Anthony Peak P1K CC
Black Butte P2K CC

Tue, Jun 20, 2006

With: Ryan Burd

  Etymology
Black Butte
Story Maps: 1 2 Profile

Ryan, my 9yr old son, and I headed out for our first father-son peak-bagging adventure. To garner interest, I picked county highpointing which caught his attention when I showed him the cool maps you can submit to www.cohp.org showing the counties you've completed. He thought that was sick (his word), which as I understand is a good thing. Plus, there were a handful of easy peaks in Northern California that I had yet to visit myself, ones that required only a few miles or less of hiking and less than 1,000ft of gain. With the van loaded, we headed out for three days of fun, where "fun" is mostly a lot of driving all over creation, punctuated at intervals with short strolls.

Even easy adventures have their setbacks. With everything going nicely for the first few hours after we left Monday evening, I was nearing Willows on I5 with Ryan asleep in the back. Without warning, he woke up and promptly disgorged his mac and chaeese dinner all over the sleeping bag, his blanket, and himself. Yuck. I pulled over to the side of the road, set the flashers doing their thing, then proceded to clean up as much as I could with 3 paper towels and a garage towel. Ryan calmed down, changed his clothes, and went back to sleep. Left the back windows open to air out the aroma. What a mess. An hour later I pulled over where the pavement, crawled in the back, and went to sleep as well. It wasn't as bad as I feared.

Daylight had us awake before 6a, and we wasted no time heading out to Anthony Peak. It took us nearly an hour of driving to cover a lot of dirt road. We were stopped less than half a mile from the summit due to snow on the road, of all things. There was almost no snow left anywhere else, so it was a bit surprising. We hiked cross-country the short, steep distance to the summit. I found my camera was non-functional and would have no pictures for the whole weekend. Rats. A lookout tower adorned the summit. No register to be found anywhere. We ate breakfast bars and milk from breakfast at the summit, a pleasant 58F in the sun. The views were so-so due to haze - we could not see to the Pacific Ocean, nor inland across the Central Valley. Black Butte was the only other cohp I could point out to Ryan when he asked.

Back in the car, we retraced our drive for about 7-8 miles until we were near Black Butte. We couldn't drive up the steep, pitted road in the van, so we stopped about 2.5mi from the summit. This was a more interesting walk than the previous, and we actually sweated some. Not a lot mind you, but enought to feel it was earned. The views are better since the east and south sides drop off more dramatically than Anthony Peak. We found a register in red cans, and Ryan was thrilled to sign his first ever peak register. The register was full (we found an empty page in the middle), and though I didn't look through it carefully, I noted Matt Worster's name on the back cover from the previous year. Back down we went, then more driving.

We stopped in the town of Willows to regroup. We found a laundromat to wash all the spoiled stuff, and bought another tank of gas while we waited. From there we headed east to Yuba County and Sugar Pine Peak. We stopped in Oroville for lunch, then made a detour to fish for a few hours in Lake Oroville. Ryan is the fisherman between us, and he just couldn't let a lake that size go by the windown without giving it a try. We got no fish and no bites, but it was fun anyway.

Off on the backroads to Sugar Pine Peak, we got a bit lost and confused with the instructions in Suttle's book. Returning to the Strawberry Valley Fire Station, we learned that the gate across the road (that had confused me and led me to believe we were on the wrong road) had been erected back in January due to the road being washed out further down the canyon. Access to Sugar Pine Peak was closed until further notice. That was our second strike, but not too terribly disappointing to either of us.

More backroad driving got us to Quincy where we took a room for the night. Hoping to make it up to Plumas County's Mt. Ingalls in the morning.

Continued...


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