Leaders: Frank & Ruth Dobos, Diane Dunbar
We started to congregate at the entrance to Joshua Tree NP around 8:30 am. One car did not show up until 9:30, just before we were about to leave. They had stopped at McDonald and after they started to go toward Palm Spring. They had a hard time turning around and were half hour late. We drove to the trailhead, the road was recently graded, all the passenger cars made it without any problem, including Betty Sterrett's big sedan.
The sun was high up on the deep blue sky when twelve of us started up on the dirt road toward the mountain. Diane and Frank were discussing what route to take. Diane wanted to make the hike adventurous, and Frank just wanted everybody able to climb the peak. So we went up the canyon where there is an inviting trail scuffled by hikers and other creatures up to the flat saddle between the two summits. John Dykstra signed out and decided to wait for us in the canyon. I started out with a fast pace and half way up the canyon I started to slow down and felt weak and out of energy. Quickly turned over the lead to Diane, and ate a high protein bar. It worked like a miracle, and Judy Ware informed me that I had a low blood sugar attack. In the meantime Diane waited for the rest of the group and we were happy to see the summit "massif" ahead of us. Diane went straight up with the group. I went further and climbed the dead tree. We signed in and went down to the saddle looking for some protection from the wind.
While we had lunch, another group of hikers were called to our attention. They were a happy, noisy group, and they started to climb straight up to the false peak. We yelled to them, and when they got closer, we recognized Jim Schoedler, Ann and Maris Valkass. They had led a group of hikers out of the Indian Cove Celebrating Party. We chatted, shook hands and departed but George Pfeiffer was missing. He went behind a rock, and didn't find his way back for about twenty minutes. After a few laughs we started down the canyon, hopping, sliding, occasionally sitting down for a second, and bouncing like it was planned. Bruce Hemphill tripped and fell into something sharp. Diane administered first aid and while we waited, a collared gecko was looking, too. What a cutie, with big eyes and black and light stripes around the neck. We descended to the desert floor and found a sandy wash heading straight to the direction of the cars, arriving around three o'clock. Southern Courtney and Richard Schamberg headed home. We said good by and drove to Keys View and prepared for Diane's 100th lead. The short hike went smoothly, except George decided to turn back at a steep uphill, we all made it to the peak congratulating Diane for her successful 100th lead.
An interesting object we found at the peak. It was a drum-like thing laying on the ground, a flex electric cable attached to it, running to a TV antenna type pole directed roughly toward the town of Landers. The drum had a sign on it saying that this instrument is the property of the US Geological Survey and they detect earthquakes. Fortunately there were not any earthquakes while we were there.
We had some sweets to celebrate, and an interesting discussion developed about religion between Mitch Auerbach, Bill Siegel and Diane. By then the sun was getting low in the western sky, so we left the peak and got back to the cars.
We decided to have a Mexican dinner in Yucca Valley at Edchadas, our favorite restaurant. We left the restaurant with pleasant memories of a perfect dayhike in the beautiful Joshua Tree National Park. It was a very windy day coming and going, but fortunately Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree had been only mildly breezy. Thanks to you all being such a great group.