Peak Bagging Cave Mt.


Activity: Peak Bagging, Trail Blazing, Scrambling

Distance: 3-4 miles, altitude 3,626-3,663’, prominence 1,744’, elevation gain 1,550-2,550’, duration >4 hours, rated Hard

Date: March 4, 2020

Cave Mountain is one of the those prominent peaks that you see not far from the freeway and ponder about on your way to Vegas. It is in the middle of the frick’n desert and there is absolutely no reason anyone would want to climb it unless it is because “It’s There” and you happen to be a Peak Bagger. It’s not one of the those scenic hikes that just happens to have some altitude. Cave Mountain is a stack of rocks on a sand dune close to No-Where. Even though it is not far from the busy I-15 between Barstow and Baker it is not easy to get to and you will need a 4×4 to get the rest of the way. Everything about it is obscure and perhaps that is part of the intrigue. First you have soft sand, then you have hard jagged talus to scramble. I suppose when you are climbing a peak, that not many people ever will, than you can’t be too sure about anything as far as facts and figures go. When you look at the information that I have provided I gave ranges. When I did my research everything is speculative and subjective. Where exactly the hike begins depends on how far you get in your vehicle before you get stuck. Every time I see a post on the altitude it is different. So everything about this adventure is a little… well, out there.

I rejoined my Peak Bagging Buddy, Keith Christensen, whom is on his way to being one of the top Peak Baggers in the country, for a couple days in the Mojave. The next day we would set out to climb the Soda Mountain High Point. This was my second set of Peak Bagging Adventures with Keith. You can checkout last year’s ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’ of Arrow Canyon High Point, Griffith Peak, and who can forget Frenchman Mountain? Keith is saddled with coining the phrase, “If it doesn’t hurt it isn’t worth it!”

This profound experience in nature was, like the others, a search for balance and to escape the mundane. It took place shortly before the Corona Virus Pandemic. I continued to adventure after a brief pause of shock I suppose of everything that was happening. I wondered if my friend Keith did the same. The answer is a resounding Hell No! I looked up his Peak Bagger Page while researching this article and was astounded that Keith Christensen, Hobie Cat Sailing Champion, Mountaineer, and self proclaimed Peak Bagger had bagged almost 60 peaks since he last hiked with me. I am feeling a little left out…

Not that Peak Bagging is my main deal, because I mostly like the nature and scenic aspects of the outdoor life, but I will always say that the harder the hike, the taller the mountain, the tougher the experience, the more I respect it and it certainly makes it more interesting, and with this type of adventure you gain a certain feeling of accomplishment.

So Cave Mountain has some 4 wheeling, some sand trekking, come desert hiking, and some rock scrambling to obtain the peak that is crowned with a large cairn marking the spot. Once on top there are beautiful desert views all around.

The view is great from on high.

“If adventure has a final and all-embracing motive, it is surely this: we go out because it is our nature to go out, to climb mountains, and to paddle rivers, to fly to the planets and plunge into the depths of the oceans… When man ceases to do these things, he is no longer man.”
— Wilfrid Noyce

Thanks for joining Keith Christensen and myself atop Cave Mountain; Peak Bagging in an ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ effort in the Mojave Desert. More to come- be sure to LIKE, FOLLOW, SHARE and COMMENT. Get the same hat as mine at SHOP APPAREL which will not only make you look and feel like an adventurer, but will help out the PBTA cause. Go to the Menu and look at all the richness of balance, so many places to get inspired by. Each of these locations that PBTA visits are all separate websites. It is hard to keep up digitally on my escapades and with all my different social media platforms: 13 Blogs, Face Book, Instagram, YouTube, Peak Bagger and Pinterest, but I do my best and I try to spread out the love so they are not necessarily in chronological order, but do they really need to be?

See you at the top!

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Sitton Peak


Near Lake Elsinore, CA

Activity: Peak Bagging, Hiking

Distance 10 miles, duration 6.5 hours, 2037’ elevation change, rated HARD

Date: 2-18-20

“Light Weight Luggage”

Sitton Peak is the first of the So Cal Six Pack of Peaks Challenge. It is one of the top 12 Peaks, and is at the lowest of the altitudes so it is a good place to begin if you are aspiring to be a Peak Bagger. Besides that it is a great hike. You will need an Adventurers Pass for parking. Much of the way along the Sitton Peak Truck Trail, as the tail is named, is fairly moderate as the trail travels through desert scrub brush know as chaparral. Your journey has plenty of hills and mountains to checkout along the way.

The final push is what gets tough and some scrambling is involved- sturdy trail runners or hiking boots are recommended as it is rocky, slippery, and steep. Also be sure to bring plenty of water as there is very little shade. The views are great from the top, which is to be expected after all it’s a peak. You will enjoy some of the best views in Orange County and the Inland Empire.

