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Messages - IW

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1
My son-in-law was driving by the airport several years ago just as a plane didn't make it airborne enough to miss the large hill at the Bishop end taking off heading in the Bishop direction.   He didn't see the actual crash but saw the fire and the emergency responders at the airport heading down the runway towards that end of the runway and I bet he wished he'd been a few seconds earlier with a camera ready.

I don't remember if anybody was hurt or killed but when he reported a week or so later what he  saw it sounded very frightening.

My LA nephew who comes frequently during the winter to trek in the backcountry didn't seem to think that it was all that scary and that the pilots aren't afraid to NOT LAND or NOT TAKEOFF in spite of passengers needing to go either way.

Of course he's also the one who in winter will snow shoe up Rock Creek Road from the Snow Park and then to Mosquito Flats and camp by himself in remote locations at higher elevations.   He frequently sees nobody else.  His father finally forced him to get a satellite phone so that he could report where he was if he didn't contact home often when he's in the winter back country by himself. 

Called me once just to chat and asked if I knew where he was.   Think he had some minutes expiring and just wanted to tell me where he was and how the weather was.

Me....I'd never want to do that.   I guess with age comes more common sense!

2
For our trip from the San Francisco area to the Mammoth area for our family wedding a week ago we flew on United Express from SFO.   (Also can fly from LA and other areas.)  Fairly full flight and seemingly some were going to Mammoth for the skiing that I assume is best in the higher elevations.  Plane was an hour and a half late because they didn't have a plane available at the correct time at SFO.

Flight from San Francisco was just over an hour.  And if the weather is questionable my nephew who flies from LA quite often to ski, you run the risk of the plane not landing if it's very windy or the runway is icy or snowy and you end up back at LA. And you run the risk of the flight from Mammoth to your home airport being unavailable if the weather isn't good.  Nephew has had to rent a car one way with others who were stranded driving to LAX to get home for work the next day. 

Not sure of what it costs to fly from LAX but more reasonable if you have to be there and don't want to long drive from SFO for a family gathering as we had.

Didn't have to deal with getting to Convict Lake where our family wedding was taking place because the Convict Lake Resort picked us up when we came in and relatives drove us to the airport to fly home on Sunday morning.  I probably would have driven but my wife balked at the long drive with the normal summer routes blocked by snow and the need to drive long distances to go via the Tahoe area or the Bakersfield area.

3
Went to a family wedding at Convict Lake this past week, March 12, 13, 14, 15.   NO SNOW even at the lake.   People were walking around the lake and it was a nice enough day that the wedding was held in the area overlooking the lake.   Warm enough during the day to not need other than a flannel shirt of light sweater for most people who are temperature sensitive.

Drove up Rock Creek 2 different days.   March 13 and 14.  A group of young people with packs were walking from the snow park area up the road on the 14th .   Road had a few areas where the snow hadn't yet melted but perfectly passable at least up to the area of Rock Creek Lake Resort and some ruts left in the snow by previous vehicles. 

Maybe OK to the pack station at least but didn't take the time to drive there.  The first day we had talked with an adult leader who said they had planned on walking ON THE SNOW up from the Snow Park but had to change plans since there was no snow.   

The lake is white with snow and from the few areas where rocks had been thrown in beforehand looks like the ice under the snow is still fairly thick but would NOT attempt to cross the lake without risking maybe falling through the underlying ice.  Looks like the lake level under the snow is quite low.

Went over to the camp ground area.   Not very thick snow in that area though some areas in the shade where if you didn't skirt the visible underlying dirt you might, as I did one place in the campground, sink in to your knees.   Some tracks left by people on skis.

Went down to the lake beach area where the not visible river comes in.  An area of what looks like thin ice visible out where the lake deepens where it meets the flow from the river where if you are if you are fishing from the beach you usually could get some fish as the depth of the lake increases.   Some tracks in the area left by someone with a dog who apparently walked across the river to the beach under the snow at the other side.   Saw at a distance a couple of people with dogs.

The area where the campground hosts put their trailer had little snow left around it.

Looks like could be an early camping season!!!

Suspect low  water levels with so little snow.

4
Eastern Sierra History / Sawmill in Bishop and Hilton Creek
« on: August 01, 2013, 07:18:06 AM »
Another couple items I thought of and figured I'd add...

