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Sunset Peak

4 September 1988

By: Wilma Curtis Wheeler

Leaders: Wilma Curtis Wheeler, Dotty Rabinowitz

On Sunday, September 4, on a weekend of record heat, Dotty Rabinowitz and I met a group of 32 hikers at Harwood Lodge, still eager to climb Sunset (after having done Baldy the day before) and help Louis Quirarte get his 100th Peak.

Carpool arrangements were made and we caravanned to Cow Saddle. We had planned to lead the hike up the firebreak ridge and back down the road. But since most of the group had been on strenuous hikes on Saturday, some had sore feet and sore muscles, others needed conditioning, and the sun was already making us warm and thirsty at 9:30AM, we opted for the shadier and easier hike up the fireroad. Clearly this was the right choice, for it is much easier to socialize while sauntering up a fireroad.

Only a few moments into the hike, just after going around the gate across the fireroad, a tiny lizard scurried to the middle of the road and I worried he might be trampled. Luckily he escaped unharmed. That was our wild animal sighting for the day. At each rest stop we urged everyone to drink plenty of water.

When we reached the saddle, Louis led the group up the rocky trail to the peak. Then corks popped (champagne); strawberries, cheese, crackers, pita bread, cookies and other goodies appeared.

Betty Snow unfurled a 16 foot banner, cleverly illustrating each of the 100 Peaks climbed, and relevant experiences (e.g., sore feet with band-aids) congratulating Louis on his achievement. With champagne glasses in hand, we had a photo-taking session around the banner. Then we autographed it to provide Louis with an unforgettable souvenir.

We had a good hike and a terrific party even though only seven of the celebrants were 100 Peakers. Other peakbaggers on this hike were Bryce Wheeler, Mike Sandford, and Patty Kline. Also along was Louis' longtime friend Terry, who had made a special appearance in Louis' honor and had so much fun he has resolved to join the HPS.

I'm sure we gave the Sierra Singles new ideas about fun hikes and HPS parties. Thank you, Dotty for being a great co_leader. Congratulations, Louis!

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