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Desert Explorers - Trip Reports
Saturday, 16 September 2017 00:05

San Bernardino Mountains Trip

Saturday, August 26

Leaders: Danny & Norma Siler

It was a beautiful day in the San Bernardino Mountains on Saturday, August 26; not a cloud in the sky and 75 - 80 degree temperature.

Our instructions were to meet at the public bathrooms in the town of Running Springs. A bit awkward but there’s plenty of free parking and everyone loves a bathroom in the morning. Also a bit tricky was that there is not a street address for this location. But… everyone made it on time!!

Because this trip was to be a scenic      trail ride through the forest, and not a      heavy-duty four-wheel drive event,     we piled all nine of us into three vehicles; Danny and Norma Siler as leaders, Dave Burdick, Moe LeBlanc, Hector and Sandra Mangione, Mal Roode, Allan and Ding Wicker.

We first drove to the very lovely Green Valley Lake to enjoy the serenity of it, then we said “good-bye” to the paved road and “hello” to the unpaved forest service road.

It was about an hour and a half drive from 5,500 ft. elevation to 8,500 ft. elevation. We passed through burn areas and the vegetation changed as the elevation changed; sagebrush, yucca, manzanita, juniper, pine trees, fir, spruce, and much more. This route is close to the north side of the mountains and we often got glimpses of the Victor Valley below in the desert.

The spur road to the Butler Peak Lookout was rugged and narrow in places but we made it fairly easily. Because it was a Saturday there were a lot of vehicles coming and going at this destination. 

We parked in the shade and it was a nice spot for our picnic lunch and group photo. Then we spent 45 minutes hiking up the trail and staircase to the lookout. The 360 degree view can only be described as incredible. The

lookout has a sweeping viewing deck surrounding its entirety with plenty of room for all of us to enjoy. Both Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake were visible from here. Surprisingly, there was not a volunteer on site this day.

Our return trip was on a different forest service road which was wider, flatter and smoother; more relaxing with a lot more pine trees. 

At 4:15 p.m. we arrived, once again, at Green Valley Lake and stopped at a small café to enjoy ice cream, milkshakes, root beer float, etc. All of us could sit around the table and chairs and share good times of the day and discuss other enjoyable aspects of our experiences with the Desert Explorers.

Time came to pay our bill, say our good-byes and depart for home.


Photos: Allan Wicker & Mal Roode

Friday, 15 September 2017 23:58

The Ongoing Anderson Expedition

After a recent plea for items for the Desert Explorers newsletter, this note came in from one of our subscribers, Joey Anderson:

“Feel free to use any of our posts from our trips on our website for the newsletter!! www.andersonoverland.com You can also follow us on instagram or facebook -  @andersonoverland”

The Anderson family is Joey Anderson, Robyn Anderson, Jetta Anderson, and Luna Anderson (the puppy).

Here is their introduction on their website: “Hello. We are here to encourage, motivate, and assist those seeking to be adventurous! We strive to be an inspiration to the 4x4’ing and adventurer community by sharing wonderful experiences we have out on the open road! Our goal is to also provide unbiased opinions about products we use on as regular basis whether it be for dispersed camping or just trail riding.”

( the included items were poached off thier website)  Their site is terrific, outstanding photos and text, good looking layout and sets a very high bar. We will be following it in the future and snagging the odd photo and bits of commentary as the world turns. Thank you Joey and family for your kind offer and a great site. Glad to have you with us in the Desert Explorers.  

Friday, 15 September 2017 23:52

We went to the see the total eclipse August 21, in Madras, Oregon, and ran into fellow DE member Craig Baker. What a show! ~ Leonard