Ending a Long Day's Ride
To Big Pines and Wrightwood
On the other side of Dawson Saddle, the road is a little rougher and the mountainsides look a little drier.

On this side of Dawson Saddle, there is only one more climb of any consequence. Otherwise, it's all downhill.

One of the larger turnouts on the highway is Inspiration Point, where it was very windy. Nearby, is the Grassy Hollow Visitors Center, which is open only on weekends, so I wasn't able to go inside.

About 10 miles past Dawson Saddle, I reach Big Pines. As you can see from the street sign, Wrightwood is near.
The entrance to Big Pines is pretty impressive. The stone work is imposing and the 1926 vintage ranger station is a classic structure.
I'm curious about how a county-built facility wound up in a national forest.
It's an easy downhill toward Wrightwood, but suddenly I'm not so sure I want to go. But it's not like I can just turn around and go home. At least not today.

 The fire is obviously on the other side of Wrightwood, and the wind is apparently blowing the other way since I can't smell smoke. 

So I continue toward town.

(POSTSCRIPT: 36 hours after I took this photo, this road was closed in both directions due to fire.)

The three or four miles from Big Pines to Wrightwood is steadily downhill, about a 900' elevation loss. I don't mind that it will be an uphill in the morning. In the cool morning air a little climbing will probably feel good. I just hope that I'm not breathing in smoke and soot from the fire by then.

It amuses me that this long and sometimes remote climb through the mountains will just barely take me out of Los Angeles County.

  I find my motel and check into the room. I can't recommend it because it was really a pit. I won't name it because the owner seemed like an OK guy and he only recently took over this Motel Hell.

I shower, get something to drink (I'm a little dehydrated after this ride) and eat, watch the local news and get some rest. 

After dinner, I walk around Wrightwood with the camera. This is the main commercial district of this town of about 3300 people.

[PART 5: Heading Home]