Manly Peak, Avawatz Mountains
By: Al Campbell
On Sat. morning, Dick and Shirley Akawie and I met Roy and Barbara Magnuson at Ashford Hill Ruins. We headed for Warm Springs Cyn. Road. At the Jct. with the West Side Rd. we were met by several large flat bed trucks, several large buses, a Lt. Colonel of the Marines and his troops. Off in the distance we saw a large chopper. It landed in the middle of the Warm Springs Rd. A short consultation followed during which we were briefed that about a week ago an F-4 crashed in the neighboring hills. The troops were there to pick up the pieces, using the "Jolly Green Giant" to ferry the debris out to the flat beds. After the Giant swallowed up the troops, it took off and so did we. We left the VW at the first mining camp and continued in my Scout. The road is newly graded into the large mining camp. From there, the road deteriorated a little (rough with rocks but passable to VW's and good clearance Detroit steel), improving as we neared Butte Valley. We parked outside the "home" at Greater View Spring. Mary, the local 4-footed pup, greeted us (very friendly). We headed S.W. up to the saddle, turned right following the ridge up to the Peak. Nice view of Striped Butte and Needle Peak. On the way down we took the short cut - nice sandy scree run back to the car. The Giant had been busy with much junk on the road and on the flat beds.
Roy and Barbara were going off to East Ord but planned to have dinner with us at the Avawatz roadhead. We followed Bill Russell's write-up and located the "new" Mormon Spring road. However, it is only .1 mi. north of the 19 mi. road marker No. of Baker. We drove a short distance into the canyon and stopped for dinner. After Roy and Barbara left, we hit the sack for a good night's sleep. (Good for me but Dick and Shirley had to fight off a desert mosquito). A four wheel really helps as we drove up the canyon past the red painted rock all the way up to where Bill noted that the road splits and the right one climbs up the hill. If we had known, we would have continued on and gained another 400-500 feet. A local source at Baker later told us that the left fork goes another 4 miles into the canyon. He also told us that this Mormon Spring road is not maintained. We reached the summit in 3 hours, had a nice long lunch, noting the snow on Telescope and Charleston. We agreed with Bill that the view is quite spectacular. Back to the Scout by 2:00 P.M. Gassed up at Baker, noted many open stations on the way home. Stopped again at Victorville (the Scout does gulp gas) for dinner and gas.
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