Leaders: Frank Goodykoontz, George Schroedter
We met at the triangle in Aguanga at 7:30 Saturday AM and then carpooled up to the trailhead for Beauty and Iron Springs. We were glad to see that some grading had been done to repair the roads into the trailhead. The roughest part was the last stretch, but it was passable.
As expected, the brush had grown considerably, so the clippers we carried came into good use. Progress was slow. When we arrived at the earth dam, we found our path blocked by a fairly large lake. This necessitated a scramble through the trees, brush and mud around to the west side of the dam. After a brief rest, we continued on to Beauty Peak without much difficulty. We enjoyed our lunch under bright sunshine and pleasant temperatures.
On the way down from Beauty, Walia Ringeler re-injured her left knee. She was able to walk, but painfully. Back at the dam it was obvious that she needed to be taken back out. Patty Kline took over as sweep and the group slowly clipped their way up to Iron Springs. It was close to 6 PM when they got back to their vehicles.
That night we stayed in the Oak Grove Campground. Some cooked their own dinner; others drove the 5 miles or so east and dined at Maggie's.
Shortly after 7:30 Sunday morning we drove east for Combs Peak. Going up Chihuahua Valley Road we were passed by a white van traveling at high speed and followed by 2 highway patrol cars with their lights flashing. The van wasn't stopping. About 1/4 mile up the dirt road we came upon these vehicles with 18 illegals sitting on the ground. At first it looked like we were blocked because the driver of the van had taken off into the brush with the keys. Fortunately, it was possible to drive around the 3 vehicles through the trees and get back onto the road. Had the van stopped almost anywhere else, we would have been blocked.
The hike up the PCT to the saddle east of Combs was a pleasant relief from the bush-whacking of the previous day. The last part of this hike is 1/2 mile up a fairly steep ridge, so we did get some good exercise. It was a bit cold up on top, so we took just a short break before heading back. Total time rt was 2-1/2 hours.
We considered driving up to Hot Springs Mtn, but decided against it. Most of the group drove home, but Jean Hermansen joined the leaders for the drive to Boucher Hill. We elected to park up the road outside the park and hike the mile up to this peak. The north side of the loop road had been washed out, so it was not possible to drive to the peak this day. We hiked up the paved road, and came down on the lovely trail inside the loop. Walia, who had ridden with me, found that she could barely walk that morning. Hence, she was forced to wait in my truck while we hiked that day. We all hope that she will be back hiking with us soon. The participants were: David Jensen, Tal Kanigher, Harriet Edwards, Neal Cosand, Dave Wellborn, Theresia Glover, Gordon Lindberg, Peter Doggett, Patty Kline, Dolores Holladay, Harry Rockey, Eileen Seligson, Betty Sterrett, Jean Hermansen, Jone Clevis, Walia Ringeler, and Tom Moumblow.