August 14, 1954

Dear Desert Peakers:

Although activities and scheduled trips of our section have been at a minimum this summer, two fine trips were made on June 12-13 and July 4th week-end. Argus Peak was climbed by nine eager persons in June. Camp was made on Saturday evening in the mouth of Indian Joe Canyon. Wally Tinsley reported that the weatherman really cooperated by supplying perfect climbing weather for the ascent, which took 6 hours. Ralph Merton and his two sons, Kenneth and Phillip, qualified for DPS membership. The two sons are, for as far as we know, the youngest persons ever to qualify for the membership even though they are not eligible for official Club membership until they reach 12 years of age. Thanks to Polly Connable and Wally who made it possible to enter the military area for this climb.

Thirty-two persons ranging in ages from 9 to 64 gathered at the little general store in Fish Lake Valley the morning of July 3rd. Leaving numerous cars in front of the highway maintenance station near Middle Creek, the Henderson truck and few other cars worked up the canyon to Post Meadow, the starting point. Yours truly and his two small fry plus Mrs. Merton saw the group off after lunch and much discussion on how to lighten packs. Since two of us were staying behind, a car shuttle was worked out that enabled us to move the truck and a car near the end of the road in Middle Canyon. A comparatively short hike up the beautiful tree-covered canyon brought the group to a perfect campsite in a small bowl just below the ridge joining Pellister Flat. Many thanks to Mary DeDecker and Ed Peterson who patiently identified many of the wildflowers which carpeted much of the Flat. Everyone enjoyed the many streams and waterfalls caused by melting snow for it eliminated carrying water most of the way. 31 persons reached the summit of Dubois about 5 PM Sunday while Ed Peterson and John Nienhuis stayed behind to camp on the Flat. They made the peak early Monday and returned to Post Meadow. The next morning 22 of the party got up early for a traverse to Montgomery and Boundary Peaks. The rest made a direct descent from Dubois onto Middle Canyon to meet the group coming down the north fork from Boundary. On these last two peaks the seven people who qualified for DPS membership or emblems were Paul and Mary DeDecker, Wallace Smith, Walter Mitchell, Wally Tinsley, John Nienhuis, and Marion Dean. Return to the cars at the highway maintenance station was made about 8 PM Monday, so most of the climbers arrived home Tuesday in the early morning hours. Hats off to Bill and Marge Henderson whose expert leadership enabled all those who so desired to make the peaks without any serious altitude sickness. Among the few persons who stayed overnight there was Wallace Smith who reported he felt an earthquake at 4:15 AM in Fish Lake Valley. It was strong enough to awaken him while sleeping in his car.

Marion Dean represented our section and had the privilege of seeing Joe Momyer and company skillfully mow down the opposition at the hearing of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on the question of opening Joshua Tree Natl. Mon. to prospecting and mining. The board approved a motion opposing the proposal to open the Monument to mining while Riverside County Board of Supervisors has gone on record favoring it. Any final action must be made by Congress. The mining interests seem quite determined, so we must wait and see what the next direction of attack will be.

Club headquarters seems to be booked up following programs at Boos Bros. on Friday evenings in September, so date for the conservation and business meeting has been moved to October. In the meantime keep working on those pictures and reasons why the White Mountains Wilderness Area should be extended to include the whole range north of the White Mtn. Peak.

Hope you are all enjoying those high trips and summer vacations.


Willard Dean, Chairman
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