I met Sooz, Chip and Joe just north of Ballarat Friday night. Someone has recently trimmed the willows in Pleasant Canyon, minimizing the Panamint Pin Striping. There is one spot that's getting a bit challenging... in the lower canyon, where the water is along the road. There's a sharp right hand, uphill turn, with a large boulder on the south side of the road and a large washed out bucket on the north. It almost seemed worse today than it was last week when I was on it. There's quite a bit of water coming down the canyon. I left my car at Stone Corral and hopped in with the others. Joe dropped us off at the saddle of the Porter Mine Rd and headed out to do Slim's Peak. Cori, Tomcat, and TomG had already started their Porter-Sentinel-Porter hike 2 hours previously. We headed into the Porter Mine camp and met Louie (sp?). We had a very nice conversation and he was quite helpful, giving us [correct] directions to Porter Peak.
Despite the directions, after turning SE where the road ends, we headed up the ridge, which took us into a bunch of rock. Rather than putz around on the rock, we down climbed and got into the wide gully between the two large rocky outrcoppings and finally made it to the first saddle. The west ridge going up Porter was lovely, with pinyons nicely spaced - unlike the SE ridge that is choked with bushes and trees. The views form Porter were absolutely phenomenol. Snow capped sierras to the west, Sentinel and Telescope to the north, the valley of Death and several ranges to the east, and the best part.... we could actually see San G and Baldy to the south... they were hazy, but nontheless, visible.
We lunched and photo'd and then took off for Mormon. The walk down the SE ridge of Porter was tedious... rock and pinyon everywhere. We had to do a lot of weaving to find a clear path down to the saddle. We passed by a couple interesting very old camps. The rest of the hike was pretty non-descript. It took awhile to cross the long saddle between the two peaks, and pretty much followed the NPS boundary signs on up to Mormon. We returned by heading down to Mormon mine and then the mining road, where our chaffeur, Joe, picked us up.
The Porter summit catapulted to my "Top 10" list of best views. Spectacular... and a nice walk to get to it.
On my way home, I detoured to the poppies. OMG! Im embarassed that as a native SoCal'ian Ive never been out to the blooming Antelope Valley. It was most spectacular. I drove some fine dirt roads that paralleled the southern boundary of the preserve. Poppy pix later.
Porter/Mormon photos. Captions later.
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Good job getting both peaks! Sorry we didn't get to camp out. It took longer than expected.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison
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