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Our 2nd & Final 3 Day Expedtion At Meadow Lake
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Author:  AngelOfThyNight [ Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:48 am ]
Post subject:  Our 2nd & Final 3 Day Expedtion At Meadow Lake

Our 2nd & Final 3 Day Expedtion At Meadow Lake Sept. 25th - 27th 2015!

The first time I journeyed at Meadow Lake I fell in love and I wanted to see more. Its one of these places that feels like home not only is it scenic but its extremely remote. You cant just pull off down the side of the highway or pavement and your there. To get to this location you earn every foot as you take an old wagon road then this forestry road for many miles totally over 20 all together its intense. The road eventually climbs to the top of this ridge along these cliffs and takes you into the Meadow Lake Basin.

To get here you go past Webber Lake which has one of the oldest historic resorts in California. The road gets confusing so its important you do your research if you want to go out here. I have a few friends who want to camp or take there families here which is all good but keep in mind if you leave the main dirt roads there are nothing but jeep or OHV roads and they my friends are treacherous. I know I took a few during my last expedition and was climbing boulders.

This is a part of the Tahoe National Forest few get to see much with Iowa Hill, Big Grove, Independence Lake, Sierraville, Sierra City, Sierra Buttes and the Stampede Reservoir. All areas we have worked hard at this past year because we want to show our viewers that much more remains to be seen here other then just Lake Tahoe. You have allot of history in the region and Meadow Lake was just that a very large ghost town during its day.

As a matter in fact Meadow Lake was called originally Excelsior later Summit City then it took on the name it has now. This was a big city it has a 10k sq foot plaza, 1200 structures, 8k plus residents, 10k mining claims, 80 saloons, hotels, gambling halls, boarding house, breweries, stores and so much more. Its hard to believe not much remains but my goal was to return and at least try to find more remnants of the towns existence. I think I succeeded besides nothing like a Fall camping trip in the high sierras before winter. I try to do one every year and so far its been blessed. The sunsets and sunrises here on the lake are some of the most beautiful in the wild west and I was about to experience them first hand!

I am working on buying a second jeep that way we can take two vehicles to locations like these and a roof carrier. I own allot of gear it kind of builds over the years of chasing bigfoot and wanting to have a nice campsite. The last time I was up at Meadow Lake during one of my films I was like I definitely am going to come back and I am true to my word if I say it its happening. My main goal was to camp in the woods but on the lake and this is a place you can do that with. They are strict you do have to use one of there self fee camping areas because they have safety fire pits and benches which is fine with me. Even when I camp I never really am at camp for to long but to cook, eat, sleep, drink and maybe play some games.

When you reach the bottom of the basin you then can drive along the lakes shore its very woodsy and scenic. There are some cozy areas to camp no wonder why others called this place home for so many years and a town was built here. We would head towards the center of the lake closer to the dam though which is the oldest remaining structure built near the town site and one of the oldest in the state of Ca. There was not many people up here then again I had gotten here earlier on Friday so that I could find me a nice cozy area on the lake. Also people like to drive up on the beach here another awesome benefit of visiting the lake.

We found a nice spot in the woods with at least 40 trees surrounding our camp site loaded with shade. About 30' away was the beach to the lake which was nice because we could fish and the kids could raft. As always setting up camp takes time its not as bad if your backpacking but if you want to do a three day expedition somewhere you need the goods such as a grill, games, logs, tents, gear and allot of food. I also brought the dogs its good for them to get out hike around and it helps with the bear problem in the area. They provide bear boxes at Meadow Lake which is another reason to camp here because this time of year they are out looking for food. When we arrived the boys wanted to use there raft I just brought them a new ore they went out on the water had a blast almost tipped it falling in good times!

Our three day adventure would include downtown Meadow Lake, Meadow Lake Cemetery, Sunny Acres Mining Camp, Fordyce Lake, Hartley Butte and French Lake. We had allot of goals and aspirations with this location well at least I did. For one where I camped at was on the edge of the ghost town and lake. I wanted to be right there so we could metal detect and branch out to different locations on foot. My two goals from this expedition was to prove Meadow Lake is haunted and to find Bigfoot. I feel I did a bit of both that is because by camping here it allowed me the extra time I needed to conduct my research, theories and explorations in the area. Once camp was set on up our journey would begin here as we take on expedition two!

Day 1

It was a few hours till sundown we had just set up camp things were settling in nice.We had to pack some of the backpacks then set off in search of the same cemetery I could not find my first time. I had an idea where it was but I thought to myself how am I to find this location when it sits deep in the woods on a hill along a jeep road? Its very easy to miss there are no signs to get to it and most of the roads in the forest back here are full of dense forest. Everytime you see a clearing along these dirt roads that is where a mill, saloon, store, residence, hotel, newspaper, hurdy gurdy houses or brewery resided.

We walked through downtown how you know its downtown is there are plaques where the town once stood. The area is also open meaning no trees perhaps a few but not many and the streets are very well plotted as well as maintained. I did an excavation here to see what I would find which will talk about later on so keep reading. The streets of Meadow Lake are carefully well platted at one time business, homes, mills and brothels lined such streets.

