Kevin felt blah, I didn’t feel really energetic, so heading over the hill wasn’t in the cards. I figured if we headed south Kevin would start feeling better as the ride went on, especially if I found him a few new roads. Which I did! Eventually we found ourselves at the usual place for coffee, Foothill Crossing’s Petes. And it was there that I got this screwy idea of figuring out how to get to the old cement plant, the one the railroad tracks lead up to at the Foothill/280 overpass. Been passing by it for most (all?) of my life, and never got there.
Not that hard with Google Maps to figure things out, and it’s not convoluted at all. Just continue on Foothill south, under 280, and first chance you get, at the light with the church on the right side, turn right. And just continue until it ends at the plant. Really, it’s that simple! And what an interesting place. All those tracks, it must have been one busy place back in the day. How had I never been there before? Quite a few cars in a parking lot but not much sign of life; I think I’d read that the county has been in the process of trying to permanently shut it down. Environmental issues; it’s contributed 39% of the airborne mercury in the bay area. Back when it was built, in 1939, nobody really cared about such stuff. Why was it built? To supply cement for Shasta Dam. Pretty amazing that it would come from so far away!
Heading back we tried to loop through Rancho San Antonio Park, but as you can see from our Strava track, we had to do a bit of backtracking as paved became dirt & gravel, and with no way of knowing how long before we’d hit something better, it was time to turn back. We were still in good form, having transformed just-a-ride into something unique and memorable, when Kevin had a seizure (plenty of time to safely stop) and his frame of mind kind of spiraled downward from there. Getting home was just about getting home. But at the end of the day, we were both talking about that strange place we visited. That counts for a good ride.