Owlshead Mountain


By: Ron Jones



Joe and Betty McCosker drew my attention to this trip over Washington's birthday weekend scheduled by the So Calif Regional Conservation Committee (SCRCC) and sponsored by the Sierra Club Desert Committee (which is chaired by our Angeles Chapter Chairman, Jim Dodson). It was the first time I had attended one of these weekends and I found it interesting and not too strenuous a way to enjoy and learn about our desert.

Thirty or so desertphiles met Saturday morning at Saratoga Springs in southern Death Valley. Here we met our leaders, Joe Fontaine (ex-National S.C. pres) and Mary Ferguson (Exec Director of Friends of the Angeles Chapt). Other DPS attendees included George Barnes, a long time DPS member and emblem holder now living in Palo Alto; Paul and Pat Nelson, Norm Rohn, Joe and Betty McCosker, Adrienne Knute and myself.

The Supervisor of Death Valley Nat'l Monument, Ed Rothfuss, and the chief environmental Ranger, Pete Sanchez, spoke to us at length about the impact of burros in DVNM and the impending trapping program which will begin this October to remove all burros in the Monument. After spending most of the morning at Saratoga Springs we caravaned to Owl hole Spring where ELM Ranger, Tim Smith, explained the status of nearby mining claims and how they might be excluded from the BLM study area. Leaving the spring we drove west past Leach Lake, Owl Lake and Lost Lake (all dry) to the west end of the Owlsheads where we camped on an old bulldozed airstrip. At the campfire that night we spoke with Tim Smith about BLM activities in general and of his Barstow office in particular.

Sunday the group took an easy hike (10 miles rt, 1300' gain) to Quail Springs in the area of old mining claims and site of an early Indian camp. A nice large scraper or point was found and left on the site. Returning to our camp we had a lengthy "study session" contemplating hors d'oeuvres and various liquid refreshments. At the campfire that night the new Supervisor for Sequoia Nat'l Forest, Jim Crates, gave us the opportunity to talk with him about activities in the Nat'l Forest.

Monday morning a few people took the opportunity to climb Owlshead Pk (VABM 4666') from our camp and Nancy Pearlman had her morning workout in preparation for her next Iron Woman Triathlon. We then caravaned out the way we came in and took an in-depth look at the hematite claim in the Owl hole Spring area. The group broke up about noon Mon for a leisurely return home.

These Angeles Chapter scheduled Desert Study Trips are car camping weekends (8 or 9 annually) designed to acquaint one with special places in the desert that need careful monitoring and research. Trips remaining this year include an outing in Death Valley, 4/9-10, and one in Red Rock Cyn, 5/14-15. Both are in the Angeles Chapter Sched Get on their mailing list and receive their schedule and the Desert Report which has well written articles on desert areas of critical concern as well as nice photos. Write to: SCRCC Desert Comm., 2410 Beverly Blvd1 Suite 3, L.A. 90057

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