Leaders: Patty Kline, Frank Goodykoontz
It was a wonderful weekend with Indian Summer weather during the day in these 5000 to 6000 foot range peaks in San Diego County.
We met at 7:00 am at Paso Picacho Campground in Cuyamaca State Park. This is a truly beautiful campground with private campsites surrounded by beautiful trees and shrubs. The prices are truly disgusting at $15.95 a reservation. We met outside at the 15 minute parking area for our car shuttle for the first 2 peaks. Parking inside for day use is $4.00, which several of us had to pay because of the car shuttle.
There were 18 people for Saturday. Middle is one of my favorite HPS Peaks. The deciduous trees were turning golden among the pines and oaks. We walked for miles in this postcard setting. We did Middle first, then Cuyamaca in an 8 mile loop with 2500 feet of gain ending back at Cuyamaca State Park.
Oakzanita was 8 miles round trip and 1000 feet of gain on a dirt road which passed close to the summit. Bob Wright celebrated his 100th peak here. We got back to the cars at dusk and his girl friend Ann Gasparich served a lot of champagne and a nice cake saying congratulations to Bob.
Laguna Campground, a Forest Service campground, was where most of us spent Saturday night. It was almost full, so we really couldn't have the party we wanted because we were so spread out. Our group had to take any empty spot we could find.
Sunday morning, another perfect day weatherwise, we met at 7:30 am at the entrance to Laguna Campground. 29 people showed up for Sunday. Cuyapaipe was done first with 2 1/2 miles and 600 feet of gain. There were no access problems. The property has been sold so no one needed to be contacted for our outing for permission.
Sheephead is now a grudge peak for many because we were turned back. Two weeks before the San Diego group found a route not on private property and brushed it out. As we tried to walk on the dirt road, the rancher who was in charge of the property wouldn't let us pass. Frank Goodykoontz is almost positive we could have stayed to the right of the road and have been legal, but the rancher absolutely wouldn't let us go beyond his truck parked in the middle of the road. The problems of this peak are being looked into by Al Holden from the San Diego Chapter. We had lunch at our cars after missing Sheephead.
The next 3 peaks were easy. Monument was 3-1/2 miles round trip and 500 feet of gain. I loved the view on top of Rabbit, Villager, Rosa Point and Whale. We could see as far north as San Gorgonio.
The 2 Garnets were last. Frank Goodykoontz was along on Garnet Mountain for John Backus' 6th list completion in December of 1987. There were reporters interviewing everyone on the hike because they ran an article and picture in the L.A. Times. Many of you may have seen this. Farewell to another great weekend with the HPS. 7 out of 8 peaks is fine.