The SAWMILL...

I wonder how many remember that after one got down on the flatlands at the bottom of the Sherwin Grade there was a sawmill at the right on the outskirts of Bishop.

I remember the black smoke that it belched and recall going there in the 1940s when our cabin was under construction by us doing most of the work.

I think the sawmill was pretty well torn down many years ago and I don't recall even thinking about it the last several years.  I suspect going on the road parallel to 395 one could find the remnants of it.


HILTON CREEK

The other thing that caught my attention in taking time to look at all the great pictures and reading the stories is HILTON CREEK.

I can recall many years ago ...  perhaps the mid or late 1950s ... going with my father and perhaps one or both brothers to Hilton and camping on the rise before you drop into Hilton on the trail from Rock Creek.  Close enough to the creek to carry water in a 5 gallon can and far enough away from the mosquitoes to be able to function.

Come to think about it I wonder if my middle brother, Lee, remembers if we still have a cache of cooking items somewhere in that area as we do in Pioneer Basin???

I remember that my father wanted to climb one of the higher areas to look over the Hilton Creek canyon.   He was interested in answering some of his questions about the geology of that canyon.   Our father and I and likely at least one brother Lee scaled one of the higher areas in the area overlooking the Hilton Canyon.  We sat there for an hour or 2 as my father thought about the geology that he was wanting to verify.  From there we could see (and hear when the wind was calm) a truck driving up the canyon on the far side not far below the Hilton lake.   Our suspicion was that the lodge at Hilton was charging people as though everything had to be brought up the canyon with horses and was in reality trucking supplies up the canyon.

I never found out if that was true.   Seems that a stop would have been put to that in later years from the information from Scout.

5
I'm Lee Webb's older brother, Ian.

My father told me about he and his mother walking behind their car circa 1915 to 1920 driving up the Sherwin Grade.   Their job was to throw a log behind the car when it couldn't keep going to keep it from sliding back.   My dad would have been 5 to 10 years old at the time.   He said they'd start early morning and it'd be an all day job to get to the top of the grade.

The Sand Canyon Road, the main road in and out of Rock Creek at the time came down along the ridge overlooking Rock Creek Lake and you can see the rock field that it had to traverse if you start on the sandy area over on the Bishop side and walk along the road towards Rock Creek Lake.   (Good picture taking of the lake there.)  You can get there from the trail that is now the main  trail up to the lakes up in that area.  Instead of going left from that trail when you hit the old road, go right.  The "main road" by passed Rock Creek lake and as noted elsewhere crossed the Rock Creek "river" in the grassy meadow not far from the head of the falls that come into the lake.

I remember walking up the road in the late 1940s and early 1950s to catch fish in the deep in some areas of the meadow "mucky area" and crossing the creek on the bridge there.   A couple of logs and planks across it.  Jeeps were using it during that period of time.  The bridge over the years lost the planks during the winter and eventually was just a single old tree across the river and then even that disappeared.  And as said the road went on up and came to what is the road now just up from the bridge in the sandy area where the overflow parking from Mosquito Flats is.  I don't remember if that's still a camping area.   I think not.

That was THE MAIN ROAD used by the Pine Creek Mine for their ore all year round.

The BRANCH going to the lake took off just up the road from the cabins on the road from the campground where the gate now is.   If you walk up the road by the cabins and watch at the left you will see the main road that goes over the hill to Sand Canyon.  That road was blasted shut when the area was declared a Wilderness Area and they had to do it twice as the hunters had been building rocky ramps around the area so they could get through.  Also did that along the lower sandy area approaching "crankcase" to get access to upper Rock Creek.   So the Forest Service blasted more to shut the road the next year.

I remember when we drove up Crankcase that you could see the remnants of asphalt in some areas.   The "legend?" was that a movie company had paved crankcase so they could get their trucks up to Heart Lake where a movie was filmed.   Supposedly there was a wooden structure built from which a horse or horses jumped into Heart as part of the movie.   I've never been able to find out if that story is true or not.  Anybody know.  The "big cabin" overlooking the lake was supposedly built for use during the movie.  Electric turbine in the creek at the bottom of the falls, flush toilets and electric lights.   Access to it from a bridge near the creek side of the sandy area of the old road across the upper area of the beach.   That bridge would allow you to drive to below that cabin.   I remember it from before we had our cabin and would camp for a couple of weeks on the sandy area below the large cabin before the beach runs on where the rocks are.   

