Edgar Peak, Mitchell Point
By: Phil Reher, John McCully, Evelyn Reher
The day started out cold and windy at the Mitchell Caverns State Park where we had arrived at about 1 in the morning. There were already about three cars with eager hikers ready to try their hiking skills on Edgar. As the time for the start of the hike got near we thought that most of the people had canceled, when a caravan of cars started pulling into the parking lot.The traffic was so great for the state park that the state employee stopped making his breakfast and rushed down to find out what was going on. He thought that the recent showing of Mitchell Cavern on TV had increased the interest in the caverns. You should have seen his disappointment when we told him that we were a Sierra Club DPS section doing the top of the mountains and not too interested in the underneath. He then told us we had to pay $5 a car to park. He also stated that in the two years he had been there many people had tried to reach the peak, but to his knowledge no one had ever made it. He took our money and went back to his breakfast.I rounded up the group of 25 hikers, two dogs and we started off at 8:00 AM. The hike went pretty much as described in the guide and even through the group was large we made good progress. Early in the hike, a group of five signed out and took a detour to Fountain Peak prior to going on to Edgar. The rest of us reached the summit about 12:30 PM where we had a nice lunch, as the wind had died down.We started down as a group, but had to split up when Wayne slipped and fell into a caucus patch. After thirty minutes Ruth, his wife, Evelyn and Linda were still plucking caucus needles out of his body. John McCully led the main group down. We took another thirty minutes to finish plucking most to the needles out of Wayne before starting down. In the mean time the Fountain Peak group arrived and went on to Edgar.We arrived back in time to see the main group driving away to find a campsite at Hole in the Wall. Once we reached the parking lot we joined the Fountain Peak group (they had beaten us to the cars by 15 minutes by taking a more direct route) and drove to the campsite. At the campsite we built a fire and had a great feed with an assortment of goodies brought by the hikers. Evelyn and I cooked Beans and Rice while Christine and Ron cooked Rice and Beans. There was a bit of a debate over which was better Beans & Rice or Rice & Beans.On Sunday morning we started the hike for Mitchell with fifteen hikers at 8:30 from the Providence Ghost town's assessor office. John had to leave Sunday and Evelyn, who was not yet fully recovered from surgery, decided not to attempt Mitchell. So, Rich Gnagy graciously agreed to be the sweep. The first part of the hike was 1300 ft of gain up to the ridgeline. At this point we were all thinking (except for Ron who had done the hike before, but didn't want to dampen our spirits) this hike would be an easy one for the books (we just didn't know what book).The rest of the hike was up and over rocks, a navigation noodle and in the end just plain hard hiking and lots of fun for a great peak and a great view! We got to the peak at 1:00 PM, signed in and proceeded back down out of the wind and cold to enjoy lunch.We were all back to the cars around 5:00 PM where we enjoyed chips and dip put out by Evelyn. While Evelyn was enjoying her self at the cars she had visitors who were doing a ghost town list. That is how we came to know that the remains of the building we were parked at was the assessor's office.I would like to thank all of the participants on the trip as they were a great group of hikers. The combined list for both Edgar and Mitchell were Phil & Evelyn Reher, John & Carol McCully (with Mandy), Linda McDermott (with Casey), Lynelle Martin, Neal Scott, Richard Whitcomb, Judy Hummerich, Lori Lando, Burton Falk, Ted Brasket, Wayne & Ruth Norman. Rich Henke, Rena Tishman, Robert McKay, Ron Bartell, Christine Mitchell, Rich Gnagy, Mitch Miller, Jim Conley, Bill Scott, & Bob Baldwin.
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