Leaders: Patty Kline, Wynne Benti
This was an Area 19 cleanout and we did it on one of the most beautiful weekends that I have ever seen.
On Saturday morning at 7AM we met at the Ranger Station at Rim Forest. The eight of us drove over to the starting point for the Pinnacles. It took us about 4 1/2 hours round trip including lunch on the summit. There is a lot of brush along the way which presented two hazards: wood ticks and yucca stickers. Craig Estes ran right into a yucca plant. Dave Shuman took a look at Craig's leg and said the swelling didn't contain any thorns. (But after the weekend, Craig dug a thorn out of his sore and swollen leg, 1/4" long! Ouch!) Similarly, on the way up, Graham Breakwell had to remove pieces of yucca from Matt Morris. But at least the sky was unusually blue for Southern California. I have never seen it so clear as it was that day.
Tom Neely and Sue Newman met us for the hike up Mt Marie Louise. Here was an easy, but brushy, cross-country route ducked by Dick Akawie and John Backus the week before on Micky Thayer's list completion. Again, on this peak I was impressed by how the mountains in view were clear as far as you could see.
The peaks on the horizon stood out as if they had been carved in sharp detail. I felt like I was seeing about a third of the peaks on the list in one glance.
After this peak Wynne picked a lovely level spot to camp in a clearing off the road about 4 miles west of Mt. Marie Louise on the way to Highway 138. Tom, Sue, Morris and Graham had to go back to LA. The rest of us had a potluck dinner with Dave supplying the appetizers of cheese, guacamole and tortillas. Kris Brown served chicken and Chuck Wathen brought cabbage salad. Craig and I brought lots of pasta primavera. It was great mountain cuisine.
We did the last four peaks on Sunday, leaving camp at 8:00AM and finishing at 2:15PM out on the highway near Arrowhead. We drove to Cleghorn Mountain, the farthest peak from Arrowhead, first. It was basically a drive-up on a jeep road. Next we did Cajon Mountain, working our way back toward Arrowhead. It was an easy 3 miles round trip walk on a fire road. Sugarpine was next, and last was Monument (which Wynne literally drove to the top of in her four-wheel drive).
PS: The ticks that were picked up by trip participants from the brush on Saturday deserve some mention. Wynne failed in her attempt to get the tick out of Chuck's neck after burning it with hot tweezers on Sunday morning. He had it removed by a doctor when he got home. Wynne discovered a tick on herself after her return home. Craig also found a tick, full of blood, loose on his shirt sleeve after the trip was over. Despite the little blood-suckers, we all had a great time.