By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Robert Gehr and Miriam Raftery
June 24, 2018 (San Diego’s Est County) – Dozens of riders revved up outside Indian Motorcycles in El Cajon yesterday morning to start their journey on the “Passport Through Time Fun Ride.”
The event organized by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce took a caravan of motorcycles and other vehicles along a road trip that included stops at sights along historic highways 67, 78, 79 and 80. Indian Motorcycles served up a light breakfast and swag including free bandanas, cookies, a commemorative event coin, and a multi-use tool complete with flashlight, screwdriver, and level. Then with the sound of rolling thunder, the group headed off to begin a day of adventure.
Participants collected stamps in a special passport at pit stops along the way, enabling them to vie for prizes drawn at a lunch at the destination’s end at Por Favor Restaurant in El Cajon.
Stop one on the ride was the Lakeside Rodeo grounds, followed by a scenic drive up highway 67 to the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona.
There, riders fed apple slices to “Camelot,” a friendly camel who enjoyed all the TLC. I picked up some camel’s milk lotion in the gift shop – great for soothing dry skin! We also some some exotic birds, including colorful sun conyers.
Next came a winding road up to Wynola just outside of Julian for a stop at the Julian Mining Company. Visitors could pan for gold, sluice bags of gems and minerals, and look at fascinating items in the gift shop ranging from pioneer-style toys and trinkets to coyote pelts.
There’s an old bottle house on the premises, a cider house, an old-fashioned laundry works and a guest cottage among other attractions. They’ve also recently planted a farm next door with a variety of crops from apples to pumpkins.
We drove down an even windier road through Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, past Lake Cuyamaca and various campgrounds in a conifer forest to emerge at Descanso, stopping briefly at the Perkins Store where you could pick up a Julian Apple Pie, snacks or a cold drink.
In the lead car, I stopped at Dana’s Boutiques in Alpine (photo, left)which has some cute women’s clothing and hats.
En route to the last scheduled stop, the beautiful Summers Past Herbs Farm in Flinn Springs (photo, right, from a prior trip), we got word that the last two stops were cancelled for the rest of the group, due to delays caused by a motorist with a flat tire and another who missed a curve and tipped over his motorcycle, but fortunately rode off uninjured, a testament to toughness and leather wear.
At Por Favor, a Mexican lunch was served up on a festive sidewalk patio on Main Street, where a mango margarita hit the spot on this sunny afternoon. Prize drawings included gift certificates to local businesses, a basket of camel dairy soaps and bath products, a bottle of wine, six packs of beer, and a vacation stay at a Nevada hotel.
To join a mailing list for next year’s ride and other Chamber events, you can visit http://eastcountychamber.org/.