On the lower hill behind the gate nearest the creek from the campground the cabins were built with logs that were supposedly milled in Rock Creek.   There were 2? cabins right at the bottom of the falls on the far side of the creek and a bridge like that in the meadow above the falls.   They became over the years to be bridges to walk across as they weren't maintained.   The cabins were leveled and all carted away perhaps 30 or more years ago.   I remember finding pieces of cups and the like in the area.  The (now demolished and blown into trees) "Big Cabin" was also build from those logs as was the now demolished cabin overlooking Heart Lake.   When we were kids we'd often use the fairly rough small planks that may have been made for shingles to make things.  They were spread around the cabin areas. 

I'm wondering if the picture of the clothed bathers was at Hot Creek.   The reeds look like the area of Hot Creek that is now much different after "North to Alaska" was filmed there and the Forest Service closed the road and trail from the road on the bluff overlooking the Creek.   Of course, when we went in there during the summer few paid attention to bathing suits and it was a great stop after a week in Rock Creek without a shower and only a sponge bath before going to Bishop and doing some laundry and getting some more food at Safeway at the south end of the town.   And we kids would go to the fountain in the 5 & 10 and get a cone or a milk shake or malt for 35 or 50 cents if I remember correctly circa 1950.

Mammoth wasn't a destination and had no major market and only one or 2 restaurants where the main one was the "Split Pea Soup" place that we associate with the Santa Ynez Valley traveling south on highway 101 from San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara  these days.   I never did like their soup and we rarely went to Mammoth in those days before there was even the ski lift propelled by the model A I think it was on blocks.

Enough "war stories!"

I had a Comcast/Xfinity modem failure that seems to have cured itself after I turned it off for a few hours.   So I decided I better read the stories and look at the GREAT PICTURES from Scout before it again stops working.   Going to try to get them to replace it tomorrow.




6
Eastern Sierra History / Re: The Story of the Pine Creek Tungsten Mine
« on: January 24, 2013, 05:46:44 PM »
She was told that she would be the first woman ever to enter the mine!  Some of the miners were very upset about her entering the mine as they were superstitious about a women being in the mine.  She went in anyway!  She thought the year was about 1976.

---------------------------------------
My father, a Geologist teaching at UCSB at the time took me along on one of the twice a year trips with college geology students.   I was probably in 11 th grade at the time which would have been mid 1953 or 54.   There were 5 suburban carryalls and several student cars.   Perhaps 6 or 7 students were women.  The trip was in the Death Valley area.

My father had arranged for us to have a mine tour and warned the women the night before to wrap their upper body tightly enough to hide the fact that they were women and put on a loose sweat shirt or similar and keep in the groups of male students.   They all had to put their hair up and get it under caps and NOT SPEAK during the tour.   Telling them that if found out they'd be tossed out and that women were bad luck in the mine and my father didn't want later field trips to be denied the chance to go into a working mine.

Fortunately they weren't discovered and the tin hats with lamp on them went over the caps and in the dim light it would have been hard to tell that they were women.   I remember we went into the mine in mine carts and then down into lower levels of the mine and for a couple of minutes shut off all our lights to see what real darkness was.   


7
Yes, there were wooden boats.   And originally they were taken up the canyon I think as described on animals  and after WWII the old ones were replaced with fiberglass boats that I think were taken up the canyon by pickup truck.  When the road was blasted shut I think the boats were supposed to be removed as the area was declared a Wilderness Area but think the store took their time doing so.

I remember my father driving maternal grandparents to Chickenfoot in our 1928 Franklin Airman and renting the boat for trolling.   I think they caught a few nice fish.   My mother's parents were strictly "old school."  I don't ever seeing her father without a hat on and a white shirt and tie and vest.   Even when he was working in our garage on the WOODEN table saw that he had built probably from Popular Mechanics.  If we hadn't been able to drive them up the canyon they would never have walked up the canyon. 

I recall once while fishing at Chicken Foot when it started to rain getting under the upside down store boat which was chained near the outlet and my father taking a nap while my brother and I were bored but not wanting to get soaking in the rain.

