Early Days in the Sierras

Archer Camp and More
Wendy scanned several pictures that bring back many
Sierra memories for us all.
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Some Archer family history in the Sierras...

Our mom and dad began backpacking into the Sierras before any of us were born. When Steve became old enough he was able to go in with the "big guys" for part of a summer. When Robyn was 3 we did a car camping trip to Devil's Postpile near Mammoth and our parents began to work toward creating a summer camp away from cars and to which other family and friends could come. They spoke with Art Schober, a packer they liked and respected and asked for suggestions for a good site. He suggested a camp on a big bend in the stream (the Middle Fork of Bishop Creek) and it was a go. The summer of 1953 found us packing in — all riding the 7 miles along with 3 strings of 6 or 7 mules. We were there for July and August.

Many friends came in for a week or so at a time. Daddy taught fly tying, trout fishing, camp construction and safety and some mountain climbing. He was also in charge of collecting firewood (no longer allowed in the area) and latrine digging. He led many hikes and knew where all the lakes and good fishing spots were located. Daddy learned how to build a smoke oven and smoked fish every summer. Mom showed people how to make great meals with dry food, bake in both Dutch and reflector ovens, and she taught the fine art of trout frying. She was the "camp director" and kept clothes and bodies clean, lifeguarded at the swimming pool, taught us about the flowers and trees and much more.

Besides hiking, fishing, swimming, helping around camp, we played cards, read books, sang songs, played volleyball and much more. In addition we made new friends of other hikers and campers who passed near our camp. At the end of a couple of summers we took trips with burros that we packed and led into some of the other nearby wilderness areas.

We are all grateful for the many skills we learned, experiences we had, friends we made, and memories that were created during our Sierra summers.