Fire, Fire, trees on fire......

I had originally planned to hike Sunday and Bona Peaks northwest of Lake Isabella in  Kern county with Jorge and Diana, but due to the Cedar fire that raged in the middle of this area, we decided to join Peter and Ignacia on their HPS hike to the Piute Lookout, Bald Eagle Peak, and Lightner Peak.  While we were driving on Hwy 14, Diana found out that a new fire had started the day before, the Havilah fire, just south of Lake Isabella, right where we were planning to hike! 

When we arrived at the meeting point on Hwy 178, the group decided that we would skip Lightner, and Bald Eagle, and hike Piute Lookout and Sorrell Peak instead.  Getting to these peaks is an adventure in itself, having to drive for long distances over dirt roads, which made for very slow going.  By the time we got to the starting point for Piute Lookout it was 12:00pm! 

The actual "hike" to the summit of Piute Lookout took all of 4 minutes!  The summit area did have some nice views, flowers, and beautiful lichen on the rock formations.  We did have our lunch here, and after about an hour walked back to our cars for our next "adventure": Sorrell Peak.

To get to Sorrell Peak, we back tracked for about 7.5 miles, where we stopped to say goodbye to several people who decided not the hike to this peak.  We continued on another dirt road for about 3 miles where we parked our vehicles just below the summit.  Ignacia lead us straight up the slope for about three quarters of a mile, and before we realized it we had reached the summit.  We all signed the register, enjoyed the nice views AND the cookies Ignacia had brought with her.  Thanks Ignacia!!  After a little while we hiked back down to our vehicles and drove back to the junction for Jawbone Canyon.  Right at this junction, a Ranger stopped all cars, looking for someone/something, not sure what, but he figured we were harmless and let us go. 

We  decided to take the dirt road to Jawbone Canyon, instead of backtracking via Hwy 178.  Around 4:30pm we were back on Hw 14 just north of Mojave, after which it was smooth sailing all the way back to Newhall Pass to get my car.  Just before we reached the exit for Newhall Avenue, we noticed a lot of smoke above the freeway and were worried we would not be able to exit, but fortunately the brush fire was after the exit and before the intersection with the 5.  Worried the ramp back onto the freeway would be closed off, we quickly drove to my car in the parking lot, got my gear, and drove back onto freeway the ramp.  The fire department had closed off the two right lanes of the freeway, but we were able to get on and pass the area of the fire.  After that, I had nor problem getting home, other than the usual slowdown between the 101 freeway and the airport.