8
I've not been on the board for a long, long time....

Yes, we used to stay all summer from the time school was out until school was ready to start again.   Starting in 1948 when our cabin was built and before that we would camp for at least 2 weeks.

There were some non-cabin people who'd come each summer and some who stayed for fairly long periods of time.

Down on the sandy area overlooking the point Kenny Baker would park his trailer for often at least a month.

Kenny was a well known actor and singer and used to be on several of the radio program like Jack Benny's program.  They had a son who was close to my age and a daughter who was close in age to my middle brother and a younger boy if I remember correctly close to my youngest brother's age.  I've often wondered if I could find an old movie that he was in.

They were the FIRST people to haul a trailer (Long Airstream) into Rock Creek in the days of the narrow dirt road.   They scraped the side getting around a rock outcropping that was in the yet to be improved road between the store and the lake.  They hauled it with a probably early 1950 GMC Suburban.

I remember one family who would stay a few weeks with 2 children.   One who would play with my middle or younger brother.   We called him "Kenny Pow Pow" because he'd wake us up in the morning often playing as though he was shooting something or somebody with his sound effects from his VERY LOUD VOICE. 

Our cabin is shaded trees and by the mountain to the east from the morning sun so it wasn't unusual for us to not awaken until as late as 9 AM or so after going to bed around 10 PM and he awakened us more than once!!! :-)

The Blake cabin was a log cabin similar to the big cabin on up the hill overlooking HEAR LAKE.   It was likely built during the era when the mine wagons used Rock Creek to get the Vanadium out of the Pine Creek Mine and as a refuge for the drivers caught by the snow.

They drove a 1941 white Chevrolet and their cabin was cut off from the outside world by the blasting of the road shut by the Forest Service with no notice to anybody.

You can see the remnants and bits and pieces remaining if you watch on the old road (now the trail) near the top of the last hill before dropping down to the lake level.  Go perhaps 100 yards off the road when you see something at the left that looks as though it could have been a short road.   They had a beautiful view over Heart Lake.

I was first at Rock Creek in 1941 as a 3 year old and we camped in the campground guess it's called the East Fork Campground these days.   There was a beautiful fishing hole near the road that was destroyed with the new bridge and realignment of the road and that's were I caught my first fish...with lots of help I'm sure.   

My father had come into Rock Creek as a youngster probably around 1925 or so.   He used to tell stories of he and his mother having to walk behind the car as they came up the Sherwin Grade carrying a lot to throw behind the back wheels as they got stuck.   I remember him saying that it took most all day to get up the Sherwin Grade during that era.

We started camping at the lake when I was 5 years old and our favorite camping spot was where the boat dock is and somewhere one of us has a Kodachrome print of my 3 years younger brother and I "swimming" in the lake in that area during that time which was supposed to be not permitted.

As the boat dock started taking up that area we'd camp at the other end of the lake right at the edge of the lake and back into the trees in the sandy area below the big cabin and my carry most of our stuff across the old car bridge that was no longer passable to cars.

My memory that of camping there was the 2 weeks when it rained EVERY SINGLE DAY and my 2 brothers and I had to stay in one tend while my parents and the older couple whom we called Aunt Maude and Uncle Joe who camped with us and they played bridge in another tent.

Both my father and Uncle Joe were Geology Profs at UCLA and they were the authors of the Bureau of Mines "Minerals of California" which they updated for 50 years and which most rockhounds are very familiar with.   It looks to me from what I see in the library that it's now an expensive book updated by somebody who has taken it over and I assume it was public domain since it's sort of a big bound expensive hard back book with the fellow who has updated since my father's death and acts as though he wrote the whole thing.

Yes, there was a road to the cabin on the hill.   You could drive to the area which is pretty much willows and some wet areas these days.   There was a car bridge that connected directly from the area where the sand pit area is.   In addition there was an old car bridge at the base of the hill where the road is to the present cabins and where there used to be and perhaps still is if it's been maintained a foot bridge.   You should have been able to drive to the area of the cabin off that bridge.   And there was a cabin near the creek accessible from that bridge.   They had a power plant in the creek which used that piping piece pictured in another posting.   There used to be quite a bit of hardware and lengths of wire from their electric plant in that hillside area.   