I did this hike with my friend Fabian, my workout partner, who hails from Colombia and his family traditions brings us that cup of Joe that we enjoy in the morning. He is no stranger to hiking as the coffee plantation is in a mountainous area.

During the hike we spoke about the idea behind “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure” and Fabian explains during the video, in his thick Columbia’s accent, what he calls “Light Weight Luggage”, you can take a listen to his philosophy for yourself, but I believe that he is basically saying that with our jobs, relationships, responsibilities, and just the trials and tribulations of life, we are weighed down by this luggage, and when you go out into nature, and on adventure then you are able to shed some of that weigh on your shoulders, to let that go for a little while and truly experience hills, mountains, canyons, peaks, wildlife, and so forth. The experience of adventure and that letting go is what helps us regain the balance we all seek. So, I thought that “Light Weight Luggage” was a pretty good take on “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure“.

Official PBTA Sitton Peak Video
“I think sometimes we just need an unplanned adventure, the open road with no map, and peace and quiet to cleanse the chaos and the bullshit from our soul.” – Brooke Hampton

Thanks for joining Fabian and I as we found ourselves at the top of Sitton Peak looking out at nature “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure“, and attempting to un-shoulder some of the burden of life. “Light Weight Luggage” was the theme and I think that our quest was successful as we enjoyed the trek, sunshine, views, fresh air and nature. Be sure to FOLLOW, SHARE, COMMENT, and by all means LIKE this post so that you will not miss out on the next adventure. Speaking of that, go to the menu there are plenty of places to be “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure” and lighten that load with the philosophy of “Light Weight Luggage”. Each location is an individual website and thus needs to be followed separately. If you want a Panama hat like Fabians well… I guess go to South America, but if you want a “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure” logo cap like mine all you have to do is go to SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails to you and all your friends,

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Lava Tubes

Mojave National Preserve, California

“Bathing in His Light”

Activity: Spelunking (sorta)
Date: April 17, 2019
Distance .05 Mile, 62’ elevation change, rated Easy

I had not been to Mojave National Preserve before, but after my trip there I can tell you it will not be my last.

The Lava Tubes are off of paved road, but the final 5 miles is rough washboard dirt road with some volcanic rock thrown in a couple places for good measure. Once you park it is a short distance to the Lava Tubes.

I suggest that you bring a head lamp as you crawl into a hole in the ground, the dark portion isn’t very long, but a little light goes a long ways in making you feel more comfortable. There is a low spot where you need to crawl on your hands and knees. So when you hit your head it won’t be that bad because with the light at least you can say oh yeah I knew that was there.

When you enter the cavern with the light beaming in it is truly a feeling of am I really seeing this? I have never seen light do this except in an art gallery, and I will tell you the pictures I saw on my hiking app were no where as cool as what I saw and the pictures you see here. So I don’t know if I was lucky or just there at the right time. You need to be there around noon for the light to shine through the sky light openings just right.

I can’t say it was a spiritual feeling, because there were other people there probably about 8 of us on a weekday enjoy what was undeniably an amazing sight. But looking at these pictures now it’s definitely lifts the spirit.

The map shows the Cinder Cone Lava Beds and Lava Tube under the title Mojave.
This map shows the proximity of the lava tubes, which is the large two tone dot under Mojave Wilderness, and Baker, CA. There is paved road from Baker, but the last 5 miles to the Lava Tube is rough dirt road.
Heavenly Light
Ladder going back out from the lava tube.
“The danger of adventure is worth a thousand days of ease and comfort.” – Paulo Coelho

The Mojave National Preserve is a fun place to explore, and the light in the lava tube was a Life Experience. Thanks for joining me ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure.’ There are sister sites categorized by area in the menu above (each needs to be followed individually). Lots of adventures, lots more to come, so please for the sake of your Balance: LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW, and SHARE. If you would like to support PBTA then check out the fine SHOP APPAREL for top quality adventure wear.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Pumpkin Rock Trail

Norco, California

“I have discovered the Great Pumpkin and it is me.”  

Activity: Day Hike

Date: October 16, 2019

2 Miles, elevation change 400’, 45 minutes, rated Moderate

Wow, what a unique hike.  My friend Adam, whom I sometimes hike with, surprised me with this hike.   All I knew was that we were hiking in the Inland Empire.  It turned out to be such a unique and fun hike, and by the way Tis’ the Season as they say.  What a spooktaculare adventure this would be to take your kids on especially right before Halloween.

So when I got my first glimpse of the Great Pumpkin, up on the hillside above the George Ingalls Equestrian Event Center in Norco, California, I thought how nice of the city to have a giant inflatable pumpkin for Halloween.  I pondered they must have a generator up there or something to keep it inflated.  As we got closer I saw that this was a giant painted boulder that was perfectly shaped to play the part of the Great Pumpkin.  If only Charlie Brown was here to see this, and then I realized he was.  Because all of us have a little Charlie Brown in us hoping that he will finally succeed in his “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure” search for the Great Pumpkin.

