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Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?

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Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 06, 2015 11:27AM
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how "Big Sam" got it's name? It is big, to be sure - but who's Sam? Google was no help to me on this one.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/06/2015 11:27AM by ags.
avatar Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 06, 2015 02:44PM
Dunno... will look in Emigrant Book by Shiffrin tonight tho...
You go up it.. ?

Z Wifey destroyed it yesterday.... we hiked out from Bigelow Lake to Sonora Pass...
21 miles of joy... and I think she stopped twice on climb up Big Sam....
smiling smiley
Topo! said 60 miles in 4 days total with 12,000 ft. of gain...
Looked easy from here...

On the PCT... yowza there were a LOT of people... but off of it... saw two people
according to the wife... found as many new boundary markers...
tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 06, 2015 07:12PM
There were a lot of PCT hikers at the Tuolumne Meadows grill Sunday around 2 or so...decided to buy a sandwich in the store instead. Anyway, seems a lot of people made it through the desert sections despite the extreme drought.

"Place Names of the Sierra Nevada" doesn't include Big Sam, either.
avatar Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 06, 2015 08:19PM
Nuttin in da book w/r to Big Sam.
Well nothing that says anything about the name...

PCTers were all crazy on Benson when was there on June 26...
omg have never seen so many tents in one area... ok I have but
it was at Rancheria and it was a Boy Scout jamboreeeee...

Maybe poof will write a TR or sumtin... I think AndrewF was there
in a boat looking for the Swedish Bikini Team... o wait... I think
he reported back he found one member...
spinning smiley sticking its tongue out



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 06, 2015 08:50PM
We were at the Grill June 19 and thought there were a lot of PCTers. Then we were camping in Tuolumne with friends and family from June 20-July5. And there were MORE... MANY more... flowing through every day. The store had overflow resupply packages. Most I recall seeing day after day.. and JMTers starting out or finishing. LOTS of backpackers. Felt a little odd dressed in my car camping duds and living in huge tents, and eating ginormous group meals at camp... But it was all good! And I got to swim and boat in Tenaya lake a lot.. smiling smiley
avatar Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 06, 2015 08:54PM
Friday AM, 8 AM...I was the only person at the TM Wilderness office with a same-day reservation. There were a lot of people in the "11 AM" line, a large number of whom seemed to be looking for JMT "Donahue exit" permits.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/06/2015 08:55PM by ttilley.
Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 06, 2015 11:19PM
Funny where this thread ended up going. I was going to post on a separate thread about my experience for the 2 miles my route included the PCT.

For years I thought I'd like to hike the AT (when living on the EC). Moving to the West, my thoughts turned to the iconic Mexico-to-Canada PCT journey.

With all due respect to the hardy souls that complete that task, I must admit that I'm re-evaluating this particular quest. Excluding the close-in mileage to entry/exit TH, my NF/EF CC loop was almost private. Crossed one family on day 4 near Huckleberry Lake. By contrast, the 2 miles shared with the PCT were like a traffic jam. There must be 100+hikers per mile. All steaming along full speed ahead - need to get 25+ miles in today.

Don't get me wrong, the PCT hike is an athletic/endurance challenge, and I respect those with the motivation, spirit and conditioning to accomplish the task. However, for me I'm now wondering if it's the right thing for me; I enjoy solitude, discovery, sitting quietly and seeing what the wildlife will do next. That doesn't seem to be the PCT theme.
avatar Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 08, 2015 09:50AM
ags,
I have same feeling about PCT. Have the books... have had them for 10+ years I think...
been a dream... found love of exploring rather than "stuck in a rut" for thousand miles +
...
that being said... am starting to lean back towards wanting to do it... at least parts of it...
for maybe a month or so... not be in a hurry... just get out there for extended period of
time and enjoy... will see...

w/r to ur profile... chick-on : Don't Care
crying

really?

