Agua Tibia Mountain


By: Gabriele Rau

We got up at 4:00 AM, drove to Dripping Springs and started hiking at 6:15, I signed the register at the trailhead at 6:30 AM. The trail was great, it was still cool, a very nice hike among Chaparral. After 9 am we reached the woodsy area just before the trucktrail all burnt! No good place for camping for now. There were red streamers to mark the trail to the truck road, because the fire fighters had cut some firebreaks. We had wondered about a lot of footprints on the trail, now we knew: the firefighters! The trucktrail was bulldozed clear, the wooden sign burnt and disappeared. One could see the big cat tire tracks on the road. Both sides were burnt, a rather ghostly view. But no trees to crawl under/climb over! It was easy hiking on the freshly bulldozed trail, brown in color, while the surrounding areas were covered with black-gray ash. We hiked to the area where I remembered the peak: no signs left, everything burnt. We hiked up along the ridge, one bump too early. This posed no problem, because everything was clear, just some black stumps and brushes. I remembered that the register was on some flat rocks, close to the large big rock, and here it was, next to the USGS mark in a cairn, unharmed, I read the names! Alan Coles had been there in October, nobody else. It was cold and the clouds were constantly moving, no view. We ate and did not stay long, returned.

I built a duck on the side of the road, for now the easiest route to come up. At the turnoff to the Dripping Springs Trail I built another duck. On the way back I did some clipping. There are 2 fallen trees to climb over on the trail. We meet 2 other couples, the first said they would like to get the peak, I told them to go up where the duck was.

On the second part of the trail I went ahead. About 1 mile from the trailhead I suddenly tripped and fell on the wide trail. As I was sitting on the trail collecting my bones (no harm done, not even a blue spot) I saw blood dripping from my forehead. I took Klenex, got my mirror and saw that I had a cut over my right eyebrow. I cleaned it, the bleeding stopped, I put on a Band-Aid and hiked down to the trailhead (3:30) and to the car. 20 min later Mark came. On the way home (lots of traffic, it was the day before Thanksgiving) we stopped at Kaiser Hospital Emergency and asked if the cut needs attention. They said, it would need stitches. Mark and I waited patiently until they called me and I got 4 stitches, very neat, a Band-Aid. Then we drove home. The cut did not hurt at all!

This was a 9 hour trip, I was tired the next day.

This was a fire the Agua Tibia Wilderness July/August 2000.

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