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what do you want to know about the Sierra?

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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby Troutdog 59 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:17 pm

Well, I'll take this one off of it's original track a bit, but thanks for sharing those old maps Vandman!!! I love old maps and one can be pretty surprised what you can find on them. I also agree with your sentiment 100%, glad they didnt get built. I have several old maps that have "roads" proposed where there are none now. I have an old map of Madera County, that shows a proposed road from Clover Meadows (west side) to Reds Meadow. Only about 20 miles or so and it would make getting to Mammoth much easier from Fresno, but again I'm glad that one didnt get built. It would have changed the whole feel of the west side in that area (think remote). One map I saw long ago, but dont have a copy, showed a route proposed to join the eastern portion of Hwy 168 (North Lake out of Bishop) with the western section at Florence Lake. It would have gone up the So Fk of the San Joaquin :( , turned left (north) at Piute Creek, continued up canyon to Hutchinson Meadow :angry: , then over Piute Pass to North Lake :eek: . Humphreys Basin was almost a roadside destination :puke: .
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

R. Trower



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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby oldranger » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:59 pm

Growing up in Fresno from mid 50s thru 60s I remember discussion of the road to Mammoth. Not the details just remember there were some headlines now and then in the Bee.

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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:00 pm

Troutdog 59 wrote:Well, I'll take this one off of it's original track a bit, but thanks for sharing those old maps Vandman!!! I love old maps and one can be pretty surprised what you can find on them. I also agree with your sentiment 100%, glad they didnt get built. I have several old maps that have "roads" proposed where there are none now. I have an old map of Madera County, that shows a proposed road from Clover Meadows (west side) to Reds Meadow. Only about 20 miles or so and it would make getting to Mammoth much easier from Fresno, but again I'm glad that one didnt get built. It would have changed the whole feel of the west side in that area (think remote). One map I saw long ago, but dont have a copy, showed a route proposed to join the eastern portion of Hwy 168 (North Lake out of Bishop) with the western section at Florence Lake. It would have gone up the So Fk of the San Joaquin :( , turned left (north) at Piute Creek, continued up canyon to Hutchinson Meadow :angry: , then over Piute Pass to North Lake :eek: . Humphreys Basin was almost a roadside destination :puke: .

Interestingly enough, the guy who ultimately stopped the Minarets Highway was...Governor Reagan, who came out against it after doing a pack trip in the area.

There's an NPS booklet on SeKi I got about 20 years ago that has a fascinating map showing all the developments that were at one time or another planned for SeKi: reservoirs at Cedar Grove, Tehipite, Granite Basin; Highway 168, as described above; another trans-Sierra highway over Kearsarge Pass; the Disney resort at Mineral King; various aerial tramways and such. We have a lot of reason to thank the people who fought these projects over the years.
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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby Troutdog 59 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:39 pm

Hey Tom,

Some very good information TT. I have also heard accounts of Reagans involvement in the decision not to build the proposed "Minarets Highway." I guess the packers out of there and Jones Store in Beasore Meadows took him on a pack trip and he loved it. Thank goodness for small miracles!!! I had no idea about the proposed Kearsrge route :eek: . Do you still have the NPS booklet? If so, any chance of scanning and sharing it. No big deal, just asking!!

t
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

R. Trower
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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:06 pm

The only thing I can think of off hand is why is the Theodore Solomons trail called that when his primary goal was exploring the areas that the Muir Trail and Sierra High Route follows. and not so much on the Western side that the Theodore Solomons trail follows?
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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby TehipiteTom » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:42 pm

Troutdog 59 wrote:Hey Tom,

Some very good information TT. I have also heard accounts of Reagans involvement in the decision not to build the proposed "Minarets Highway." I guess the packers out of there and Jones Store in Beasore Meadows took him on a pack trip and he loved it. Thank goodness for small miracles!!! I had no idea about the proposed Kearsrge route :eek: . Do you still have the NPS booklet? If so, any chance of scanning and sharing it. No big deal, just asking!!

t

I did find it, but I don't have my scanner hooked up so it might be a while before I can post an image. It's in the Official National Park Handbook series, Handbook 145, isbn 0-912627-47-6--well worth getting used if you can find it (alibris has copies, it looks like).

The only thing I can think of off hand is why is the Theodore Solomons trail called that when his primary goal was exploring the areas that the Muir Trail and Sierra High Route follows. and not so much on the Western side that the Theodore Solomons trail follows?

The short version is: because the route he scouted was already named after somebody else (Muir).

I happen to have the original 1987 Guide to the Theodore Solomons Trail by Dennis Gagnon, who came up with the idea of a JMT alternative and turned it into the TST. From the introduction:
Over tea with Ranger Dana Abell of SNP, I described my project for an alternate trail.