(btw... web owna... feel free to remove z chick-on stuff ... but I don't mind either way ... )
(birdie will make more appearances in future ... )

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 08, 2015 01:07PM
Quote
chick-on
...
w/r to ur profile... chick-on : Don't Care
crying

really?
...

I'm afraid I don't really understand the protocol here. I was going to post to get clarification but it seems I'm the only one that doesn't "get it".

Is the question about "The Pink Bird" or the person? (or food?) Are they interchangeable in all cases?
Who does "The Parrot" belong to? (or who belongs to the parrot?)
Is Old Dood = Basilbop?
Is LTW = Ms. Basilbop?

Oh - and how did "Big Sam" get its name? confused smiley

For the record, I greatly appreciate all the TRs, posts, pictures, advice and effort from the person associated with the pink bird. The pink bird sorta frightens me. I may have been traumatized as a young child by a peacock... smiling smiley
Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 08, 2015 03:24PM
The Parrot/Perret/Grey Bird is Basilbop. He happens to be my hubby.

The Pink Bird/Pink One/Great Pink One is Chick-on.

Old Dood/Old Dude/OD is mrcondron.

JKW/Flipper is me: JustKeepWalking.

Does this make it clear as mud?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2015 03:27PM by JustKeepWalking.
Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 08, 2015 04:27PM
As clear as a wilderness stream after rain...

Thanks for the decoding. I was close (I meant to type JKW not LTW).

Doesn't Old Dood need a stuffed avatar?

When did backpacking start requiring a boat?

...and how did "Big Sam" get its name? smiling smiley
avatar Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 08, 2015 04:35PM
There is no protocol. Be nice I guess would be the best protocol.
Respect.
Leave No Trace.
Have fun.

Bring a boat if you want.
Carry a 30lb pack if you want.
Carry a 15lb pack if you want.

It's all good.

Have fun!

(no idea how Big Sam got it's name)

It's Big. And Sam must be Leavitt's Dog or something like that.
Maybe his pet Chick-on ???

Sorry



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 08, 2015 09:28PM
"Big Chick-on"? smiling smiley

Yes on respect and being nice and leaving no trace and having fun.

Yes on carry whatever you want.

It's all meant to be good fun. No nastiness intended - if it wasn't clear.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2015 09:28PM by ags.
avatar Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 09, 2015 07:39AM
Quote
ags
Thanks for the decoding. I was close (I meant to type JKW not LTW).

LTW: 'Love To Wawona' ! grinning smiley
Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 09, 2015 08:01PM
Quote
ags
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how "Big Sam" got it's name? It is big, to be sure - but who's Sam?

Despite much searching, I couldn't locate my source, so this could all be made up, but... I remember reading/hearing/whatever that while the origins of Big Sam were not known with certainty, one possibility was that it was named after a large (of course) woman (Samatha?) who, was, let's just say employed in the world's oldest profession somewhere locally. It doesn't seem like she was another Silverheels, so if this is the case, whatever story there is seems to have faded into obscurity.

Of course, it's equally likely that "Big Sam" was the bulldozer that cut the Horse Meadow Road over this mountain, or a local tungsten miner, or a mule who got lost on the mountain, or Yosemite's long-lost older, bigger brother (or father)--the one who was roughest, toughest, rootinest, tootinest, fastest gunslingin' cowboy east, west, north, and south of the Walker...
avatar Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 09, 2015 10:05PM
My guess would be it was just named for a local prospector that had a claim on the mountain.

Or maybe whoever named the mountain was a fan of "Gone with the Wind" and named the mountain after the "Big Sam" character of the novel.

.
Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 10, 2015 12:51PM
Quote
basilbop
Quote
ags
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how "Big Sam" got it's name? It is big, to be sure - but who's Sam?

Despite much searching, I couldn't locate my source, so this could all be made up, but... I remember reading/hearing/whatever that while the origins of Big Sam were not known with certainty, one possibility was that it was named after a large (of course) woman (Samatha?) who, was, let's just say employed in the world's oldest profession somewhere locally. It doesn't seem like she was another Silverheels, so if this is the case, whatever story there is seems to have faded into obscurity.

