Granite Mountains #2, Orocopia Mountains, Palen Mountains


By: Scott Jamison, Barbee Tidball


Lots of people met at the Orocopia trailhead Saturday morning for the DPS list finisher for Terry Flood. There were a couple of sign-in sheets passed around as we had a joint Angeles/San Diego Chapter thing going. Terry and his crew put up signs leading to the camp in the draw near the Orocopia TH Friday night. By Saturday at 9 AM, Terry had gone back to the freeway off-ramp and guided the stragglers to the trailhead.

Since San Diego doesn't allow dogs on any hikes, several K9s that weren't from LA joined Sadie (my Pomeranian) and Tucker (Ken McElvany's super-relaxed Australian Shepherd) for the hike as Angeles Chapter guests. Well over 40 people participated in the hike, which was capped with about that many bottles of bubbly cracked to congratulate Terry on his feat.

The Angeles Chapter group went back to camp with the throng and contributed to and indulged with the party but soon departed for our camp near Granite. Ken had to return to Upland so the group that camped just before the very sandy part of the Palen Road consisted of Larry and Barbee Tidball, Greg and Mirna Roach, Pete Yamagata, Rich Gnagy (in his new Jeep), Jack Wickel, Eileen Ricks, Karen Leonard, Judy Ware, Sadie and me.

The fare for Saturday night was largemouth bass from Presa Novillo in Sonora, Mexico, some white sea bass from Catalina, Barbee's BBQ chicken, great salad by Mirna and lots of other stuff. Sunday morning found Mirna with a grotesquely swollen ankle that prevented her from hiking, but permitted Greg to watch the playoffs from a not-too-distant casino. The rest of us drove the 4WD road to the Granite trailhead where we managed to climb the peak and return to camp with no real incident. Karen and Judy left after we returned to camp.

Monday AM saw the early departure of Jack, but the rest of us drove the long sandy/bumpy road over to Palen. Somewhere early in the hike, Sadie took off after a bighorn or something on a wrong peak, so even though she made the summit of Palen, she got a free ride down in the canyon on the way back, since she had put in a few hundred extra feet of gain. Barbee and I supplied the ride for her. (This behavior has lessened substantially lately!)

The trip went very well and it was great to have Larry out hiking with us again after so many months of school on the week-ends. My thanks to Larry and Barbee and everyone else for the help in making this a fun, successful trip.

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