Marion Mountain, Jean Peak, Drury Peak
18 July 2001
By: Karen Isaacson Leverich
An incomplete report
I was going to write up a hike report last week about the trip to Marion Mountain, Jean Peak, and Drury Peak, led by Byron and Carleton. But I'd barely begun writing when I decided I'd better start packing for the San Bernardino Ridge trip. So I never finished, and now I want to write about San Bernardino Ridge instead. I'm apparently so infatuated with my own prose, however, that here I am, sharing the little bit I did manage to put into words. So, here's my incomplete recollection of a wonderful hike in the San Jacinto Wilderness:
"This Bud's for you!" (While doing a lovely cross-country tramp between Drury and Marion, what should we find, but two cans of Budweiser? No water for camping anywhere near, but beer, hey, I like this place! Anyhow, in honor of George's birthday, we left them for him on Marion. George, we hope you enjoyed!)
"I'm going to have legs that look like Brian's!" (Ingeborg, contemplating that last pitch of tall thick brush between her and the trail back up to Wellman Divide.)
"You'll have to try harder than that!" (Brian, to Ingeborg, having just landed on his back in the brush and added to his world class collection of cuts and scratches.)
"Hey, I still have feet!" (Me, upon surviving the hike and making it back to the tram station. Thanks again for all the foot sore advice I received here last week.)
After consolidating at the Myrtle park-and-ride, two cars arrived at the Palm Springs Tram Station well in time for the first (10AM on weekdays) shuttle. Besides our leaders Byron Prinzmetal and Carleton Shay, there were Doris Duval, Ingeborg Prochazka, Kent Schwitkis, and Brian and Karen Leverich.
Usually (at least for me) those first few thousand feet in elevation gain are the toughest, but not this time. Maybe they'll use our Adventure Pass dollars to build trams up to all our peaks? (Er, never mind, dumb idea.) This does make for one of the more dramatic trailheads I've ever used, for sure. The views were incredible, we could see clear to the Salton Sea.
Once we had our wilderness permit, we headed for Round Valley, then up towards San Jacinto Peak, turning off cross country for Jean when only three-tenths of a mile from San Jacinto. Carleton navigated, and found us a very tidy route from Jean to Drury (apparently the State Park people call it Newton, knowing it well enough to be on a first name basis?) and then through a level brush-free forest (though not Bud-free, go figure) to Marion. Nearly everyone except me rockclimbed their way up to the summit. I contented myself with applauding them from below, taking a picture of Kent taking a picture of everyone else ascending a crack.
Along the way, we were buzzed by a glider, which was interesting to watch, but sounded eerily alien. Atop Marion, we determined somehow (I can't recall the logic for this at all) that Carleton is responsible for the mess over in the Balkans.
On our way out, we encountered lots of other hikers, not a one of them attired quite like us. Then, in a final terrific blow to our self-esteem, no one would sit next to us in the waiting area for the tram. I don't think we were all that dirty, so it must have been our untrendy attire. People are so shallow! (Brian and I are heading back up tomorrow for the hike to Cornell Peak and Divide Peak. What to wear, what to wear?)
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