Of course, it's equally likely that "Big Sam" was the bulldozer that cut the Horse Meadow Road over this mountain, or a local tungsten miner, or a mule who got lost on the mountain, or Yosemite's long-lost older, bigger brother (or father)--the one who was roughest, toughest, rootinest, tootinest, fastest gunslingin' cowboy east, west, north, and south of the Walker...

Well, your explanation of the namesake of Big Sam may or may not be correct, but I did learn something new. I'd never heard of Silverheels (the person or the mountain) until now. Here's a link in case there's anyone else out there that hasn't: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Silverheels

I have to admit that even the Silverheels story (or at least the details) seem dubious. Nonetheless, a fun story. Thanks.

The bulldozer reference reminds me of other thoughts I had while on this hike. That's a very long road (trail today). It must have cost a pretty penny to cut, and a lot of time. I wonder if the mine ever paid for the road. I would guess that such a long road would only be considered once a mine is (almost) certain to produce. It sure is deep in the mountains and wilderness - relatively speaking. I suppose Bodie was also in the middle of nowhere when it was producing, but still it seems much easier to get to (once on the eastern side of the Sierra).

I did a bit of research after returning, and it seems there were two mines serviced by the road: the Cherry Creek Mine (on the EF of CC upstream from Huckleberry Lake) and the Tungsten Mine (near Snow Lake)? I saw a "Prospect" area on the USGS topo map for what I think is/was the CC mine. I didn't see anything about the Tungsten mine. I couldn't find out much about either.

While on the trail, before having the little information I now have about the mines, I did run across a large rusted metal tank along the trail (near the CC mine area - if I'm correct about what/where it is). That led me to another question - why are some "artifacts" (some might call it "junk"winking smiley remaining and others not? Is it simply a matter of cost to recover/remove vs salvage value? I came out at Relief Reservoir and noted that some machinery and cables were also left behind. I presume those too are from mining days, not the dam construction. Are these left intact as historical items - or just too costly to remove? Seems like nothing a Sikorsky heavy lift couldn't solve...

One more item to add to this mish-mosh of a post: based on my research of the dams in Emigrant Wilderness, it appears the USFS has made final (after more than a decade of debate and appeal) the decision that all dams in Emigrant must no longer be maintained and will be allowed to decay until gone. That means that Emigrant Lake will drop about 5-8 feet. I wonder what the natural footprint of all the altered lakes look like. I couldn't find any record of that.

Y-Meadow Lake is pretty nice. I'm not sure that will be a lake at all - or if so, it will drop substantially (based on the height of the dam).

There are natural, beautiful lakes that will remain, for sure. l've not yet decided my position on the disposition of the dams. I noted during this hike that Cow Meadow Lake is a miserable, swampy, infested place (this time of year). There was a check dam there at one time but it is now washed out. I wonder if the lake was nicer, worse, or the same (for humans) while the dam was intact. I wonder if Emigrant, Y-Meadow, Long, etc will be nicer without them. Without viable inlets with water (Leighton's reason for the dams in the first place) it appears the trout population will be substantially negatively affected by this change.l

If I'm touching on any sore subjects please ignore - that's not my intention.
Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 10, 2015 01:28PM
Quote
ags
I did a bit of research after returning, and it seems there were two mines serviced by the road: the Cherry Creek Mine (on the EF of CC upstream from Huckleberry Lake) and the Tungsten Mine (near Snow Lake)? I saw a "Prospect" area on the USGS topo map for what I think is/was the CC mine. I didn't see anything about the Tungsten mine. I couldn't find out much about either.

