I went up to Echo Canyon park around 5:00pm. I expected it to not be busy... after all, it was 102º out and it's a holiday. Was I ever wrong...
Parallel parking on Echo Canyon Drive was not to be had. Hopeful hikers were actually queuing up in a double-parked formation. Surprisingly, rangers weren't giving them a hard time, although the security guard at the Echo Canyon Estates guard house waddled out occasionally.
Problem was, the main lot was closed as fire trucks were everywhere and one of those infamous "Mountain Resuces" was in progress. I've had hiking plans complicated (but never defeated) by at least four of those now in 2012.
I drove around several surrounding neighborhoods hoping just one might not have the infamous "P" with a slash through it. No such luck, although a few bordering streets did have signs stating, "No parking sunrise to sunset". I just got a new hiking headlamp...could a night hike be in order? (Echo Canyon lot forbids just the opposite: parking sunset to sunrise.) I'll need to research the legality of this first, but the city lights from the Camel's summit would be amazing.
So after labouring away at finding parking, I had no luck. This was the first time I ever went home without accomplishing what I had set out to do. Probably a good thing too. News reports stated that the rescue didn't complete till after six. That would have put the better half of my hike in the dark, with no headlight, and my car would be illegally parked at Echo Canyon.