"You know," commented Abell, "if there is to be another trail through this country, it really ought to be named for Theodore Solomons."

"Who?" I asked.

"Why Solomons, the young man who first scouted out the John Muir Trail."
So, basically, it's named after Solomons because it made sense to name a north-south trail after the guy who first came up with the idea of a north-south trail through the Sierra.

That said, the TST does cover some of the same territory Solomons explored: Tehipite Valley & the Monarch Divide; the Balloon Dome/Middle Fork San Joaquin area. So it's not as random as it might seem.
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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:57 pm

Regarding general geology books on the Sierra, if one wants more detail than Moore, then one pretty much has to go to the primary research literature, in which case you'll be getting it piece by piece.

Jim Moore's book is out of print, last I checked. There is a very nice book on Yosemite geology by Greg Stock and Allen Glazner that just came out a couple of years ago.

Although some the explanations for the older rocks are out of date, for a grand overview of Sierran geology, I still like Paul Bateman's and Clyde Wahrhaftig's classic--especially for the younger history and landscape evolution. (Bateman, P.C, and Wahrhaftig, C., 1966, Geology of the Sierra Nevada: In: Bailey, E.H., Ed. Geology of Northern California: California Division of Mines and Geology (now California Geological Survey) Bulletin 190, p. 107-172.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby ERIC » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:28 pm

Very interesting! :thumbsup:

The CA 168 plan seems to fit what you now see on the Kaiser Pass Rd. to Florence and Edison Lakes. The road was improved for a few miles from Huntington Lake to below Kaiser Pass, but abruptly stops where the winter road closure gate now exists.

I do know there were also plans at one time to turn Blayney Meadows into a reservoir, which I believe, was also part of the master plan for that road "improvement" (in its capacity as hydro power access, anyway).
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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby gdurkee » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:42 pm

Exploring the Highest Sierra: still available on Amazon -- even in Kindle, but you want the print edition. Has an excellent Highway geology coming up from Fresno to Cedar Grove as well as excellent history of the Sierra and geology of the southern Sierra.

Probably truly out of print, but California Roadside Geology is great.

Clyde Wahrhaftig! I took geomorphology from him. Excellent course!

I had heard (but don't know for sure...) that Reagan canceled the trans-Sierra highway from Florence over Piute because it was too expensive. Makes more sense since he was not a known nature lover ('seen one tree, seen 'em all').

If you go into Evolution Valley, you can see huge blazes on trees at Evolution Meadow and Colby. Both marked proposed dam sites by Southern California Edison. Even after it was made a park, I understood (but am not truly sure) that they retained rights to build dams up there.

I'm not sure about Solomon's route. I think he proposed it well before the Muir Trail was proposed (ca. 1890??) Yes, Hal Roth in Pathways in the Sky (another Sierra classic) gives him credit for the idea.

USGS has issued very old maps on their web site. It's not an easy front end, but for any particular section, you fan see the dates of editions that are available. Some neat stuff.

Another out of print to look for: the three volume set of Sierra Club Bulletins, 1890 to 1906. Printed in 1950 to replace the sets lost in the SF '06 earthquake and fire. Very hard to find. Google Books has some sets available online free. You have to try several different search strategies to find them since they don't seem well cataloged.

I'd totally missed this thread. Hope that helps. Fun old stuff out there.

g.
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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby schmalz » Fri May 04, 2012 10:52 pm

I'm really interested in early Sierra history history. The period where it was initially being explored by people like muir. I haven't read any of his stuff yet. If anyone has any favorite books with tales of early Sierra trips I'd appreciate the tips.
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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby TehipiteTom » Sat May 05, 2012 9:12 am

schmalz wrote:I'm really interested in early Sierra history history. The period where it was initially being explored by people like muir. I haven't read any of his stuff yet. If anyone has any favorite books with tales of early Sierra trips I'd appreciate the tips.

There's a collection called Splendid Mountains, compiled by Peter Browning, that has firsthand accounts from people like Frank Dusy, Joseph LeConte, Bolton Brown, and others. Highly recommended.

William H. Brewer (field leader of the California Geological Survey in 1864) wrote about some of the earliest exploration of what is now Kings Canyon National Park. It's in Up and Down California, which is a fascinating read; the Sierra exploration is just a small part of the book, (he traveled over 14,000 miles around the state), but the whole thing is available online. (I'm also liveblogging his travels, sort of--that is, I'm posting excerpts from his account in real time +150 years.)

For a really good roundup of the early history, check out Francis Farquhar's History of the Sierra Nevada.

Hope this helps. Happy reading!
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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby maverick » Sat May 05, 2012 1:47 pm

Great advice TT, both Splendid Mountains and History of the Sierra Nevada are really
well written, and have a lot of great information.
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