North County Cruisers

2014 Joshua Tree Trip

February 22-23, 2014

Ride Leaders: Stuart Cook, Bruce Barnes

Sweep: Gary Scandell & Tracy Wellman

Pictures by: Kim Humphreys, Alan Miller, Paul Garren

Writeup by Bill Gloss

Joshua Tree Map

click map to enlarge

Saturday, February 22nd

A big thanks to Stuart Cook for organizing this trip. We had a great turn out of 20 bikes and 25 people. The group included Bill Gloss & Debbie Hunter, John Piner, Mike & Carrie Warner, Ken Meredith, Michael Salek, Kim Humphreys, Paul Garren, Bruce Barnes, Stuart Cook, Doug Bonhaus, Mike Stanbery, Constant de Calonne, Gary Scandell & Tracy Wellman, John Moran, Charles Harmon, Bill & Shelley Green, Melissa Lichty, Matt London, Rob Clayburn, and Steve Malott & Sandra Shuff.

Here is a picture of the group at our lunch break in Idyllwild.

Saturday Group

The weather was perfect riding weather. 60's the start and then keeping mild the rest of the day. Bruce Barnes led the group thru Temecula to Anza where we took our first break. Our first stop had a little surprise waiting. We met Alice Hopkins, an 88 year old biker who used to ride a 1945 indian motorcycle. She showed the group a picture of her on the motorcycle and another where she was on a new Indian. We asked her when she last rode it and she said "Last Week".

Alice Hopkins

Alice also told us she rode without a helmet much of the time and that only whimps push a button to start a bike. She motioned how she used to jump on her bike to start it. She said she was so short, she used to jump off to the side at stop lights. And then when the light turned green, she would jump on, do a wheelie and take off.

Alice Hopkins

We left the gas station heading for Idyllwild. The traffic was light and the bikes were running wild. At least from the back. I don't know what was going on up front.. We took Rt. 371 to Rt. 74 where we rode East. We then took Rt. 243 into Idyllwild.

We pulled into Idyllwild with joy in out hearts and an outlook at the future that seemed bright and exciting. The Red Kettle attracted most of the group. We arrived just before the big lunch crowd and everyone who went there was able to get a seat. Following lunch, John, Matt, Steve, and Sandra split off to head for home. This left 17 bikes and 21 people for the trip to Joshua Tree.

Idyllwild Lunch

After lunch and conversation that made the meal even more palatable, we headed out North on Highway 243 to Banning where we rode East on I-10. As we neared Palm Springs, we took Rt. 62 to Joshua Tree. The roads were still sparse with traffic and we made great time. We pulled into the Best Western Joshua Tree and dropped off our supplies before heading to Pioneertown.


Pioneertown was originally created as a backdrop for early television westerns. The town is now a tourist attraction and has wild west shows during the summer. Not much was going on there this time of year but it was a nice diversion for the ride.

Some of the group headed back to the hotel and some went out for dinner at different places. A few of us walked to the local liquor store and picked up some libations. The run across the highway was fun. Cars weaving around you made the trip a little more exciting. Most of the group ended up in the lounge and the conversation varied significantly and the comradery of the group was spectacular. After a few hours of fun everyone went to their rooms to prepare for the ride in the morning.

Sunday, February 23rd

Sunday started out with a big breakfast in the hotel lounge then loading up and getting on the road. The group was joined by Alan Miller and Steve Schneider who made the long ride from San Diego. They left the Park N Ride lot at 6:45 A.M. and arrived in time to gas up and ride with the group. A long day for them. This brought the Sunday group to 19 bikes and 23 people.

Sunday Group

No problems with any of the bikes and the weather was pleasant for the ride through Joshua Tree National Park. Our club papparazzi dashed ahead and they each took many great pictures.

Joshua Tree

We took a slow ride through the first 1/2 of the park looking at all the great rock formations and Joshua Tree forests. We picked up the pace on the second 1/2 of the park which opens up more and isn't as scenic. The park had some strange rock formations. One of them was Skull Rock. Our group stopped for a short hike among the boulders.

Skull Rock

Skull Rock

The park features rocks that are precariously perched on the peaks of the hills. It looks like the wind could knock them off. The roads meandered through the park and the traffic was light. We made 6 stops in the national park. One was at Keys View which overlooks and provides a great view of the Coachella Valley and the Palm Springs area and a good look at the San Andreas fault line.

Joshua Tree View

Joshua Tree Ride

We exited the park heading for the Salton Sea then onto Borrego Springs for a late lunch. We were met in Borrego Springs by Melanie and Jack Rogers. Most of us stopped at Carley's Restaurant for a late afternoon lunch. All total, we had at least 20 bikes on each day of the trip. Following lunch, we broke up into smaller groups to take seperate routes home. It was a fun weekend for everyone.