OLD DAD MOUNTAIN (4,250') November 2, 1996

This was Rich's list finish event, planned for months. I didn't think I would be able to attend, since the approach drive is very sandy, and my little car is the worse thing for that. I had gotten stuck for hours on another attempt back in 1984. However, a new DPS resident in the north gave me a call, and we carpooled for this relatively, fairly short drive, both from L.A. and for us.

We found the other trucks camped on the Friday night drive, and we awoke to a beautiful morning. It turned out that most cars would make it to our party site, and the remaining drive to the start point wouldn't have been a long walk.

The large group began the climb at 9:45 a.m., and Rich took us up by the guide description. This was all mainly a class 2 scramble. I shot a lot of pictures for Rich's benefit, as I regard these as memorable events. Years from now, one might regret not having a better photo record. The light was very nice, with a few clouds providing some drama. After almost 2,000' of climbing, we stopped as we came to the summit. Rich, alone, made his finish. It was a moment of power.

We then also completed our climbs at 11:45 a.m., and so began the summit festivities. Champagne popped, and more pictures were taken. Rich had his son join the climb, and I took their pictures together. I shot a total of some three rolls of film, much of the view. Then, we had group shots with everyone.

We stayed till 1 p.m., and shortly descended by a slightly different way, back to the cars at 2:14 p.m. This was an excellent day for this.

Plenty of goodies came out for the party. I try to restrain myself, since I am out to lose weight. Rich gave a talk about his experiences, and claims nothing much of interest ever happens on his climbs. He is a highly experienced mountaineer, having done the 50 State highpoints, with Denali twice. Having started peak climbing in 1939, he has an enviable record. He has completed the SPS list also, and has now completed the HPS list!

The next morning, the 3rd, I supposed that we would just drive home. It was decided to explore about the new Mojave National Preserve. We visited a lava tube nearby, then took a 4WD route east into the northern part of the Preserve. By chance, we came to what has later gained fame as the "Mojave Phone Booth." I didn't think to take a picture, but my driver used the phone to call home. This dilapidated phone booth, "in the middle of nowhere," was later made famous by the Internet, posted on a web site.

We continued east to come to a paved road from Cima, and then drove to the trailhead for Teutonia Peak. A nice, two mile trail leads to the summit rocks, and a scramble left (south) brings one to a choice of highpoints. The others free climbed the highest rock, but it was too exposed for me. I shot my last frame of film, and hoped to come back here later, with a rope.

Others had gone to do Kingston Peak, but I had seen dark clouds over there as they left earlier in the morning. I was pleased at this style of relaxing with the DPS, and that not all desert exploration has to be climbing listed peaks!