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Little Cahuilla Mountain, Cahuilla Mountain, Asbestos Mountain

15 October 1994

By: Leora Jones

Leaders: Ron & Leora Jones

Because of bad weather, only four of the 12 participants showed up. We met at the intersection of Hwy 371 and Cary Road Saturday morning, to find a white out and light mist. However, the hike up Cahuilla was pleasant (except for the persistent fogging of eye glasses), and the fog and mist were so low we couldn't see any of the surroundings, let alone a view from the peak. The cool wet weather brought out ticks, and we found three on our clothing.

Back at the cars at noon, we drove the next mile or so to the road head for Little Cahuilla. One participant chose to leave since it was so wet and cold. The white out was slowly lifting and we could occasionally see the summit, we thought no rain on the hike, but quite a breeze dried out our outer layer of clothing. In the fog we passed the four false bumps before finding the summit. Nice views from the top with some clearing off in the distance. The ribbonwood forests on the approach were marvelous, and the fresh smell of plant life due to the rain was breath-taking.

We caravaned to Pinyon Flat Campground off Hwy 74 to find it almost deserted. Skies still looked threatening, and the clouds were getting darker and lower again. Bob Beach decided to drive up Santa Rosa and later return. Within minutes after arriving at the campground, the rain cut loose. It got stronger and persisted for several hours. Bob returned and told us of the snow on top of Santa Rosa. We all dined in our VW van and the 5 of us were quite cozy in the rain.

Morning was a picture-perfect day. Sunny blue skies, not a cloud to be seen anywhere around. We drove to the Asbestos roadhead through the recently fire devastated area. There is already new growth appearing on many of the burned plants, but it is quite a sight to see so much blackened and destroyed all around the homes.

The four of us headed across the desert floor through a lot of cats claw and cholla, but soon were above most of it. The summit view was unbeatable. Beautiful, clear, crisp and a light dusting of snow on the high points around us. Ron had brought our video camera and shot about 10 minutes of film along the way. The views from the summit came out nice and clear.

We returned to the cars around noon, to find a man waiting. He had hit our van and was waiting to give us his name and insurance information. Quite honorable I'd say. Too bad for our van, but lucky that he is willing to pay. Thanks to all for a fun trip. Participants included Bob Beach, Alice Spring, Terry Morse and Margie Hutten.

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