Summits: 1380

2013: May 25-27 » Martinez, Sheep, Hurkey Creek, Toro, Santa Rosa

Memorial Day weekend was my best local weekend so far in 2013, joined by friend and roommate Philip Stinis. We drove out early Saturday morning, and started the weekend by hiking Martinez and Sheep mountains. Really these are desert mountains, and it was a little late in the season to take on the 18 mile and 5500’ gain hike, but it was supposed to be a cooler weekend than normal. I really enjoyed Martinez Mountain with its prominent stature and short class 3 summit block, and was a bit surprised by the register on Sheep Mountain. I won’t mention what’s there, but anyone with an interest in summit registers would not be disappointed. The heat did start to catch up to us later in the day, causing us to lose momentum and conserve fluids, and if it were any hotter it would have been beyond unpleasant. After returning to the truck, we celebrated with a cold beer, a warm shower (tested out my solar shower for the first time), and dinner at the nearby Paradise Café.
Sunday was intended as sort of a rest or do-whatever-we-want day, to which we took advantage. We slept in, ate a big breakfast with plenty of coffee out of the back of the truck, and had a leisurely 3hr or so mountain bike ride around Hurkey Creek. We set up camp early, back near the trailhead for Martinez, where we grilled up some burgers, drained a few cans of beer, and watched a movie on a laptop before crashing out.
Monday morning we were joined by my friend Matt Zamora, and we shuttled mountain bikes up near the summit of Toro Mountain. I went solo up to the actual summit on foot, where the views into Anza Borrego are almost certainly unrivaled. I took a small detour to check out a well- known helicopter wreck, before rejoining Matt and Philip for the exhilarating 13 mile downhill ride. We had a short climb to the summit of Santa Rosa mountain, and made several other stops to enjoy the scenery and to avoid getting down too quickly. I’ve gotta say, the ride from Toro down to the 74, its just impossible to put into words how much fun that was…I can safely say I will be in that area again.