Leaders: Frank Goodykoontz, Patty Kline
We assembled at the Villager roadhead at 6:30 am. It was a 10 hour hike round trip for the 13 of us. It was an absolutely gorgeous day with no wind and ideal temperatures. As we went on the ridge on the way up Villager, I noticed all the dying cholla. No threat of getting stuck. The drought is taking its toll on these cactus. They are a very pretty plant and they will welcome the next rain. The floor of the Anza-Borrego Desert below seemed to slant up hill in all directions away from us, producing a nice optical illusion.
On top, Erik Siering celebrated his 100th peak with champagne for all. Villager is 14 miles round trip and 4000' of gain.
That night, we had a great camp and party in the State Parks area across the street form the start of the route. There was a lot of wine and munchies for happy hour. We had a community dinner with a great meat loaf by Jean Nelson and a large green salad supplied by Lew Amack. The rest of us rounded out the dinner with other items. Mitch Helbrecht supplied a Coleman lantern while we listened to music from car tape decks and my car compact disc player. Mitch became a Doors fan that night.
Six new people met us on Sunday at 8:30 am for a climb of San Ysidro at Ranchita Pass Store. It took us about 40 minutes to drive up to this roadhead, from our camp at the Villager roadhead. Counting out Saturday only people, we had a total of 17 on Sunday. We all had lunch on top. Pat Moore climbed to the real top and had his picture taken there. The trip was over by 1 pm.
Most of us continued on for an attempt at Hot Springs Mountain. This is a long drive up in a 4x4, but some 2WD trucks could make it. It is on an Indian Reservation. They charge $2 per person. We were turned back because many vehicles were coming down this one way road, with freshly cut Christmas trees for which the Indians were being paid. I think this is the first time a peak was aborted due to Christmas shopping.
The trip was a lot of fun. Villager is one of my favorite peaks. The participants not already mentioned were Paula Peterson, Leslie Metcalfe, Cesar Michel, Bonnie Michel, Mike Kelley, Bob Michael, Carol Smetana, Frank Atkin, Greg Gerlack, Jack Haddad, Laura Webb, Bob Sumner, and George Pfeiffer.