California Winter Overnight
What do you do when it's warm and sunny in January?
That was the question my wife and I asked when we decided to pull out the gear, load up the bikes and go for a great overnight trip. We are working our way up to some longer tours and thought this would be a good opportunity to try out some new equipment and test our current fitness level. We would be starting in San Jose and decided that our destination would be Uvas Canyon County Park.
The ride would be just a bit over thirty miles and would include 1613 feet of climbing. We set out just after noon and made a quick stop at Subway for some needed calories. The first half of our route took us the entire length of the Coyote Creek bike trail. We passed through Hellyer Park and made our way south toward Morgan Hill. Along the way we took a break and filled up on water at the Santa Clara County Model Aircraft Skypark. The beautiful weather brought out all of the model aircraft pilots and the sky was buzzing with aerial activity.
At the end of the trail we headed for a series of back roads popular with many weekend cyclists. One drawback to this route is the lack of convenience stores or food outlets. At our halfway point we were pleasantly surprised to find Josephine’s Bakery and Café. It wasn’t on our maps and it couldn’t have been in a better spot. On the way up we just made it a water and restroom stop but decided we would have lunch there on our way home the next day.
The rest of our ride was a steady and challenging climb up the east side of the Santa Cruz Mountains. With a few rest stops along the way to catch our breath we made it to Uvas Canyon just before sunset. It was the off season but the park had plenty of campers due to the warmer-than-usual weather. A friendly park ranger directed us to a nice spot and I went back and paid the $12.00 fee at the park entrance. My wife and I set up camp, made dinner, and relaxed after a great ride. We enjoyed staring up at a star-filled sky but ended up turning in early for some well earned sleep.
The next morning we had breakfast and set off to hike the waterfall loop trail that highlights some of the parks picturesque waterfalls. The falls were running even though it had been weeks since our last rain. We took some photos and then headed back to pack up and prepare for the ride home. The descent back to Morgan Hill was exhilarating and was a nice reward for the work we did the day before on the way up. We stuck with our plan and stopped at Josephine’s for a fantastic lunch. An excellent steak sandwich and fresh-made scones hit the spot. The Coyote Creek trail took us the rest of the way home in warm winter sunshine. We both agreed it was a great trip and are looking forward to our next adventure.
Tip for this adventure: Josephine's bakery and cafe makes a nice lunch stop.
Favorite local bike shop: Silva Cycles