Eventually once you leave downtown you take this jeep road I drove it but not this time because I had to be on foot to see this place. Little did I know there is a road that does pull into this place but most sites will not tell you this. I ended up looking two hundred feet through the woods walking along up the hillside till I seen a few white crosses that looked like marbles in the distance. Right away I was like a big kid and I told everyone lets just go up the hill directly to it.

Sure enough at the top of the hill overlooking downtown was a very large cemetery who would know? I was told based on my research there was only one grave and that was the Hermit Henry W. Hartley who founded the town went bust and lived up here alone for many years. I had no idea that he was murdered I did not realize that till I looked at my notes up at the top of Hartley Butte a landmark where he discovered gold at.

Sure enough in the center of the cemetery is the Hartley Grave site which has a sign above it with some very brief history. However the cemetery goes beyond that very far for hundreds of feet in every single direction are white and iron crosses. There had to be at least 100 interments here none of them labeled maybe one or two. Its a pretty horrific site when you begin to wander around here!

Many of the crosses are missing some graves are just a pile of rocks in a circular pattern. Other graves have two wood twigs crisscrossing one another to form a holy cross. This forest is heavily suffering many of the trees have fallen onto gravesites probably caused by termites while other ones are just simply overgrown with foliage. Someone not sure who went in putting an orange flag at each gravesite including every single unmarked one all the way to the ones that were in fairly decent shape to the ones that were damaged. Its easy to see a flag protruding out of a log or a shrub or in the middle of a pile of stones.

I am not sure how they know where the unmarked graves are I am willing to bet they brought in a machine to mark the unmarked graves. I believe maybe eventually those gravesites may get a white or iron cross as they all seem to be the same. There was a few gravestones but not many I seen a couple buried here and even a flag. One of the iron crosses was bent which was very odd because I cant see how this would have happened. There was also a huge pile of logs and wood in the cemetery it appears that somebody is cleaning this place up of all the fallen trees.

If you look towards the back of the cemetery there is old wooden fence post but the fence is gone and behind that is a small meadow. The graves are spread out you will see a few in the woods then fifteen near one another then a few more then another ten more. Its hard to know where all the graves are because there are orange flags everywhere but with there being so many pine needs, leaves, brush etc there might be some unmarked that were missed.

On one of the cemetery is a road this will take you to the jeep road if you do not want to hike up the steep hill to get here. Personally I do not care either way was just happy to be here to take photos, videos and do some paranormal investigating. The front entrance does have a wood sign with a makeshift wood fence that is nearly falling apart. Nearby is a huge pile of white and gray rocks the same ones I seen around some of the more recent graves. So its very apparent then when you get buried here those are stones that will surround your grave.

The cemetery is so shady its a bit dismal back here and you sort of have to search for the gravesites. I seen a few orange flags tied to a twig and stuck in the ground its madness. Only about five graves had names on them one of them said 2002 so its apparent that the cemetery has seen some recent use and more then likely some of the first burials started here after Hartley was buried on the hill. One of the graves I seen had three separate crosses made out of twigs big, medium and small. Its as if there was a father, mother and child buried here.

Since there is allot of crosses we have to assume these are ancestors of the pioneers or miners who once resided here. Its possible that after the town died that many of its residents wanted this to be there final resting place. Its so hard to say nothing has dates or is labeled some graves are harder to find and the woods here are so dense. Its a pretty creepy place I am not sure I can explain it to anyone you would just have to be there to see it and you will because I did a ton of filming at this site.

I left the cemetery feeling quite confident about seeing more of Meadow Lake. By this time the sun was setting and it was a beautiful pink sunset. We were in a hurry to get back to camp grab the fishing gear and do some trout fishing. We had gotten some small bites but nothing major so much for websites saying the fishing is great. With this drought the water is down and most lakes are just not being stocked anymore. Therefore fishing is a little rough in California it definitely is not what it use to be here. Meadow Lake is very low you have about 80' of shore with granite islands being exposed.

When I had gotten back to camp I cooked bourbon and chipotle pork steaks. I also cooked a side of veggies to go with both macaroni and southern potato salad. I have to say that was a great meal for being in the middle of nowhere lol. I enjoy beers, good food, smoke and a nice campfire after a hard days of hiking around. The moon was very unusual only two days away from the super blood moon there was an odd haze surrounding it almost a series of rainbow colors. Perhaps gasses in our atmosphere causing this special effect?

After the light show another strange event happened we heard this quick whoosh sound like it was a super sonic plane but quieter. I am not even sure I can put it into words because it was not a plane at least one I could recognize let alone even see in the night sky. There was this massive chemtrail over us hell it seemed a little low and it was so wide as well as dark that it almost covered up the entire moon. Anyone who says were not spraying is a liar right after we heard this craft then there was the massive contrail and very dark not white like the ones you see in the skies.

After our light show we decided to do an investigation of downtown at night so we grabbed the packs and went downtown. Not that downtown is far away my tent was 15' from downtown however its 160 acres of open streets and land. There are also many back streets that go off into the woods which at one time were full of cabins, houses and businesses.