The mine near Snow Lake is (was) the Montezuma Mine. The shaft was blasted shut, but there is still a foundation, an old vehicle, and some other remnants in the area. Tungsten was valuable during and after WWII, and its price was artificially propped up after the war by military stockpiling purchases, although the Strawberry and Pine Creek mines dominated local production and most smaller operations were not profitable. Pine Creek survived mainly because of its state-of-the-art mill. I think Strawberry is still active precisely as a domestic defense/military source; Pine Creek terminated all operations around 2000.

Quote
ags
While on the trail, before having the little information I now have about the mines, I did run across a large rusted metal tank along the trail (near the CC mine area - if I'm correct about what/where it is). That led me to another question - why are some "artifacts" (some might call it "junk"winking smiley remaining and others not? Is it simply a matter of cost to recover/remove vs salvage value? I came out at Relief Reservoir and noted that some machinery and cables were also left behind. I presume those too are from mining days, not the dam construction. Are these left intact as historical items - or just too costly to remove? Seems like nothing a Sikorsky heavy lift couldn't solve...

My guess would be that by the time the mining claims expire and the "junk" is not privately owned, it's considered to be a historical artifact. I'm sure it's also not cost-effective to remove it. I think the mine near Huckleberry is still technically on patented land, so any equipment near it would be the private property of whoever owns that claim. The cables and stuff near Relief Reservoir may have been left over from the large steam engines that winched themselves up the mountain for the dam construction--the water from which may have supported placer mining operations in the foothills.

Quote
ags
One more item to add to this mish-mosh of a post: based on my research of the dams in Emigrant Wilderness, it appears the USFS has made final (after more than a decade of debate and appeal) the decision that all dams in Emigrant must no longer be maintained and will be allowed to decay until gone. .... Without viable inlets with water (Leighton's reason for the dams in the first place) it appears the trout population will be substantially negatively affected by this change.

Of course many of these lakes probably didn't naturally have fish in them prior to being stocked...
Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 10, 2015 01:53PM
Quote
ags
One more item to add to this mish-mosh of a post: based on my research of the dams in Emigrant Wilderness, it appears the USFS has made final (after more than a decade of debate and appeal) the decision that all dams in Emigrant must no longer be maintained and will be allowed to decay until gone. That means that Emigrant Lake will drop about 5-8 feet. I wonder what the natural footprint of all the altered lakes look like. I couldn't find any record of that.

I'm not very familiar with that area and don't know how big the dams are (or how many of them there are). While, in principal, I'm happy to see dams removed from wilderness areas, just letting them "decay until gone" seems rather irresponsible. Every dam that I've heard of that's been left to this fate has not so much "decayed until gone" as "eventually ruptured" and the results were typically pretty catastrophic. Are these very small dams and in areas where the resultant flash flood will not do significant damage? For example, I know in Rocky Mountain NP, there was a dam built in the early 1900's to increase the size of Lawn Lake. In the 1980's, it gave way, killing some people in a nearby campground and causing very extensive damage to Estes Park (several miles and, IIRC, 3 rivers away from Lawn Lake). Even if rather small and deep in the wilderness, I would expect there to be far greater consequences than just changing lake levels.

Quote
ags
If I'm touching on any sore subjects please ignore - that's not my intention.

Ditto for me...I'm just curious about the network of dams we're talking about.
Re: Anyone know how "Big Sam" (Emigrant) got it's name?
July 10, 2015 02:30PM
The dams are (the ones I've seen) rock and concrete - fairly primitive - and raise the water level a few feet. Emigrant and Y Meadow are higher, maybe upwards of 6-7 feet (former) and 10-12 feet (latter). While the depth is not great, some of the lakes are large (not Lake Mead large - but Emigrant is about 2 miles long and 1/4 mile wide).

From what I've read, the dam at Cow Meadow Lake (which looks to have been only a few feet tall) washed out on its own some years ago.

Vandals (or wilderness activists, depending on your perspective) have already removed the first course of rocks from Emigrant Lake. Perhaps that will be the "natural decay" that occurs in reality.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2015 06:07PM by ags.
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