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Lizard Head, Cuyama Peak (LO), Cerro Noroeste, Brush Mountain, San Emigdio Mountain, Tecuya Mountain

11 May 1996

By: Charlie Knapke


Leaders: Charlie Knapke, Frank Goodykoontz

This seems to be the year for hot hikes. Accordingly I decided to meet early at 6:00 a.m. to beat the heat. Sixteen diehard hikers met at the mouth of Dry Canyon and we were soon on our way to the trailhead. This road had been recently scraped and was in better condition than I had ever seen it. The road near the trailhead seems slightly wider than it was in the past. It is now possible to parallel park on the road without obstructing traffic.

After signing in we headed down to Upper Tinta campground. Since the old road has become an OHV trail, this camp does not get much use. The picnic table has become a feast for termites but one of the two stoves is completely intact. There was some welcome shade here for our first rest stop. Then we headed up the ridge and the heat was unbearable. I was considering canceling the trip even though this was my third attempt at leading this peak. As we neared the ridge clouds began to form. They produced a welcome relief during our trip out to the summit. The register is still there and is in good shape.

On the way back, it seemed to be cloudy and cool on the downhill stretches and sunny and hot on the uphill. After several breaks in any shade we could find, we made it back to Upper Tinta. It clouded up again and made for a cooler return to the cars.

It soon became clear that even though we had scheduled six peaks for this weekend, Lizard Head was the main attraction. While I sat having an ice cold drink, I listened to half the group making plans to head for home. Most people decided that while they were here, they might as well drive up to Cuyama Lookout. The register is no longer out at the end of the ridge. It is up in the lookout tower in a glass jar.

After a short discussion we decided to head off to Cerro Noroeste and Campo Alto Campground. The register for this peak is right were I've always found it, on the rock pile on the spur road out to a radio installation. It goes back at least five years!

We camped in one of the larger campsites on the west end of the summit. We then had happy hour. This was quite diffierent from the DPS trips I have been leading. There was not as much food but much more daylight.

Sunday at seven a.m. we headed off to Brush Mountain with only half the group size of the day before. Brush and San Emigdio went without incident. When we arrived at the Tecuya trailhead we had lost three more participants. Now the heat really hit us. There was no cloud cover this day. Half way up this peak, Frank began having problems. He said he would wait for us to return from the peak. Thirty minutes later we were on the peak. Five minutes after that Frank showed up feeling much better. After a long lunch in the shade with a breeze we headed down to the cars and home.

Thanks to Frank for barely making it again.

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