We spent the weekend in Ridgecrest, but having run a 50 miler and a 35 miler the previous two weekends, I had zero desire to run the OTHTC High Desert 50k/30k on Sunday. (No Monica or Hans am I!) After seeing friends off at the start, I ran a rather uninspiring ~7-mile section of the course... uninspiring to me because what I *really* wanted to be doing was climbing Owens Peak, at 8400+ ft. the first real peak of the Southern Sierras, which provide a spectacular backdrop to the desert towns of Ridgecrest and Inyokern. And -- oh no! -- it's on a list.
So, after my ho-hum warmup, I headed west for the mountains. Thanks to DeLorme, I found the trailhead easily and, although 4 WD was "highly recommended," I made it up the 8-mile gravel road in the 2WD Honda Element without problem. The hike was a steep one and, with one minor detour (I lost the trail), I summitted in about 1 1/2 hours. Cool, cool rocks on the ridge flowing east down from the summit which I will go back and explore some day with buddy Rick, who tells of Indian petroglyphs/pictographs (what's the difference?) further down the ridge; a Google image search produced numerous hits of some spectacular artwork.
Happily, I rock hopped and jogged back down to the trailhead, my peakbagging fix sated for awhile.