climb up Carr Avenue heading home is the steeper and longer climb. I had told Bill that I would call him from Aromas, to give him a heads up on our estimated ETA back home. After starting the climb, I realized that since we didn’t stop in Aromas, I had forgot to call him, so I pulled off in a driveway to call him quickly. It also gave me a chance to catch my breath, as I was unable to keep up with Michael, Keith and Jeremy. I figured I had better call while I was thinking of it, because if I thought I was going to do it at the top, I’d have forgotten to, from relief of getting to the top and heading back down hill.

The jaunt back around San Juan Bautista this time found nice tail winds, and I noticed that I was averaging between 18-24 mph. The GPS route can be viewed at where you can view detailed metrics of the ride or run it on a map player.

We returned home and Bill was in final preparations for the BBQ. Chris changed and headed on to the City, so as not to run into any of the Garlic Festival traffic. The rest of us took our showers and then relaxed and began refueling and rehydrating with tortilla chips and Michael’s guacamole and bean dip,and a bottle of Sterling Diamond Mountain Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Before we knew it, Bill had dinner ready, BBQ tri-tip, BBQ ahi tuna, cheesy garlic bread, grilled asparagus and bell peppers and a couple pasta salads, topped off with Joseph Schmidt truffles for dessert.

Congratulation to Jeremy for success on his longest road ride yet! Great job!! And thanks again all for making the trek to Hollister and joining me for the ride! I very much enjoyed the company!