As I gently climbed I was intrigued by the open house sign at the entrance to a private road. Cool: a chance to check out what's hidden behind the tree cover. But the road, which I'd assumed was a short access route to a few oversized domiciles, instead went on and on and on. I climbed slowly, except every 6 minutes or so doing another 30 second sprint. On my third sprint, I finally reached the "open house". I didn't see much of a house, only a driveway, but instead of investigating that further, I continued down the road. Then I came across the colossal compound which is the Fogarty Winery, a few vines growing amidst the tennis courts, swimming pools, and statues.
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A grounds keeper was driving a cart towards me. I asked him where the road went. Open space, he said, 2.5 miles to Skyline. So I moved on from the opulence of the vineyard to a grass-covered but smooth fire road, crossing a gate with "Private! No Tresspassing!" signs on the opposing side. This gradually climbed, with scenic views, crossing a few trail heads, until I reached another gate: Skyline Blvd.
There was a ranger there, who kindly informed me the road from which I'd emerged, "Middle Road", was closed to bicycles. Strange: it was a perfectly good fire road. I explained I'd gotten lost, and that was good enough.
From there, it wasn't far to Old La Honda then to 84, which I descended eastward, my spirits buoyed by the adrenalin rush of a previously unexplored route to Skyline. I managed to get in the rest of my sprints on my ride back to work from there. A bit of a longer lunch than I'd planned.
Power numbers from the day were, for a change, encouraging. More pn power next time.