Time for some dinner...I've spent too much time on this already!




9
Eastern Sierra Fishing / Re: Up and over Mono Pass to Pioneer Basin?
« on: July 15, 2012, 12:40:19 PM »
This year is the opposite of last year without a doubt.  The creeks will prolly be low late this year,  but who cares...go anyway!!  Pioneer Basin,  I have not been there but really want to some time,  creek levels would not deter me,  go over there and catch a fish :fishing3:

Last year my brother and his son started to go over Mono Pass and were prepared to walk down Mono Creek to Lake Edison.   They got above Ruby and the snow was so deep that they had second thoughts and stayed in that area overnight.   Talked to some others in the Ruby Lake area who said that they had also tried to go on over Mono Pass and gave up.   So this year is sure different than last.

I had posted this elsewhere but you might find this info interesting as well if you are walking over and into Pioneer Basin.   We used to camp in the sandy area below Dog Lake.   Out of the wind and convenient and easy to walk a short distance to Dog to fish.

Unfortunately Pioneer Basin though gorgeous and fun doesn't have nearly the king of fishing and large fish that it did in the early 1950s when we first fished there and across Mono Creek in the 4th Recess.  I can remember fishing in one of the upper lakes and with a spinning reel which was not widely used at the time had a fish on the line every cast and we released most of them though they were mostly 12 to 14 inches except for the 20 inch one I kept.

------------------------------
Golden is a fun lake to go to however in the dozen or more times that I've been in that area and fished from the bottom of the rock slide at the lake around to the outlet, I've only seen fish in Golden once or twice and only a couple of quite small ones.   Even the time that we camped next to the outlet of Golden for late day fishing and early morning fishing we didn't catch any and we did go to the sandy area towards where Mono Pass trail comes down.   However I have seen some pretty nice fish once or twice that were caught there when people were getting them frozen at the Store.  (Yes, before it was called a "resort".)

I'd take 2 days and go on to Pioneer Basin and perhaps an upper lake or 2 in the Pioneer area.   There are some nice Goldens in some of those lakes.   I think my father caught the only fish, a Golden about 20 inches long from one of the highest up lakes.   Only fish seen in that lake on several trips there.

If you are reasonably able to read a map and are reasonably fit you can contour around from the creek out of Golden into Pioneer Basin without losing altitude to go to the trail to Pioneer which crosses Mono Creek at a much lower elevation.  You can head for Mud Lake or intersect the trail coming up from the creek a bit below.

The quickest way to get to Golden, much much faster than Mono Pass and can't be done with a horse, assuming the snowbank on the Rock Creek side is not very deep or nonexistent which is likely in this dry year this time of year is to go over Half Moon Pass, and through what we always called Webb Gap since it was my father's favorite path over the Sierra Crest.   Park in the area of the Pack Station and go up from there.   Look at a map and make sure you are heading towards the right rock slide.   The last several hundred feet is over a rock slide so don't take a small dog with you unless you want to carry it up the steepest part and down the other side as we had to do several times with our short legged Cocker/Corgy dog.  There often has been a fairly well traveled trail to the gap if you look for it in the sandy areas.

Once reasonably acclimated one of my brothers made it to the Sierra crest and the gap in less than an hour however I don't know that now 20 years later he could match that performance.

Half Moon was obviously an Indian way over the Sierra crest as I found a Hudson Bay light blue trading bead at the very top between a couple of rocks where you could see a small patch of sand.  I figure it must have been a trading route over the Sierra???  Even though I've looked I've never found any other sign of Indian items at the crest.

A bit of time with Google Maps may give you some more specific information about the upper areas of the mountain getting to Half Moon Pass.   However when I last looked it seemed that Google Maps lately were taken with snow in many areas and I didn't get the nice views that I got for some friends of both sides of the trail over Webb Gap.

10
Eastern Sierra Fishing / Re: Golden's from Rockcreek area
« on: July 15, 2012, 12:20:14 PM »
Golden is a fun lake to go to however in the dozen or more times that I've been in that area and fished from the bottom of the rock slide at the lake around to the outlet, I've only seen fish in Golden once or twice and only a couple of quite small ones.   Even the time that we camped next to the outlet of Golden for late day fishing and early morning fishing we didn't catch any and we did go to the sandy area towards where Mono Pass trail comes down.   However I have seen some pretty nice fish once or twice that were caught there when people were getting them frozen at the Store.  (Yes, before it was called a "resort".)

