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Matino Wash Fall Tour - Trip Report

Submitted by Michael Whittington on Tue, 11/24/2020 - 13:02
Matino Wash Fall Event
Matino Wash Fall Tour November 21, 2020 I don’t know how we missed it, but Matino Wash wasn’t on the run schedule for this year. No problem; we did it anyway. What a beautiful day! High in the mid 60’s and sunny. On the run today, we had seven vehicles including Mike and Chris W., in 2.0, Kenny L. and Evie, Jerome and Brenda, Bob and Diane M., Bob B. and Yoyo, Joe P. and John C. in the F Toy. What a great day with a great group of folks. We aired down at the trailhead and headed up Rattlesnake Canyon. Over the years, I’ve noticed a mine entrance on the right side. This time we stopped to check it out. It only went in about 40’ into the side of the mountain. We also noticed workings (prospects) on the other side of the canyon higher up. Maybe we will check those out sometime too. Matino Wash, like all the trails we do has some things that we see all the time like rocks, large and small. And these rocks, just like everywhere else require a bit of thought and finesse to get through without getting hung up, high centered, or just stuck between a rock and a hard place. There are a surprising number of gotcha rocks; the ones that grab your pumpkin and refuse to let go. Matino also has a lot of beauty in the canyon with predominately granite mountains on both sides of you, pinion and lodge pole pines, Joshua Trees, cactus, etc. Keep a sharp look out for Happy Man as you make your way through the trail. All of the drivers had been up Matino wash before. It’s always fun when we get someone along who hasn’t been on the trail before. Matino Wash had lots of rocks as expected this time of year before any real rain. Lots of fun rocks to play on and the group did just that. Our lunch stop was at the big rock optional line. I don’t think I have ever seen it so dug out…no way we could go up the “normal route”. We shifted to the right a bit. Bob B. and I tried it but couldn’t quite make it. John C. and Bob M. did make it after finding the right line. Everyone else took the left route. After lunch, we continued up the canyon without incident other than a few high centers, etc. requiring a strap or winch. No big deal and no issues. At the end of Matino half the group turned around and did it backwards. I led the remainder of the group up through the Joshua Tree forest and old cabins then back around to Rattlesnake Canyon where we waited for the others to come out of Matino. As the backwards group was exiting Matino, we heard over the radio that Bob M’s Jeep was spewing coolant. Turned out to be his electric fan relay not functioning and she got a bit hot. After swapping the fan relay with the horn relay and adding some water his Jeep was good as new and we could continue. The drive out of Rattlesnake Canyon was uneventful. Back at the trailhead, everybody aired up or loaded the trailer and we said our goodbyes and headed for home. With the whole COVID thing going on, we couldn’t head for Nick’s Pizza in Victorville. Oh well… next year. Thanks to all for a fun day with a great group of friends. Mike W.