Leaders: Charlie Knapke and Patty Kline
22 Hikers drove through the early morning rain early Saturday to the town of Gorman wondering if the hike would even go. Just before Gorman we broke out into the sunshine. After the preliminary introductions, we sorted ourselves into a few high clearance vehicles for the very long road through the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area. We saw very few motorcycles here. I suppose since it was raining in the city everyone thought it was raining here too. We made one wrong turn in the middle of the valley but soon had it corrected. We were glad to leave this area behind as we entered the beautiful Los Padres National Forest.
About six miles later we reached Alamo Campground. When everyone was ready, we followed the fire road up Alamo Mountain. Here we stopped for what seemed like a thousand pictures before returning to the cars.
We then drove the few miles to the parking area for McDonald Peak. We stopped for about half an hour while everyone enjoyed lunch. We spent some time deciding how many of the HPS Peaks can be seen from this excellent vantage point.
The road to Sewart Mountain is no longer maintained. When it became rough, we abandoned the vehicles at a convenient spot and proceeded the rest of the way on foot to the summit. From the top of Sewart we had a good view of Black and Snowy.
At this point three hikers left our group to continue toward Snowy Peak while the rest of the group proceeded back to the cars for the return to Gorman.
Oddly enough, as soon as we started south from Gorman, the weather closed in again. It seemed like we had found the only good weather around.