Middle Peak, Cuyamaca Peak (LO), Monument Peak, Cuyapaipe Mountain, Sheephead Mountain
By: Wilma Wheeler
Leaders: Frank Dobos, Wilma Wheeler
Saturday morning we met at the Paso Picacho Campground, and after instructions and sign-in, we then drove to the take off point near Camp Hual-CuCuish. Twenty-two of us hiked up the Middle Peak Loop Fire Road after Dick Akawie pointed out we had inadvertently started out on Milk Ranch Road. We reached Middle soon after and had a snack break on top. Frank led us down a faint trail to a saddle and trail intersection, where we met Asher Waxman and his friend Abigail Robin, a new arrival from New York, who headed up the trail to climb Middle Peak. We continued up the trail through the pines to the juncture with the paved road from Paso Picacho Campground where Ruth Lee Brown, hiking from the campground, joined us. We had a leisurely lunch on Cuyamaca (Dick Akawie had a nap) then we hiked down the road to Paso Picacho Campground, to pick up cars left there and Donica Wood, who had opted to stay in the park and study while we were hiking.
We then caravanned together with Asher and Abigail, who had joined us, to the takeoff point for Monument Peak. The climb was memorable only for the incredible view. It was so clear we could see some of the high-rises in downtown Los Angeles and west to Catalina Island, highlighted by a spectacular sunset. Descending we met Keats Hayden, Bill Grey, Minor White and others on their ascent of Monument. They later joined us at the campground. Keats and Bill hiked with us on Sunday.
It was cold that night, but a lively conversation and a campfire warmed our spirits, if not our bodies.
On Sunday morning, clear and sunny, 24 of us caravanned over the confusing dirt roads then climbed Cuyapaipe, the 100th Peak for Larry Monzon. Congratulations Larry! The trail was a little brushy, but not too bad.
We then caravanned to the trailhead for Sheephead, where Mike Sandford and daughters Michelle and Marcie, Betty Snow and Louis Quirarte (having just finished editing the Lookout) joined us. Thirty cheery souls, eager to celebrate, hiked up Sheephead with Dotty Rabinowitz for her 200th Peak. After a few sips of champagne, we hurried down to start the celebration.
Dotty had a wonderful party with delicious food and a case of champagne plus other drinks. After much celebrating, just as we were packing and cleaning up, ready to leave, Asher, Abigail and Minor drove up. They had been bagging other peaks in the area. Bad timing! Better stick to the party hike next time. Congratulations, Dotty! I'm looking forward to your List Completion party. We had a great group of people with us this weekend including another Chapter Award winner, Frank Goodykoontz. Thank you, Frank Dobos, for a great weekend.
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