Leaders: John Sheldon, Frank Dobos
For awhile I thought this trip would never be led. First, Don Tidwell, the scheduled assistant backed out due to the Chapter Banquet, and then we had to postpone the trip due to rain!
When we left LA at 5:30AM we were surprised to find it raining. We knew, of course, that it would not be raining at the meeting point 20 miles north of Mojave at the intersection of Highway 14 and Jawbone Canyon Road. Much to our surprise, the northward moving storm met us at the meeting point with seven other cars. We considered our options and decided to wait 30 minutes to see how the weather progressed. At 8:30, Frank and I made the decision to postpone. Wouldn't you know it, after I had gone around to each car informing the occupants of our decision, a patch of blue sky opened up. So we decided to try for Butterbredt, the shortest of the hikes scheduled. We caravanned to Jawbone Canyon Road but when we reached the trailhead, the rain was the heaviest yet. So, we again postponed the outing. Nine of us reconvened at White's Cafe in Mojave for brunch and we went home early.
The next weekend found us again at Highway 14 and Jawbone Canyon Road at 8:00AM - this time with good weather predicted but it was quite windy. We set up a car shuttle and left two cars at the Cross roadhead and used the remaining four cars to take the eleven of us to the Chuckwalla trailhead. An hour later the entire group was on the peak after a pleasant 1400 feet of gain through lots of flowers. We then proceeded cross-country toward Cross. We stopped for lunch at a great spot in the canyon southeast of the peak. An incredible display of poppies and other flowers, as well as a warm sun, made for a memorable lunch. Up the remaining 1000 feet and on top of Cross at 1:40PM for a leisurely break. Then the fun part - down the character-building scree! Whee!! We undid the car shuttle and settled down for a community salad and campfire in Jawbone Canyon.
On Sunday morning, we drove to the now dry Butterbredt trailhead and met Karen Leonard, Delores Holladay, Dotty Rabinowitz and Donica Wood who drove up for the day only. It took us less than an hour to climb up the 1200 feet to the peak. Back down and over to the Mayan trailhead where we took another hour to climb the steep 1800 foot slope to the peak. After a break we headed down (in 20 minutes) and were back at the cars for an early ride home.
Nine of us stopped at Graziano's in Mojave for pizza (lots of anchovies) and we all stopped at the California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster (15 miles west of Highway 14 on Avenue I). A real treat. Lots and lots of poppies on the hillsides. It was breezy but worth it.
Thanks to Frank Dobos for filling in as assistant and for the "I" level checkout and to a great group: Ruth Adler, Spencer Buckner, Alan and Janet Coles, David Jensen, Cindy Okine, Evan Samuels, and Hoda Shalaby.