By: Ron Jones, Lou Brecheen
Even though a lot of Southern California seemed to be burning in fires from Laguna Beach to Thousand Oaks, we headed out for our meeting spot Saturday morning at Borrego Springs town circle. It was to be a long day, and it wasn't cool. Fourteen hikers headed up Borrego Palm Canyon from the back of the campground, route B in the DPS Peak Guide. Two others chose to hike up the south ridge and met the group on top. The waterfall at the first palm grove was flowing very well, and the little streams and rivulets all seemed to be flourishing even this late in the season. At the palms, two casual walkers returned to the cars while the rest headed on through the class 2 steep slopes of Indianhead (class 4 - low 5 for the south ridge party).
Lou Brecheen missed the climb so Evelyn Chadwell, provisional I, had been cleared by Bob Hicks to assist. The group included several newcomers and everyone did well on the steep loose lower slopes. Only 4 or 5 stops were necessary to remove cactus. Both groups arrived simultaneously at the summit.
Meanwhile more people were arriving at the circle in Borrego Springs to join the hiking group later in the afternoon. It turned out to be "Borrego Days" in town, complete with parade, festival and live music at the circle. It was a great day to be in Borrego Springs.
About 5pm the groups united, and we quickly caravanned out to Arroyo Tapiado, approximately an hours drive. We unfortunately arrived in the last light, but were pleased to find the Mamedalins and Steve Margolin Waiting for us. The hors d' houvres quickly appeared, the pumpkins were carved and dinner was a complete least. Linda McDermott's was judged the best, and most creative, jack-o-lantern. Several costumes appeared in the darkness, and Lou Brecheen grew a complete head of black hair!
The evening brought a nice campfire contained in a fire pan, I might add. In addition, we had singing from the DPS songbooks accompanied by Evelyn playing violin and Leora on the guitar.
Sunday morning brought cooler temperature, some cloud cover and good hiking weather. Lou took the group through two different mud caves, perhaps 1/2 mile long. We searched for the mummified miner he had discovered last year, but the body had been removed by the rangers. However, Lou did find the "sandobscene" man on our return in the wash towards camp. Arroyo Tapiado is a beautiful place, similar in geology to the Mecca Hills near Orocopia in Joshua Tree. Slot canyons, narrow washes, dry waterfalls. We explored for a few hours, then returned to the cars for Sunday brunch, consisting of many things not finished the night before at dinner.
It was the sixth joint Halloween trip run by Ron and me, and Lou Brecheen. It was especially good to see friends that come on these trips year after year. Participants included: Ron Jones, Lou Brecheen, Igor, Suzanne and Comet Mamedalin, Judy Ware, Bill Gray, Keats Hayden, Steve Margolin, Tom & Karen Ferguson, Linda McDermott, Wayne & Nancy Caudill, Evelyn Chadwell, Phil Reher, Juana Avila, Carol Campbell, Sylvia & Ed Kenney, Margaret Mahoney and Garnet ---. Join Evelyn & Ron on Evelyn's final "I" provisional lead on Sombrero & Jacumba Pks on December 11/12.
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