2015 - Rondy Report - Mazourka Canyon
Mazourka Canyon Trip Report
April 4, 2015
|Attending: Bill and Julie Smith, Ted and Joan Berger; Louis Valencia; Nancy Maclean; Ron Ross; Terry and Eileen Ogden; Homer Meek; Peter and Janet Austin; Marian and Neal Johns; Nan Healy; Graham “Coop” Cooper; Deborah Nakamoto; June Box; Bruce Barnett; and Sue and me.|
The Plan: A drive up Mazourka Canyon to Mazourka Peak and out to the Big Pine Road, back to Big Pine and then home to Boulder Creek. If time and participants allowed, a side trip to the Reward Mine. It was expected we’d be back by 3 or 4pm, time enough to clean up and head for the activities. The trail was anticipated to be easy and we could make any stops along the way that were of interest.
The Reality: The first part went as planned; after a stop at some mine sites we got to Mazourka Peak where there were magnificent views of the valley between us and the Sierras, which had some snow up high. Then we headed toward Badger Flats - the leader took a wrong trail at first, from which we had to turn around to get on the right one. That trail was much rougher, slower, and had a really tight turn with an off camber drop off a small rock ledge that Marian will probably remember for a long time. A little later the Bergers had a flat caused by a rock scraping their sidewall. Since we were going to be there a while, we had lunch on the trail.
With some ups and downs, we finally made it toBadger Flats and then on over to Papoose Flats. Coop Cooper had been on the main trail a while earlier and found that it had washed out in places, so we took an alternate route that seemed fine at first. However, as it descended into a canyon wash, it became narrower and narrower and at one point made a 90 degree turn around some heavy brush and a large boulder. A little further on it was impassable, the sandy bottom having washed out leaving a rock waterfall too difficult for our group. No room to turn around, so we had to back out. That 90 degree turn proved very difficult, but eventually all made it.
In the meantime, those who were already clear found alternate trails that they explored. They also proved to be problems so we all headed back to Papoose Flats. There were two other trails that were available but since we weren’t sure of their condition and it was getting late in the afternoon, we took the sure option to retrace our tracks. On the way Nan Healy went off the trail exploring, but couldn’t get back on. Neal fastened a tow strap but Coop was able to drive it out after the tires were aired down. Other than Nan’s antenna losing its personal magnetism several times, the rest of the trip was uneventful. Bill Smith had texted Bob Jacoby to let him know we were going to be late and, although we didn’t get back until well after 8 pm, the caterers had stayed so we could be fed. Too late for the speaker, not too late for the silent auction, though.
Well, no one broke anything, no one was hurt, and no one went to bed hungry. Also, the leader wasn’t tarred and feathered, a good, kind thing. A trip to remember.