Leaders: Joe Young, Bobcat Thompson
Thirteen people met for breakfast at Lloyd's of Cañada before joining the other hikers at the carpool point. In total forty-three people met at 8:00AM at La Cañada this morning and arranged themselves into carpools. Most cars were sent to the trailhead for Williamson, just to the West of the tunnels, while a few cars were left at Buckhorn Campground near the end of the Burkhart Trail. Belatedly one last group of hikers decided to drive back from the Williamson roadhead to the turn-off on the Crest Highway for Buckhorn CG, and this delayed our start until about 9:45AM. The weather this day was warm and sunny.
The group consisted of about thirty-five tigers and eight slow-to-average hikers. Later we celebrated Betty Snow's 25th peak, and we explained to her that she now has the opportunity to subscribe to the HPS Lookout which she has been proofreading for months (and obviously doing a splendid job!). We also celebrated first peaks for two others.
After this brief party, Bobcat led the group over to Pallett where we lunched. Afterwards we proceeded to Burkhart Saddle where the slower hikers decided (with a little encouragement) to stay while the rest headed for Will Thrall and PVR. Leading the group, I left the trail and scrambled up to Will Thrall, then scrambled back to the trail and proceeded to PVR. Bobcat led the group back, staying strictly on ridgetop, so we bagged Will Thrall a second time. When we regrouped at Burkhart Saddle we observed that the other hikers had given themselves a head start and preceded us down the trail. A wise decision!
The hike out was in very warm and dry conditions and we appreciated the shade and especially the creeks we crossed.
Some of us drank water out of the upper creek, walking only twenty feet or so upstream from the trail. As of yet (July 18) I have had no ill effects, nor have I heard of anyone claiming to have had any. Later we stopped at the creek crossing in Cooper Canyon and many of us cooled our feet there. The group then trickled on out to the waiting cars and some of us refreshed ourselves before drivers were shuttled back to the Williamson roadhead. It was then approximately 7:00PM.
After driving back to La Cañada, fourteen of us met for dinner at the recently reopened Pepe's Mexican Restaurant, located on Foothill, across from the Sport Chalet. The restaurant had been damaged by fire and had been closed for several months. But the consensus was that the food is just as good now as it was pre-fire. The dinner was a good way to end a long (approximately 4600 feet of gain and 14 miles) day of hiking.