Barstow in July isn't so much a destination as a place to pass through on the
way to cooler climes. In this case, I was on my way to Telluride to spend a
week with two old friends I've known for 30yrs now. I decided to drive and take
a week to get there, giving me a chance to do some peakbagging in states I
don't ordinarily visit. I would have to plan carefully if I was going to be
living out of my van during this trip, as most of the places between CA and
Telluride are unbearably hot in the summer. The first day would be the longest
drive, some 9hrs to reach the Spring Mountains outside Las Vegas. This would
allow me to camp at 7,500ft, what I figured would be the minimum altitude to
allow cool nighttime temperatures. I stopped in Barstow after 5hrs to give
myself a chance to stretch my legs on a couple of easy peaks before continuing
the drive. It so happened that monsoonal conditions were prevailing over the
desert and I got to hike in a rain jacket for portions of it.
This small summit near downtown along the old US66 route
is named for the "B" implanted on the south side of the hill.
I used the parking lot of the local Toyota dealership at the base of
the south side to make the 5min hike to the summit. There are some telecom
installations, a benchmark and views of Barstow - yeah! I wouldn't
bothered with this one except I noted that both Terry Flood and Laura Newman
had logged ascents on LoJ. I'm not one to be left out of a California summit
if I can help it.
This slightly more impressive summit lies northeast of Barstow a few miles.
Not only had Terry Flood climbed it, but so had the great
Bob Packard and Gordon MacLeod.
A dirt road leading off of old Hwy58 gets any vehicle within half a
mile of the summit. The area appears to be popular with the gun crowd who have
a hankering to shoot stuff up. I followed a road
(too rough for the van) up to the southeast side and climbed to
the summit from there. I found Gordon's
register from 2006. I descended more directly back to the van off the
of the summit - easy class 2, if a little steep. Back in the car, I was off