I stopped at the beginning of the Sweetwater reservoir since I didn't know what to expect next and getting into an urban area may have made it difficult to find good camping. Although it was a nice place, I didn't sleep very well that night and probably should have just taken a shorter break rather than trying to get a night's sleep. I was close to the ocean, a lot of condensation and didn't think about putting up the tarp, so it was wet and I never got comfortable. A waste of the night, I just should have ridden a few hours more then. Instead, the morning saw me cruise along the Sweetwater Reservoir on single track. Very nice, but not that spectacular that I would have minded missing it riding at night.
In fact, one of my favorite part of the whole ride were "the tunnels", a very overgrown maze of single-track trails between developments. But essentially, the next few hours were zig-zagging through open space set-asides between suburban developments and never felt that the ride was actually crossing a major urban area.
Some rather surprising switchbacks between Encinitas and Escondido.
At dawn, I found myself approaching Anza and all that was left was a climb out of the desert (although a very long and hard climb) back up to Idyllwild. Another snafus near Idyllwild: a couple prevented riders from taking the scheduled route on dirtroads and had us detour on the main road. So halfway up the final climb, I had to ride back down. I caught up with a local, Joshua Weinfeld, as I saw him hopping a fence and followed him on his alternative route to the finish. A bunch of people had gathered at the bike shop, including Ezter Horanyi (on the left) and Jay Petervary (on the right), both clean and recovered after having finished hours before us. In contrast, Joshua (third from left) looks rather hammered. He, Tracey Petervary, and I were the last ones to be under 72 hours and as it didn't look as if there would be anybody else arriving for hours, the crowd dispersed.