Now that I am an official part of the volunteer team for the Desolation Wilderness, I am supposed to spend a few days actually doing something there--as if I needed a reason to spend more time in the mountains!
I went up early Wednesday morning and hiked up to Maud Lake, where I did a little work to "re-establish" the wilderness nature of the area. That means that I took down a large stone wall that some campers had created, took apart a couple of examples of "Flintstone Furniture," and picked up trash. Well, not very much trash, because on the whole hike I only found one small camera strap on the ground. That's pretty impressive. I also spent some time hoisting rocks and branches out of the trail path, so that future hikers might sprain fewer ankles.
The second day, I hiked up to Gertrude Lake and did the same--but the trail to Gertrude lake includes a mile of some of roughest trail I've hiked in a long time: very steep chutes of granite boulders winding through masses of manzanita. There were times that I wasn't sure I was on the trial, except that there was nowhere else it could possibly be. This time I didn't bother with the rocks--the trail is "not recommended for stock" which is the forest service's way of saying it's going to be a rough trail. And again I checked out the area of the Lake, but only found one used band-aid and a perfectly good organic granola bar...still in the wrapper.
After a few hours chatting with hikers at the Twin Lakes Trailhead, I headed for home, having met and talked with more than a hundred hikers, moved more rocks than I could count, and been thoroughly impressed with the visitors to Desolation Wilderness, who left very little except some footprints.
As usual, here's the link to all the photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/sUMpzAgjVzyRdi9E7