I was driving out for the first desert trip of the season, not leaving San Jose
until after noon since I still had some stuff to do to get my act together.
Consequently I didn't get to Antelope Valley until sunset, leaving me little
time for any real exercise. I found a couple of easy buttes off SR138 that I
had missed on previous visits. Both were drive-ups, though I failed to drive
up to the first, Fairmont Butte. It was too dark for me to see the correct fork
to take, so I got out and hiked about 1/3mi to the summit up easy slopes. This
butte is adjacent to the California Poppy Reserve and itself can be blanketed
in wildflowers in the spring. In November its pretty much all brown, dormant
and waiting for some rains to reawaken it. Little Buttes was a shorter and
easier butte on the north side of SR138 and I managed to drive to the summit
not long after the moon had risen. Most vehicles can drive to the base of the
peaks for short hikes, but 4WD is needed for the steep climb if one wants to
drive to the top.