Stranded In The Southland

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Up Josephine Peak with the Local Hikers

It is tough to find a good hike on the weekdays. The Sierra Club has lots of weekday hikes, but almost all of them start out after dark. Hiking in the dark can be kinda fun now and then, but it really isn't the way I prefer to hike. I really get off on seeing the landscape.

Fortunately, the Local Hikes Section of the local chapter of the Sierra Club runs a hike every Wednesday at 9AM. I went with the Local Hikes guys (and gals) this week, and had a great time.

It's a bit of a trek to get to Angeles Crest Highway, where the group meets. I was a bit late due to the heavy traffic on the 210, so I wound up zipping up into the mountains, looking for Devil's Canyon, the starting point of the hike. As I was getting closer to where I thought it might be, I spotted a group of cars with what really looked like a bunch of Sierra Club folks.

It turned out that they had switched hikes on me, due to the cold and snowy weather, and they were headed up Josephine Peak. This was in all respects better for me, since I wasn't wild about the Devil's Canyon hike -- I much prefer to start at the bottom of a mountain and go up, rather than starting at the top of a canyon and going down.

Josephine Peak was a nice 1,900 foot climb, over a quick round trip distance of around six miles. It is on the Hundred Peaks (HPS) list, making this the third HPS hike I've done so far -- I've gone up Mt. San Antonio and Sunset Peak, as well.

The group was alot of fun. I was probably the youngest person up there by a good 20 years; most everybody else was retired. Everybody was friendly, and full of suggestions about gear and hikes and everything else. I got a big laugh when I told them that this was the fastest Sierra Club hike I've been on so far -- but it was true. These folks moved out pretty well, but they insisted that if I kept looking, I'd find some fairly punishing hikes out there. Oh, well.