I'd take 2 days and go on to Pioneer Basin and perhaps an upper lake or 2 in the Pioneer area.   There are some nice Goldens in some of those lakes.   I think my father caught the only fish, a Golden about 20 inches long from one of the highest up lakes.   Only fish seen in that lake on several trips there.

If you are reasonably able to read a map and are reasonably fit you can contour around from the creek out of Golden into Pioneer Basin without losing altitude to go to the trail to Pioneer which crosses Mono Creek at a much lower elevation.  You can head for Mud Lake or intersect the trail coming up from the creek a bit below.

The quickest way to get to Golden, much much faster than Mono Pass and can't be done with a horse, assuming the snowbank on the Rock Creek side is not very deep or nonexistent which is likely in this dry year this time of year is to go over Half Moon Pass, and through what we always called Webb Gap since it was my father's favorite path over the Sierra Crest.   Park in the area of the Pack Station and go up from there.   Look at a map and make sure you are heading towards the right rock slide.   The last several hundred feet is over a rock slide so don't take a small dog with you unless you want to carry it up the steepest part and down the other side as we had to do several times with our short legged Cocker/Corgy dog.  There often has been a fairly well traveled trail to the gap if you look for it in the sandy areas.

Once reasonably acclimated one of my brothers made it to the Sierra crest and the gap in less than an hour however I don't know that now 20 years later he could match that performance.

Half Moon was obviously an Indian way over the Sierra crest as I found a Hudson Bay light blue trading bead at the very top between a couple of rocks where you could see a small patch of sand.  I figure it must have been a trading route over the Sierra???  Even though I've looked I've never found any other sign of Indian items at the crest.

A bit of time with Google Maps may give you some more specific information about the upper areas of the mountain getting to Half Moon Pass.   However when I last looked it seemed that Google Maps lately were taken with snow in many areas and I didn't get the nice views that I got for some friends of both sides of the trail over Webb Gap.

11
I posted this at the end of the Pine Creek Mine stories and pictures...great to read them...

I thought I'd like to find out who else is still around who has driven up Crankcase and to the top of Morgan Pass as I have probably 4 or 5 times total.

I wonder how many others on this board have DRIVEN to the top of Morgan Pass as I have at least couple of times before the road form Mosquito Flats was blasted shut...???   We never drove down the other side and just walked down to fish.   The back side was gravely and we were afraid we couldn't pull back up from the Pine Creek side with only 2 wheel drive of our 1928 Franklin.   And then we'd have to drive all the way down to 395 and back to Tom's Place and back up the canyon, then a dirt road to the Rock Creek Lake STORE and around the lake and up the old branch of the old Sand Canyon Road to Rock Creek Lake to our cabin.

I remember however driving UP Pine Creek to the mine in a then modern Chevy or GMS Surburban once when my father was going to see a geologist colleague of his.   I remember when we went to fish, walking down from Morgan Pass, looking from the lower Pine Creek lake down to some of the mine buildings but don't think we ever walked on down since fishing was more important to us on our trips down to the upper and lower lakes.


12
My father, who built our cabin at Rock Creek in 1946, taught Geology.   I went on only one student field trip with him which went into Death Valley.   He had arranged via a geologist friend I believe, to take a trip down into a mine.   He told the half dozen female students who were on the field trip to wear a hat and hide their hair under the hat and to hide their breasts with a binding or a baggy shirt and not to say anything.   

And I remember riding down into the mine and each of us had a hard hat.  I remember how dark it was when they turned off the few lamps on the hard hats for 5 minutes...   

Fortunately none of the miners realized that there were HEAVENS FORBID WOMEN in the mine!    I'm sure that the tunnels all collapsed after we left!!!


13
Eastern Sierra History / Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« on: July 14, 2012, 02:25:17 PM »
I suspect that the item in the picture was part of a flume to direct creek water into a generator.   Probably was in a wide branch of the creek excavated by hand or tractor years ago and now no longer visible.  Part of the early days when the big cabin was in frequent use.   I remember seeing some of the wiring and connections to the cabin coming from that area.

It could also have been part of a pumping system to send water to the big cabin.