This is a short hike and is great for kids.  Besides the fun of the Great Pumpkin there are a couple sights along the trail which I have nicknamed Jack Rock, and Scary Pumpkin Rock.  You do need to be prepared as temperatures in this area can be hot and there is not any shade.  Bring a hat and plenty of water to enjoy this Halloween spectacle.  Watch your step as there are places that are steep and the hard pack ground and rock is covered with dusty finely ground pebbles and footing can be slippery.

Now if you are looking for a little more of an adventure then you can do what I did as there are multiple trails running along the ridges.  I ended up hiking 5 miles and hitting several of the peaks, more than doubling the mileage and almost doubling the elevation change.  It is quite a workout doing it this way as a couple of these peaks go all the way down before going back up to the next one.  I would move the hike at that point from moderate to hard.  You always know that a hike is hard when your heels don’t touch in back.  There was even one section that was a down on all fours scramble.  I am not really into urban hikes, but this hike has nice views in every direction from the top of the ridge, and add the Great Pumpkin and you have an unusual yet satisfying hike.

Pumpkin Rock Trail Pursuing Balance Through Adventure
Meditating with Jack



Pumpkin Rock Trail Pursuing Balance Through Adventure
I am sitting on what I am nick naming Jack Rock.





Pumpkin Rock Trail Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Pumpkin Rock Trail Pursuing Balance Through Adventure









Here is something about this adventure that spooked me.  I was climbing this hill on the way to the peak where you see the cross and the flag, when suddenly out of no where there was this loud buzzing sound from all around me.  A large bee swarm flew right over and to each side of me, followed by a flock of Big Black Ravens.  I was thinking is this some sort of sign?

Pumpkin Rock Trail Pursuing Balance Through Adventure
The Red line on the map shows the Pumpkin Rock Trail.  The Blue dot shows my location on a trail along the ridges above adding to my adventure.



Pumpkin Rock Trail Pursuing Balance Through Adventure
“I don’t see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one.” -Linus, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”

Pumpkin Rock Trail Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Here are a couple of videos from my Pursuing Balance Thru Adventure YouTube site.

Thanks for joining me for this Halloween Trick or Treat to Pumpkin Rock.  If you enjoyed this episode of “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure” then please LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW, and SHARE.

Happy Halloween!

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure


Barber’s Peak Loop Trail

Mojave National Preserve

Cima, California (Near Baker, CA)

Activity: Day Hike

May 18, 2019

Distance: 6 Miles, 800′ elevation change, duration 3 hours, rated: Moderate

I love the Barber’s Peak Loop Trail hike in the Mojave National Preserve, it has so much. I loved the varying landscapes and terrain. It has desert plains, some interesting volcanic rock formations, it still had some wild flowers even in late Spring, Several different types of cactus, it moved into a high desert type of landscape, from there into a slot canyon portion that was so interesting it was almost eerie called Banshee Canyon, (fitting name), and finally Hole-In-the-Wall. You almost expected Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to come galloping through with a posse hot on their trail. Although that story took place in a different part of the country, this Canyon was named by another Western Outlaw that named this one because it reminded him of the original.

The part I was most excited about was the dreaded climbing rings. They were in the Hole in the Wall/Banshee Canyon area. This was an area that you would have had to rock climb otherwise. There were heavy duty pins, for lack of a better term, with heavy duty rings attached. You needed them for the climbing of a couple rock faces. It is not a long distance, nor is it particularly difficult, however it is daunting for some people, and would require a bit of upper body strength.

I had just climbed the rings portion and met a European 30 something couple. They were not to keen on the idea, and I must say climbing down is a little harder than climbing up. I tried both because it was so fun. I am not sure they were going to test it. There were also a couple girls in their early 20’s which I believe were going to scale the face, but they had a lot of questions, such as how far is it if they did the loop, so that they were climbing up rather than down. When they heard the loop was 6 miles, I believe they were going for the climb down option.

This image taken in the Banshee Canyon to me represents this hike, something unique.

Barrel Cactus

The next several images are of volcanic rock and ash. It is a real unusual look.

Very strange looking.

Never really saw anything like this before.

Still some Spring wild flowers around

Beautiful blooms of yellow on the cactus.

Yes those are bones at the base of the sign post, but what or who?

This area looked like someone’s cactus garden.

Banshee Canyon

It seemed like there should have been some Indian flute playing going on about now with some light drums.

Here are the climbing rings.

Thanks for “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure” please “LIKE”, “COMMENT”, FOLLOW”, and “SHARE”. -Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Thru Adventure

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