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Farmington News
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From "Doc Alders, Farmington's Lone Eagle": Excursions into the Sierra had displaced Doc's flying, though he always had an awareness of aviation. His favorite area in the Sierra was the Emigrant Wilderness and the bordering region of Yosemite National Park. The Emigrant Wilderness got its name from the disastrous wagon train struggle by pioneers trying to get across the Sierra to Sonora. A relief party sent out from Sonora rescued them in the vicinity of Relief Creek and Relief Reservoir. The terrain is rugged. It is part of the Stanislaus National Forest. The Wilderness designation means that vehicles are forbidden by law. Animal hooves and people hooves are permitted. Its pristine condition is jealously guarded by Forest Rangers. Doc came to know this area like the back of his hand. He hiked its trails and fished its lakes. He developed the ability to go in on horseback leading pack animals for more ambitious excursions. He reveled in the timber, the huge granite outcroppings with thundering rivers, the bounding creeks and blue lakes teeming with trout.

Doc's prowess as a packer became known. He even got an invite to lead a group of business professionals from Stockton into the Sierra. One year, he had eleven people. There were doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, and an automotive parts guy. They hired Doc to go on this trip as the engineer. He was the designated cook. There were about fourteen head of horses. Willie Ritz in Kennedy Meadows supplied the horses. He was considered to have the best pack station.

Doc took the party from Stockton over through Horse Meadow and on through Summit Meadow and Bond Pass into Dorothy Lake. They next followed Jack Main Canyon from 9600 feet down to Wilma Lake at 8000 feet. From Wilma, they traveled back along the length of Tilden Lake and followed the ridge along Tilden Creek back up to Mary Lake above 9600 feet. There were plenty of golden trout in the lake. It is above ten thousand feet. A lot of high altitude terrain with good fishing. The return trip would reverse their course to end up back at the stables in Kennedy Meadows to turn in the stock. After days of sleeping on the ground and eating camp cooking, it was good to get back to civilization.


Happy Anniversary to Frank and Wanda Perry on Wednesday, August 15th.


Please contact me if you have items for the Farmington News column. E-mail me at or phone 896-6697.