Leaders: Dotty Rabinowitz, Wilma Wheeler
Even though the weather was great for a hike in the San Gabriels, we were surprised by the large turn out for the hike. Sixty brave people were at the La Cañada meeting place at 9:00AM. After introductions and sign-in, we carpooled to Dawson Saddle to start the hike at the "new trail" just beyond the saddle. I led, and Dotty swept 58 people, as two had turned back at Red Box, deciding that they did not have sufficient gas in their car.
There were a couple of places where snow covered the trail on the north side of Throop. As we reached the first snow covered portion we met two women who had started up the trail on their own earlier. One had fallen and scraped her leg, which her companion had bandaged. They had enough snow travel, they said, and were headed back to the trailhead. At this point, two very inexperienced hikers with us decided to sign out and go back to their cars. Ray Riley signed out to go and climb Baden-Powell and then join us later.
We had an uneventful trek up Throop, enjoying the wilderness experience with our army of hikers, one of which decided to stay on the main trail and not ascend Throop. Reaching the first peak around noon, with another one to climb, we decided to have a snack on Throop and have our real lunch on Mt. Burnham. The first hikers had a long break while waiting for the last ones up. Typically, soon after the late-comers arrived, we had everyone ready to start down the trail, where we picked up the waiting hiker.
Somehow our group still seemed as large as an army as we skipped or trudged to our second peak experience, where Ray Riley awaited us after his conquest of Baden-Powell.
As a reward for their perseverance, I offered a cool refreshing strawberry to each as they reached the top of Burnham. Three hikers were so refreshed that they decided to sign out and go do Baden-Powell, which they did. The rest of us had a late lunch and relaxed awhile before starting down the north side of Burnham to the Pacific Crest Trail for our return. Lucky for us, we hit the trail just ahead of a large group of Boy Scouts.
Betty, Louis and friends joined us when we reached the junction turnoff for Throop and Dotty led us swiftly and safely back to the cars. With everyone signed out, and those who had enough heading home, nine die-hards climbed Lewis in 14 minutes which seems like a good time to me.
Thanks, Dotty for sweeping and leading us back on the last leg of the trip. Congratulations on two more peaks! We had a good group of hikers.