MEET-UP LEAD: TWIN PEAKS (4,851’) AND RATTLESNAKE MOUNTAIN (5,011’) 4X October 7, 2015

For the first time in decades, I was conducting an official group trip. Signing up with a local Meet-Up group, I had been resigned to getting nobody. My attempts back in my old home town had come up with zero. I offered rides, and even free dining, but zilch. With no fees required, I sought to give it another try. Getting an initial, hostile reception, with comments deleted, and snarky remarks, I contacted the main organizer, who seemed like a nice guy.

Someone may have learned of my presence, here. I knew of extreme unwelcome from another hiking group, and perhaps, they sought to have me excluded. Again. I scheduled a peak climb, of Sonora Peak. Feeling better the previous mid-week, I scheduled, with short notice, an evening climb. With only two days notice, I received only two hikers. One communicated, looking promising.

Awaking at a good hour this Wednesday, I had things to do. My new home needed some fixing up. I got some paint for touch-up, and hoped a pro would come by to make my home nicer. To take some time, I caught up on the newspapers. Giving the drive plenty of time, the city traffic went smoothly.

Coming to the Huffaker Hills Trailhead, I anticipated some no-shows. Used to occasional 100% no shows on my old Sierra Club leads, I hoped for better. What do you know, but a hiker showed up. Then the other! Right ahead of the scheduled time! Friendly and looking genuinely to hike, one stated to be new to Meet-Up.

I introduced myself, and we shortly were off hiking. Twin Peaks is only a 20 minute hike to the top. Directing Paul as to the way, he hiked ahead while I chatted briefly with Hilary. I spoke of coming fall and winter activities, and encouraged visits to my website. We once had excellent cross country skiing ops, and a once fine peak bagging section. Would I pay money to have all that back again! When you age, money isn’t so important as health!

We briskly hiked to the top, where I advised of my photos going to the Internet. They didn’t seem to object, so I snapped a few of the two, and then the views. We took some time, as it was so nice. Late evening, and quite pleasant conditions. Paul had spoken to also wanting to bag Rattlesnake Mountain. We tarried a bit, then started down. No one seemed to wish for after hike drinks or dining. Paul and Hilary seemed to enter their own conversation, but I stayed ahead to move us along.

Back at the trailhead, it was then only 6:18 p.m., or so. We had time for Rattlesnake. I’d unexpectedly be putting this event into my website on account of bagging this other peak, as stated before. I count the Rattlesnake, and this would be my 4X. Grabbing my car flashlight, I hurried after the two, and we hiked up the dirt road to the top. Taking a short cut, we came to the gate, and Hilary complained of “steep.” I advised to watch for footing, as the ball bearing dirt on this grade causes slips.

Feeling buoyant that I’d be getting another peak on my website count, I hiked ahead. It looked optimistic that I’d be continuing to schedule Meet-Up hikes, as this seemed promising. Hilary, in shorts, complained of mosquitoes. I saw or felt none, in my long pants. There was a slight breeze, but we shortly gained the top. This is also a 20 minute hike to the summit.

Darkening, I snapped photos and did my summit twirl. This would be for my website video, important, to me. They made cellular calls, and I did my panoramas, most of which came out blurry. We didn’t stay long, and I took another twilight panorama of the town.

Paul slipped on gravel as we sauntered down the dirt road. I advised for caution. We broke out our LED lights, and had some light to see by. For less rocks, we took the lesser steep road fork, and gabbed about things. Worried about safety, it would be terrible to have some blood. Crossing the roadway, without traffic, I snapped a flash photo of the trailhead sign. Thanking the two for their attendance, we shortly motored off.

Overjoyed at this safe success, I motored to an eatery where I had a discount burger, fries, and shake. Doing then some shopping, I showered at home, and got to the download and my computer.

My Watch app stats were 3.58 miles, with 387 calories, and my phone gave stats of 4.86 miles for the day, with 38 floors. I’m not too proficient at using my Watch, yet, but one day, I should get it right. Capturing 87 images and movie clips (27.7 MB, 1:25), I spent only for shopping and groceries. I wore a hat, cotton T, and long pants, and carried a one strap pack. No water or PLB, as cellular reception is good, here.

In a few more days, it’ll be seen how the turnout is for my next peak. The drive is a longer ways, and I’m figuring on doing an overnight to also capture the fall colors about June Lake. No one has yet communicated. I checked on the Meet-Up meeting place, a park and ride, and it’s good by the mall management. My worry is now how I’ll feel that morning. I still somewhat anticipate zero shows. In the case that no one is there, I’ll drive anyway and climb the peak, and do my fall colors shoot. If it’s a friendly and congenial group, I can be persuaded to take passengers and make it a one day trip from town.

The Sierra Club group chair about Mammoth Lakes, CA, hadn’t replied to my query about a Meet-Up video and photo trip for them, to be able to re-join the Sierra Club. I mentioned the exclusion of the local chapters and groups, and I may have been taken as ill.

Currently, I have an ongoing text dispute about proof for peak ascents. I assume much of what appears online, on some particular websites, is faked or fabricated. A check or a tap, and it shows that you have climbed the peak, by them. Photoshopping is easy and common. HD video is harder, and costly, to fake. Departing from the assumed reality, I may have alienated some peak baggers. They don’t like it that my assumptions of fraud are applied to them, as the old peak baggers of the hateful chapter of my past have designated for me and my website, and all of my works. If you wish to be real, show it! HD video is what is available on all modern smartphones. There is memory and storage, but these are important events in my hiking life. A video selfie is much more real.