BLACK BUTTE (4,504') AND CHUCKWALLA MOUNTAIN (3,446') March 25-26, 1995
Another List Completion event was slated for these two easier peaks south of I-10. I took a few photos enroute, including snowy Mt. San Jacinto.
The access road, closed on the last trip here, was now open. Some flood damage had to be repaired. A good vehicle helps on these longer, dirt road drives. Boundary signs marked the military test area to the south, and we motored along them, then back north to our start point. These are what I regard as generic desert peaks, with a short, cross-country climb to the top. I get these two peaks mixed up somewhat.
We topped out on Black Butte in a couple hours, and the view, desolate for most, merited plenty of photos for myself. These areas probably got wilderness designation because there is little or no resource potential, with minimal interest by 4WD groups. Someone left some garbage atop the peak, appearing to be remnants of batteries.
We had our list completion party Saturday night, and it didn't jinx the actual list completion climb.
On an easier climb yet, we topped out on Chuckwalla Mountain the next day. We all took a lot of photos, and it was a memorable moment for all involved. The close family of our List Finisher all climbed up with this group. Memories of a lot of hard hiking and rough road driving brings emotion to having done them all! While many climb every peak on the list within a few years, for some it is a lifelong effort.
I had never seen so many brittlebrush, with its many yellow flowers. This was stated to be a great year for desert flowers, due to the heavy rains this season. Again, there is a nice view for those that love desert vistas.
We climbed back down our route, with me stepping in the exact footprints as I found them.
Back to the cars, I wished for a photo stop at the Desert Lily Preserve nearby. The driver granted me my wish, but few flowers were to be found. This is not a developed site as I had thought, with no parking or signs.
Again, our long drive home usually included a discount, prime rib dinner and a motel stay. This avoids a late night epic drive and an early morning return.
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