The willing and able crew was thin today, just Beth and me, but we managed to ride the Palomar Mountain route steadily and strongly, arriving at the top shortly after noon. I figure that going from Lake Hodges to the top of the mountain in under four hours is a good effort, but not so killer that you can't appreciate the scenery.
And the scenery, as well as the weather, was close to perfect today. It was warm at the lower elevations and cool at the top, but totally manageable. At the summit we took time for a coffee/pastry stop at Mother's Kitchen and a brief photo-op. Fortified with caffeine and sugar for the return, we mostly made quick work of the descent to Stagecoach Market at Rincon Junction, although I had to stop twice to retrieve my water bottle which seemed determined to escape!
Fortunately, we improved the mapped return route by taking Lake Wohlford Road, which allowed for another great downhill ride. Total trip time, including stops, was just under 6.5 hours.