Took a 4 day and 3 night trip to the Emigrant Wilderness with Morgan Rucks. It was an equal mix of off trail hiking, following old use trails, and following maintained trails. He carried a bunch of fresh food and cooked us up some mean meals.
First day we hiked into Cherry Creek Canyon.
Morgan ready for the hike in:
Dead forest, probably from beetles.
Hiking up towards Riccasso Lake. This is an old, hard to follow horse packer trail. We chatted with a guy on the trail who claimed that the packers rarely use it anymore after they lost three horses in a bad accident.
Going down the canyon to Hyatt Lake. The trail disappeared and we had to bushwack/scramble our way down.
Heading towards Big Lake, easy walking on granite.
Big Lake, this lake could hold a hundred campers but we didn't see a single impacted campsite or fire ring.
Second night we stayed at an old run down horse packer camp called "Camp Yellowhammer". The horse packers have special permission to maintain the buildings. It was early in the season and the main cabin was locked up.
Some of the signatures on this tin were from the 30's.
Wild trout, carrots, and wild foraged fiddleheads.
Day 3, heading towards 5 acre lake.
Lunch at 5 acre lake.
Dutch oven with a canister stove.
Spicy cheesy bread with trout.
After that we hiked out of 5 acre lake and dropped some serious elevation down to the north fork of Cherry Creek, which was really flowing. The only safe way to cross would be to swim.
Does this bark make my burl look big?
We hiked to Buck Lakes, which were the best lakes of the trip.
We stopped here on night 3 we ran into a meetup group called the Bay Area Backpacking Boomers, composed of "baby boomer" aged backpackers. We socialized with them around the campfire and shared food.
We talked to a guy named Alex who spent nearly every weekend up in Emigrant or other places. He was a Russian who escaped to the United States before the collapsed. He learned his backcountry skills in the Russian wilderness. He caught several large trout and fed the group, perfectly cooked, I mean this man knew how to cook a fish.
Technically he isn't a baby boomer because "in soviet union there was no baby boom."
He boil up a huge bunch of tea on his crazy home made wood stove he called the "mark 5". Apparently he doesn't drink water at all when hiking. He only drink in the mornings and evenings when he boils up tea to drink when he absorbs all the water he needs for the next day of hiking. He claimed that drinking water while hiking makes it harder to work and increases the risk of heart failure. He learned this in Russia and it's a sharp contrast between our dehydration paranoid hiking culture in the United States..
On day 4 we hiked about 16 miles back to our car. The snow drifts obscured the trail and made for some confusing navigation.
Deer lake, here Morgan swam to the other side of the lakes and sledded down the snow banks into the water using my sleeping pad.
Lilly Pad Lake
Last creek crossing.
And that's everything.