There should also still be traces of a small side branch of the creek towards the bank where there are cabins up the hill.   It was to divert water for That branch was used by "Uncle Bill", Bill Haws I think is the correct spelling who had the first cabin as you walk up the road from the campground.   Beyond a locked gate I think.   His cabin was built in the same era as the big cabin looking very much like a typical "log cabin."   There is a second one just several 10s of feet up the road.   

"Uncle Bill" drove a Franklin automobile and was a teacher at Pasadena City College if I remember correctly.   He taught industrial arts and was a real tinkerer.   He had a generator in the side branch that I suspect he hand dug to divert some of the water from the falls and into his machinery to drive an 12 volt generator if I remember correctly.   He had a pipe with wire in it going up the hill and charged a couple of batteries that he used to power lights and a radio in his cabin.  He was able to control from the cabin a valve in the waterway to adjust the amount of charge via wires that also went down the pipe up the hill so he didn't have to go down to generator in the creek.   

He was a great fisherman and tied some wonderful flies and gave me a few fly tying lessons.   If I recall correctly he created a fly which we called a "gray ghost" which worked very well in the evening from the sandy bank that along the lake shore up to the point where all the wader fishermen often are stepping on more fish than they catch, not realizing that they are fishing too far out...

(I remember often catching a fish BEHIND the wader fishermen when I was using a fly and spinning reel from the shore.   It was always fun to horse the fish a bit and make sure that they realized that I was catching fish between them and the shore.  And I more than once in my younger years would bounce a bubble off a boat that decided to anchor where I was casting from shore and had been there before they were.)

Uncle Bill would spend most of the summer at Rock Creek.  He was a subject sometimes in a Sunday LA Times Newspaper cartoon, Joe Jinks, as the next door neighbor who was always being asked to help with a project.   He was a friend of the creator of the the strip and had an original of a strip on the wall of his cabin in which he appeared after helping with some home repair then sending a bill.

I just found the Joe Jinks   at     <http://tinyurl.com/6wggcql>




14
Eastern Sierra History / Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« on: July 08, 2012, 08:37:56 PM »
There used to be still some wood up in a tree or 2 around the old cabin.

My story from the 1940s and on was that it was built by a movie company that was filming at Heart Lake and that they actually had paved Crankcase hill to get their movie trucks up to the lake.   I remember during that time when we DID DRIVE up the canyon that there were traces of asphalt on the road so maybe that was true.

I was told what the supposed name of the movie where it was said that they had horses jump into the lake from a pier that they built.   However the name "Tess of the Storm Country" didn't allow me to find anything using Google of Yahoo when I tried them during the early days of the Internet.

There used to be the remnants of a generator that the cabin had down in the creek and there was wire in various places leading to the creek.

There was a car bridge across the creek not far from the lake near where there is the remnants of a gravel/sand loading area.   It was damaged and patched a couple of times before the 1950s and then sometime along the way completely destroyed.  There was also a bridge further upstream near the upper part of the parking lot that was a car bridge also.   I haven't been in that area for a long while and I think it became a walking bridge and then it too was destroyed.

The old cabin had flush toilets and electricity.   I remember going into it several times as it was virtually deserted for many years.   Never lifted anything but just to look.   It was pretty creaky and scary for me as a less than teenager.

When we were camping 2 weeks every summer at Rock Creek, we drove across the lower bridge into the area that is now mostly heavy with willows and nearly to the campsite we used on the beach below the large cabin.

So I'm sure that they could drive to just below the cabin in the 1930s and 40s.

I was told that the Forest Service had a crew there for the demolition and it was obvious that they didn't know what they were doing.   Amazing that somebody didn't get injured or worse in that fiasco.

There was also a cabin destroyed very close to the river near the base of the falls where it flattens out.   Everything was hauled away but I do remember remnants of chipped pottery in the area.

HOW ABOUT THE CABIN OVERLOOKING HEART LAKE?

You can still see where it was leveled with some remnants of the foundation.   Watch at the top of the rise before you drop down to Heart Lake as you walk up the canyon.  Off to the left you will see what's left of the "driveway" to the cabin.

I'd been in it a couple of times.  Built like the big log cabin and I suspect was a safe place for those who drove the tractors and ore down the canyon during the winter.

