Why Wilderness?

I just spent a glorious week at Echo Lake near Desolation Wilderness. I asked people along the trail why they like to visit the wilderness. Here is what they said: 

7 thoughts on “Why Wilderness?

  1. This is the first place Don ever took me backpacking, an activity (adventure?) that I didn’t even know what entailed. I was originally afraid that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, but since I "passed" that test, there were many other backpacking adventures that followed. It was such a great way to see the beautiful, natural wonders that are all around us here in California, and it certainly was a healthy way to unwind from the stresses of the everyday working world. I miss it.

  2. Hey, Rick! I just spent a week at Echo (July 2-7) at our 96 yr old friend’s cabin on lower lake. My sister & I have been taking her for 19 yrs. now; she first came when she was 16. Sorry we missed seeing you plunge into the cold waters!

  3. It is peaceful just watching your video and listening to the descriptions that people give. Felt like I was there in Desolation Wilderness!

  4. Thanks for that Rick! We’re just now getting ready to head up for 10 days of camping about 12 miles from Echo Lake. Champing at the bit. I revere wilderness/outdoors because it reminds me that the speed we humans move is so much faster than the speed of the planet we can’t notice things other than ourselves. Standing on soil, as opposed to man-made surfaces, lets me feel the vibe of the earth. Just staying in one spot for a bit of time let’s you see the enormity of activity of other beings, both animal and vegetative. Tiny flowers, wind patterns, trees swaying, lichen, and rock formations. Vive le Sierras!

  5. Dear Lil, Dorothy, Sue, and Mitch
    Thanks for your responses to the Desolation story. That is a magical place, and I always feel renewed when I’m there. I’ve been going since 1950. I keep thinking I need to go other places too, but the attraction is magnetic. Funny, a place called "Desolation" could be so beautiful.

  6. Great area. I went up there for the first time the same year as you – 1950. Had friends that lived next door at my first house up on Oxford St. They had a cabin at Echo Lake – a big one, off a cove on the other side of the winding separation between the Upper and Lower Lakes. Had a great time up there, and also hiked a few times in the Desolation Wilderness. Visited a few times later with other friends who had cabins up there in the 1950s & ’60s. A wonderful place that has kept its allure to this day.

  7. Nice Rick, I spent a fair amount of time backpacking in the Emigrant Basin near Yosemite with my Eagle Scout buddies. As backpacking got more popular I started to get the feeling that I was on the Santa Monica freeway – hikers everywhere – same for the John Muir Trail. Looks like you did a lot of hiking. But you know what, you have a real jewel in your backyard. Big Basin State Park. I’ve spent the past two hikes – last Friday and today (Wednesday) hiking two fo BB’s ridge trails. Incredible views – as isolated as anywhere and I saw a total of three people on these two hikes. Miles of backpacking trails including trail camps that will take you from the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. You need to get up here – and the drive is a lot shorter. Hal

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