Leaders: Charlie Knapke, Barbara Cohen
Thirteen brave peak baggers met at 6:00 a.m. in the desert just west of the Salton Sea for what promised to be a long grueling weekend. It was not yet light so we spent the time signing in and getting to know each other. Since Rosa Point is also on the Desert Peaks List we had participation from outside our own section.
We started off just before 6:30. We stopped part way across the desert floor for a quick explanation of the dreaded cholla cactus. Some of the group were very experienced and knew all about this animal. Some of the newer hikers had never seen it before. We continued on to the peak by the route described in the peak guide.
We reached the summit about 11:30. Since we were ahead of schedule we had a long lunch break here while we enjoyed the view and signed the register book. At 12:00 noon we set off down the mountain. It was soon obvious that one of our group was a cholla magnet. This hiker had one instance were she had a large section of cholla in the palm of her hand. We had a break while the pieces were carefully extracted. After at least three more minor cholla stops we reached the cars.
Roy Stewart announced that he was leaving our group to join the San Ysidro hike the next day. He was going to meet their group at an Italian restaurant in Borrego Springs for dinner. Our group decided to try this restaurant. We carpooled the fifteen miles into town to the Little Italy restaurant. We arrived just before they opened. The food was excellent but the other group did not show up until we were leaving. We stopped and socialized with them in the parking lot before heading back to the desert to camp.
Sunday morning we found that we only had three participants plus the leaders for Villager Peak. Only the leaders were HPS members. The only thing we all had in common was that we were all SPS members. This is the first time something like this had ever happened on one of our trips.
Even though this trip was two miles longer than Rosa, it took us twenty minutes less for the trip. Everyone was fast and we were all good at avoiding cholla. I had remembered that Villager had slightly less cholla than Rosa Point. The difference is now much greater. It seems that even the cholla is susceptible to the drought.
After returning to the cars we started out on that long drive home. The totals for the weekend were 9600' of gain and about 26 miles.
The participants were Carol Breyde, David Campbell, Jack Archibald, Rosina Mueller, Jim Fujimoto, Maggie Singleton, Chuck Sale, Barbara Cohen, Roy Stewart, Jim Murphy, Carol Smetana, and Frank Atkin. I would like to thank Barbara Cohen for her excellent assistance.