Leaders: David Eisenberg, Ruth Dobos
This was a replacement trip for the "Big 4" which we were not able to do because of the extensive snowfall. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. As we all drove out to the meeting place, we began noticing a large concentration of wildflowers on the hills. To our pleasure, they only got thicker on the drive to the trailhead. And thicker as we hiked. They were so abundant that we were not able to avoid stepping on them in spite of our best attempts. They were the thickest I have ever seen in my life anywhere. We took picture breaks and flower breaks every few minutes.
Before we even reached Chuckwalla, Ruth had to talk Frank out of having his picture taken laying nude in the flowers. But the best was yet to come. As we descended into the valley between Cross and Chuckwalla, they got even thicker. What looked like brushy areas turned out to be carpeted with even more varieties of flowers. As we reached the top of Cross and looked out along Jawbone Canyon, the hills seemed to be on fire with smokeless orange, yellow and blue flames. The only thing that ruined an almost perfect day was the spill Rosina Mueller took as she was heading down the Cross scree slope.
We then headed for Graziano's in Mojave to reward ourselves with pizza. Jennifer Lambelet, Diane Dunbar, Erich & Luella Fickle, Rosina, Devra Wasserman, and Nancy Bell left for home - correctly concluding that nothing could top
the day's scenery. Dave Welbourn, Georgina Burns, Frank and Ruth Dobos and I went up to the Walker Pass Campground to camp.
The next day, we took off for Pinyon Peak. We had permission from the landowner to park on his property. This made the trip much nicer. The flowers were not as thick as those on Cross and Chuckwalla, but there were still many of them. Ruth told me that Joshua tree flowers were edible, so I tried one. They are thick and chewy and not bad. I had seconds while the rest stood and looked around in disgust.
We had planned to do Scodie, but it was getting late and there was visible snow on the ridge so we called it quits.