Leaders: Joe Young & Patty Kline
Eleven hikers convened at the turn off for Aquilla and Owens near Highway 14. Here Peter Doggett showed off his invention, the "crap-o-matic" toilet seat. This device proved to be the "butt" of many jokes for the entire weekend. We then caravanned to the Powers Well site for the scramble up Aquilla. Our route took us to the east end of the five fingers, around the north side, then up the rocky crest to the summit. At the narrow chute one hiker, Geri Marston (Young), lost her grip and tumbled backward, but she was uninjured except for some minor cuts and bruises. At the same chute Joe Young's watch was smashed by a small falling rock. Most of the hikers needed an assist in one form or another at this chute, although all made the summit with the gracious assistance of Peter Doggett. Our descent took us around the western finger and down to the road head described in the peak guide. There are active bee hives located at this road head, making it less desirable for some as a parking area.
We were pleased to have George Hubbard and his wife Carole (formerly Breyde) with us this weekend. Carole needed two peaks to reach her 100 peak milestone. While we had planned to hike Owens as our second peak, it turned out that George had finished the list some twenty years ago on Scodie. So we switched Owens for Scodie on Saturday, planning to add Owens on Sunday to Morris and Jenkins, which we were planning to bag via the Pacific Crest Trail.
Three hikers dropped out at this point, and the rest of us caravanned over to the route three road head for Scodie. The road is rough in a couple of spots, as is correctly described in the peak guide.
It was not obvious to us what the peak guide meant by directing one to the two highest points, so we wound up hiking up steep and at times loose slopes to the saddle at elevation 6600' northwest of the summit. From here we joined the traditional route to the summit, with Carole leading the last stretch. We celebrated briefly on the summit. Time from road head to summit had been three hours and fifteen minutes. From the summit we were in a better position to properly interpret the route three designation of high points, which we could now easily distinguish. We proceeded to the ridge just east of the highest point which is visible from the road head and made our way down steep slopes to the cars, encountering a refreshing stream en-route. Descent required about one and three quarters hours.
Saturday night no one camped out, choosing instead to stay in Ridgecrest at either the Motel Six or the Econo-Lodge.
On Sunday seven of us reconvened at Walker Pass for the hike to Morris and Jenkins, planning to add Owens. The weather turned out to be a bit warm, and the group a bit slow, so we scrapped Owens. The hike mostly along the PCT was uneventful. It should be noted that there has been a rock slide a couple of hundred feet below the summit of Jenkins, obliterating a section of the well ducked route. However, where the route first encounters the rock slide coming up from the PCT, ducks lead around the right side and over the top of the slide, rejoining the normal route at that point. This bypass works very nicely. There is only very minor rock scrambling required to reach the summit of Jenkins.
Sunday's hike had begun at about 7:50 am and the last returned to the cars at 6:20 pm. This had been a very pleasant day of hiking.
Thanks to Patty for conceiving, planning, and organizing this outing.