My parents’ house was in Studio City, so I decided that instead of taking Interstate 10 east to Interstate 15 (the 210 freeway did not go farther than the 57 freeway at that time), I decided to take us around the back of the San Gabriel Mountains. Mt. Waterman sits in the very northeastern corner of this range, just to the west of Interstate 15. The route I chose requires us to drive west on Highway 101, north on the 405, north on the 5, north on the 14, and finally, east on Highway 138, which is also called, Pearblossom Highway. After negotiating all of these freeways, which was relatively easy on a Saturday morning, we turned east onto Pearblossom Highway and headed straight east for Mt. Waterman.
This section of the 138, which begins way back west at Gorman’s Interstate 5 and Highway 138 interchange, and which ends at Interstate 15 north of the Cajon Pass, is a rolling highway. It’s relatively straight, but it has these fun ups and downs which follow the topographical contour of intersection of where the Mojave Desert and the northern San Gabriel’s join. Back then, it was a two lane road with no divider. There were a lot of accidents back then with vehicles trying to pass with less than sufficient viewing corridor. The evidence was in the signs that dotted the rolly up and down portions of the highway reading, “Do Not Pass On Hills.” But I had driven the road on several occasions prior in my exploration of areas outside of Los Angeles.