Leaders: Ron & Leora Jones
As we had hoped, the weather cooperated and we had a fine turnout for this year's Halloween haunt. 13 met at the Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest 10 am Saturday morning. We learned about the native cultures of the area and even found a few trinkets to purchase on the way out.
Before noon we headed for the Trona Pinnacles, on the way to Trona and Death Valley. The trip took less than an hour, and the 8 miles of dirt road were excellent.
Afternoons in the desert on a clear, warm day can't be beat and this was one of those afternoons. Several explored, played horseshoes, socialized and discussed the upcoming election and controversial propositions. Evelyn Reher was the undisputed horseshoe champion. Just overall had some fun. Bobbing for apples is a fun way to clean your face (especially if you are one of the first ones to do it). Carving pumpkins is a lot of fun too. This year's entries were superb, including a hand carved "Trick or Treat" message, a samurai, a bat, some traditional triangle faces, and a few "first timers" by people new to this effort.
The costumes were fun. We had two children come as a pirate and the Lion King. We had a skeleton, a monster, two physicians, a clown and a peasant woman.
The evening brought a fine potluck with every dish imaginable and all quite tasty. Our campfire was highlighted by at least two either very friendly, or very hungry, kit foxes. They were incredibly brave and would come within 10 feet of us. One even decided to relieve himself and extinguished a lit jack-o-lantern!
Sunday morning dawned cool, clear and bright, and by shortly after 9 am we were heading for the main highway and over to the roadhead for Red Mountain. On the way we passed two beautiful golden eagles on the side of the road about 5 miles before the junction with highway 395. The wildlife on this trip was truly spectacular.
All but one participant started out for the peak. We followed the standard route. A few people turned around before the steeper section at the base of the ridge. The rest of the group was on the summit and back to the cars well before 2 pm.
Most caravanned over to Randsburg. The tail end of 'Randsburg Days' was finishing up, and we strolled through mainstreet to see what we couldn't live without. A cold one hit the spot at the General Store, and some folks had a late lunch while relaxing.
It was time to acknowledge the "Fall back" an hour on our watches, and gained an hour on the relatively short drive home.
This time of year in the desert is wonderful - it is warm and clear in the day, and cool and crisp in the evenings, especially if you are lucky enough to hit a day with no wind.
Thanks to all of our participants for helping make this a fun outing. They included: Terry Morse, Carol Campbell, Karen & Tom Ferguson, Jeff, Linda, Marcus & Cameron Solomon, Mary Anne Stump, Jeanette Hannigaro, Andrea Kennedy, Evelyn & Phil Reher, Linda Moreno, Jone Levis, and Ed.