It was owned by a family with the last name "Blake."   They drove to it up crankcase hill and all with a 1941 White Chevrolet.  They OWNED the cabin and were NOT told that to road was going to be blasted shut and had been at the cabin not long before the road was closed.   They were lucky they weren't trapped there with their car.

They helped by towing with our Franklin pushing to get a Dodge that a couple of people had tried to drive to the top of Morgan Pass after watching us drive up in the Franklin.  When we came down early evening returning from fishing the Morgan Lakes here the car was blocking the road.  We were able to pus and pull and get them turned around.   They had stripped their ring gear knowing if that OLD CAR could get up to the top of the pass surely their much newer car could do so.   

Even though we were told NEVER to push a car with the Franklin (air cooled with an ash frame) we did so and with some slipping of the clutch in some areas we got them to Heart Lake and then cracked the pressure plate and couldn't disengage the clutch anymore.  We had Mr. Blake come down to the lake with his Chevy and with a two chain and we continued to push and he pull and starting the car with it in low we were able to continue to push.   We got the disabled car to mosquito flats and left it there.  When we drove home to the LA area we stopped for gas with the car in 3rd and with a jerk or 2 started driving.

I remember coming from the San Fernando Valley over Sepulveda and at Sunset Blvd the light was green (must have been 2 AM) and my father was afraid that he would get a red light before we got to turn onto Sunset but we made it OK and got home.   The car went to Santa Monica the next morning to the Franklin mechanic who was still doing servicing of Frankins.

More than you ever wanted to know!!!


15
Eastern Sierra History / Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« on: July 08, 2012, 08:08:58 PM »
Makes me wonder where my Baby Brownie pictures taken in the early to mid 1940s are.

Also at one time we had some very early Kodachrome pictures taken by a good friend who camped with us during WWII where the boat dock is now.  I imagine they have all faded anyway.   

Besides they'd show my brother and me doing our at the time illegal wading and swimming.   And boy was it COLD!

16
Eastern Sierra History / Re: The Manzanar Fishing Club
« on: July 08, 2012, 08:03:15 PM »
I too find things about Manzanar interesting.   I remember driving by on the way up 395 during WWII after hoarding coupons for gas and seeing it lit up from several miles away.  I remember asking my father about all the lights.

Certainly worth a stop for a couple of hours, particularly with kids to learn about that sordid history of ours.

17
Great story and pics.   Now I'll have to get out my Mine in the Sky and read it once more.

I exchanged a few e-mails with the author when I first read the book.   He was in Alaska at the time but had been in Bishop and Rock Creek the previous summer.   If I remember correctly his father still lived in the area.

I wonder how many others on this board have DRIVEN to the top of Morgan Pass as I have a couple of times before the road form Mosquito Flats was blasted shut...???   We never ventured down the other side and just walked down to fish.   The back side was gravely and we were afraid we couldn't pull back up from the Pine Creek side with only 2 wheel drive of our 1928 Franklin.   And then we'd have to drive all the way down to 395 and back to Tom's Place and back up the canyon, then a dirt road to the Rock Creek Lake STORE and around the lake and up the old branch of the Sand Canyon Road to our cabin.

18
Eastern Sierra Forum / Re: Rock Creek 2012
« on: May 21, 2012, 07:40:09 PM »
It's going to seem strange to have NO SNOW Memorial Day...  Plan on being there Wednesday afternoon unless the traffic over Tioga Pass is full of sightseeing buses or a bunch of 20 mph trailers.

I can remember (circa 1952) Memorial Day having more snow at Windy Point on the road than we could get through so that we were glad we had chains and forced our way over the rise where the road now is and had to do some digging with shovels in real deep areas.   Nobody in the campground since there was so much snow and we got bogged down with the rear wheels sunk into the snow and mud against the hill at the back of the campground and left the 39 Chevy Suburban with 4 speed transmission there while we carried all our things on the snowed in road up the hill to our cabin.   We spent a couple of hours digging ourselves out several days later so we could pack and drive home.

Obviously several years later the the road around Windy Point was abandoned and gated as a walking path and they built the new road exactly where we had forced our way through the snow to get to the campground area.

Of course they also pretty well changed forever the nice old Rock Creek with a super highway paved up from Tom's Place!!!   


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