Leaders: Alan Coles, Frank Goodykoontz
A relative small group of 11 (Peter Kinman, Roy Stewart, Andrea Harpole, Rick Fleming, Richard & Beth Summers, Leslie Metcalfe, Julie King, Janet Phun and the 2 leaders) met 7:30 am Sat, Feb 16 morning at the intersection of Hwy 14 and Randsburg Rd. We all drove over to the turnoff for Black and carpooled in 3 vehicles from there.
The dirt road up Mesquite Cyn and to the starting point for Black is in good shape and presented no problems. The day was partly cloudy, cool and windy which is the way it always seems here (at least in winter). We began our hike up the broad plateau towards the high point near the water guzzler and noticed recent tire tracks. A few years ago, the BLM erected signs and barricades to keep motor vehicles off this fragile land which suffered serious erosion problems. The last time I was there it had begun to recover and the native grasses were getting established again. However, it now looks like the damage is starting again as tire tracks were spread out over a wide area. I have instructed Brent Washburne to update the peak guide and I hope that all members of this section obey the BLM rules against driving off established roads.
The hike up otherwise went well. We passed through the famous crater, the only spot out of the wind, and shortly thereafter ascended the peak in gale force winds. We all signed in on the leeward side before descending with Frank in the lead.
Next, we all drove over to Red Mtn and climbed the peak of same name by the more or less standard route. It also was very windy and the view was obscured by blowing dust. We retraced our steps back to the cars returning around 4 pm.
Leslie, Roy, Andrea and Rick went home or to do other peaks while the rest of us drove back to Jawbone Cyn (after a short visit to charming Randsburg) and miraculously found a camping spot on a very busy President's Day weekend. Having tried cooking out on previous trips to this region (and remembering blowing sand getting into everything), this time we took the "cop-out" and drove to Graziano's in Mojave and stuffed ourselves to the gills before returning to our dusty camp site. Everyone slept in their cars.
It was still windy and cold when we got up the next morning. We drove up to the Butterbredt starting point and met Julie King there but she decided to stay in her car. The rest of us took off up the ridge and stayed out of the wind as much as possible. The slopes are covered with more illegal OHV trails now and there seems little the BLM can do to keep them out of this sensitive area. On top, 2 people were seen following us up. They turned out to be Mickey Sharpsteen and Lucy (?) who arrived late.
After a short break, we descended quickly and drove over to the Mayan starting point. The wind was still fierce and I allowed everyone the opportunity to do this one at their own pace. Mickey decided to turn back (she already has done it) but everyone else made it up by noon. After a nice lunch out of the wind, it was time for a quick descent which is the most enjoyable part of this peak. That was enough for everyone and we went home.
Thanks to everyone for making it a good weekend and, of course, to Frank for being Frank.