Old Dad Mountain
By: Linda McDermott
Late Friday night, the trip began for me by spying the "McD" sign with arrow supplied by best buddy Neal Scott. Neal sensed my insecurity sometime ago about not being sure which dirt road to follow when I would try to find insignificant dirt roads late at night. I would always break into a smile, and be reassured I was on the right track, when I would spot Neal's sign. It was there on Friday night, January 29. The sign for Aiken Mine wasn't there (as described in the DPS guide), or I couldn't see it. Anyhow, most participants met at a major, flat campspot about 1.7 miles down the road to Old Dad Mountain. Lots of room, great campspot with great fire area. Those who had not camped at the flat spot met where the Aiken Mine road left Kelbaker Road at 9:00 am. We drove to the trailhead, where Phil did a great job of getting us as close to the peak as possible. Not easy with all the dirt road possibilities. We didn't get started for the peak until about 11:00 am.
Phil chose a longer route than normal, going to the north end of Old Dad and up an easy, class 2 route. We spent a short time on top of the peak, then headed down a class 2-3 chute to get back to the gully leading to the cars. We were back at the camp spot by appetizer time. We had a wine tasting party, and with over a dozen wines for two dozen people (including 4 kids), everyone was very is happy in a short time. Pamela Stones won the contest, and explained the story behind the wine she had gotten from a small vineyard. Everyone had been instructed to bring something other than chips and dip (thank goodness McCully brought chips and a warm dip), so we had an excellent pot luck. There was even a cake to celebrate Jim Hinkley's 50th birthday, an in memory of Edna Erspamer and Linda McDermott's 50th birthdays. All three had birthdays almost simultaneously. McCully begged for the piece of cake that dog Maggie had stepped on (she had stepped on the plastic wrapping when getting out of the car).
The campfire was world class, with Ernie Spiehler on harmonica vying for time with Kathy Lakey on guitar. Tom Sumner was awarded a plastic doily and phone book pages for drapery companies only he can give you the background of this mystery.
On Sunday, a brief but Successful pancake breakfast was served, then everyone abandoned camp by 8:30 am (the superbowl was in the afternoon - tough competition). A special thanks to Phil Reher for leading this trip.
Participants: Phil Reher (leader), Jim Hinkley, Edna Erspamer, Tom Sumner, Neal Scott, Penelope May, Robert Young, Ernie Spiehler, Kathy, John, Laurel, Carl, Joseph and Cameo Lakey, Gary James, Adrienne Knute, Ron Grau, Ellen Senior, Pamela Stones, Bill and Keates Gray, and Linda McDermott. Showing up for the party: Ron Bartell, Christine Mitchell and John McCully.
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