Leaders: Frank Dobos, Patty Kline
Sixteen determined hikers met at the State Park property sign, trailhead to Villager-Rabbit. I secretly hoped to cancel the trip, the temperature was unseasonably high, 85°F, but I let them have their way and reluctantly started out toward the ridge to lead them up to Villager. The climbing became slow and after two hours, two hikers dropped out, and two more soon after that. They returned to the cars, the heat was really too much for all of us. We pushed on, sweating all the way up, and around 4:00PM we stopped below Villager to set up camp.
The night was perfect and we enjoyed good conversation until the late hours. Early risers saw the half-moon and Mars. We packed up, climbed Villager and started the ridge run to Rabbit. The temperature was lower now, and some wind kept us even cooler. At 10:30AM we stepped on the Rabbit. "Is this it?" some asked in a tone of disbelief. Dan Skaglund was very excited, announcing to all that this was his DPS Emblem Peak.
The Register is in good shape - new can and book - I left them there a year ago. We started back with all hikers in good spirits. Jean Jones tried to send me down the wrong ridge into Barton Canyon, but I resisted all temptations. After we went around Villager on the east side, everyone started to look for the camp. My group was spread around the hillside, while I desperately tried to tell them we still had to drop down another 200 feet. Finally, Patty and Charlie Knapke ran into the camp first.
After packing up we started down at 2:00PM. At a short stop Bill Hogshead picked up some cholla on his arm, which was quickly pulled out with the aid of my cholla pliers. The group was still going reasonably strong, with the exception of one person who suffered from heat exhaustion. Patty and Charlie stayed with him and slowly we got to the desert floor just at 5:00PM with the darkness setting in around us. One more hour and we got to the cars. Twelve happy people were congratulating each other for a hike well done. The rest of the peak climbers were Craig Estes, Barbara Cohen, Phil Weinreich, Ray Wolfe, Greg Gerlach and Clark Cluster.