Telescope Peak, Nelson Range
By: Tina Stough
Thirty-eight people signed up for this trip, but with various cancellations and no-shows (ahem!) we ended up with twenty hikers Saturday for Telescope, meeting at the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns where there is ample parking. I fear it was the personality of Telescope, not me, that was the main draw. Harry Freimanis filled in as my assistant since Richard Fritsen had injured his knee (though he came along for the campfire). We consolidated into a few vehicles for the drive to Mahogany flat and began hiking shortly after 7:30. We had a uneventful and pleasant hike on this breezy, comfortable, and clear day. After a brief rest and group consolidation just before the switchbacks (which show on the 7 1/2' map but not the old 15'), some of us made a good workout out of the remaining bit of trail to the top, arriving at 10:30. We found no register but basked in the glory of the summit and sun before a leisurely hike beck to the cars and beer, getting beck around 2:30. No one earned an emblem on this climb. We arranged to meet at Lee Flat near Nelson and decide on a camping spot, and several cars left in a caravan. Several others headed off to Trona for gas while Richard and I went to Stovepipe Wells for food for dinner since the steaks were in his freezer at home. When we got to Lee flat, we found one car there, four others having gone ahead on an exploration of the road toward Nelson (rather rough and rocky). We caught up to them end ended up camping at the road junction in Lee Flat which has a fire ring and lots of parking. Some people we were expecting never showed up.
Nine climbed Nelson from the more northerly 4WD road--the one indicated on Randy Bernard's map is obvious from above but all but invisible from the road. It didn't make a lot of difference which one we took, though we had to traverse a slight bit. We had the pleasure of picking up bits of bright turquoise copper ore, and I found a square cut nail just below the ridge to the summit. On our way home, some of us stopped in Darwin to explore the cemetery and to peer in the windows of the museum and the "caves" in the walls of a wash where miners had lived, some apparently not long ago at all. We stopped at Dirty Sock Spring also. Larry Allen baptizing himself by dunking his head. The rest of us looked at the algae and passed on the experience. After a late lunch/early dinner at Grazianos in Mojave. we said goodbye after a fine trip.
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