Jerry's statistics from the hike are: 5.7 miles, 3 hrs. 42 min., 1548 gross elevation gain.
A somewhat optimistic octet gathered in the blowing dust on Northshore Road for an ascent on Lava Butte. Opening the car doors in the gale force winds proved to be a chore. Hmmm. Might this be an ominous precedent of what lay ahead? Our destination loomed far above us on this blustery morning. Less than an hour into the hike, two bailed and returned to the trailhead. A short time later, a less-than optimistic sextet huddled in a howling wind on the steep, rocky slope. Continue or turn back? It was a moot point as the incessant wind made conversation all but impossible. Summit fever and a soupçon of machismo prevailed. Onward and upward.
The descent proved a tad perilous, as the wind muffled the sound of falling rocks. One hiker watched a monster boulder go flying past him; another took a nasty tumble. No damage done. Finally we reached the base of the steep section and breathed a collective sigh of relief. After a brief stop at Porno Cave (viewing optional), it was back to the desert floor, followed by the flat, sandy traverse to Mile Marker 2. It was high noon.