It was quite I think I found a few wood boards looking in the woods at night. I stopped at the plaque downtown and we walked many of the streets as I did EMF and EVP sessions. I had some readings on the EMF but they were extremely on the low end of what I generally get when a location is haunted. I did what I could do under the stars. I found this huge crater it was filled with ashes and wood but who knows what it use to be may have been an outhouse pit at one time.

Do you know what was stranger then anything about investigating downtown? It was when Tammy pointing these glowing balls of light dancing around a foot or two off the ground then they just mysterious vanished. I often call these ghost lights and well as much as id love to say hey its fireflies this was no firefly this was something that was twinkling and moving consciously over this open area.

The woods here at night are just creepy I always felt the Tahoe Forest out of all the national forest found in the sierras is the spookiest. The woods here are rather dense and there are so many places that are hard to get to anything could be back here. There are some narrow dirt wagon roads in town that go into the woods the moment you enter those areas the temperature drops and you cant even see the moon anymore. I was thinking about going up to the cemetery but after an evening visit I decided to just let the place be as I did allot of extensive research here my first visit hours ago.

Getting back to camp was nice I needed the rest between the drive, hike, cooking dinner and setting up camp I was beat. I stayed up the latest everyone else was sleeping meanwhile I was packing backpacks with gear for the mornings grand adventure. I would also get up at 6 the early worm catches the lake steak lol.

Day 2

I was up at 6 am it was Jarrod's birthday and he wanted to do sunrise fishing which is admirable it beats playing on his cell phone. He had gotten some bites closer to the dam but I am not sure I had gotten anything but these little dark fish that are prevalent in the lake. Off in the distance you could see Hartley Butte which is a smaller summit that overshadows the lake. You cant miss it its just this treeless monolithic stone mountain that is shrouded by forest.

We went back to camp ate some breakfast then we gathered up the gear and begin to head on out. When I was heading out I had to put Tammy's dog outside to do his thing instead he ran through my tent ripping a hole in the tent boy was I pissed great way to start the day off. No less I like to head out early I had a huge day ahead of us so I had to focus on the expedition worry about repairing it later. May I just say though just because something is a mile and a half away does not mean that is how far the hike is because we would spend almost the entire day exploring. To get to Fordyce Lake would requite allot of switchbacks, rock climbing, traversing the basin etc etc so what turned out to be a 1.42 mile hike in reality was five miles.

The boys and I begin our hike behind the dam where we would follow Fordyce Creek for a bit. I stood at the bottom of the dam on the back side. The rapids were flowing really fast as water was being released surprisingly my dog jumped on in took a drink and the water did not knock him over. We found some old pipes and mining remnants on the backside of the dam. They used many of the large rusty pipes as walkways now through the marshland behind the dam its pretty cool if you want to keep your feet dry. Of course I had to cross some logs and there were areas that did not have them so I ended up getting a bit muddy back here.

The water was flowing there were little falls and so forth as opposed to a couple months ago no water was being let out of the dam and the creek was trickling. The boys and I found a logging road as it slowing kept heading west then would back east taking us deeper into the lake basin. None of the roads are labeled you can drive your jeep on them and while some are just used by hikers here. I seen a few hiking boot impressions we were not alone here. It appears others have tried to get down to the lake as well and I do not blame them.

Its allot easier to hike down to Fordyce Lake then it is to take the roads to it. Meadow Lake is only 1.42 miles away residing above the Fordyce Basin. While you can take this god awful jeep road to the north the road gets so bad that it does not show up on any maps and it takes miles to get there. The back way to Fordyce is to hike it in and the jeep road is not nearly as treacherous from here either based on my journey on foot on it for a couple miles.

As we continued down one of the OHV roads there was a green cabin made out of sheet metal more like a shanty with an outhouse in the back. Both were locked up but out back there was a fire pit and you could tell that someone had used this place perhaps as a hunting camp. In the woods was another structure on its side with a green old wood door on it. It was a small but interesting site even had a bridge that crossed a seasonal dry creek.

The boys and I started to cut down into the lake basin we could see a massive open area within the basin with no trees. Sure enough a little further into it we could see the pristine blue waters through the trees. We had to figure a way to get to the lake the roads were just going all over the place and we ended up taking a steep one into the woods. At this point in time we were primitive no trails just allot of dense woods, foliage, wet marshland and granite rocks everywhere.

When your searching for Bigfoot you need to go primitive but you still have to be careful that is often where the bears roam and not all are as nice in temperament.When your in the sierras and you can physically go to places no man has gone before your going to see some amazing places such as waterfalls or caves. I been going primitive for awhile and if I did not do it I would not have found the things I have found in my paranormal career. Its not for everyone you can get lost or even die there are no roads for miles nothing but lake basins, huge mountains, ravines and vast canyons.

We came up on a mining camp I have to assume there are more hidden in the woods afterall this region at one time had 10k plus mining claims staked. Some of those mines grew very large and they even had mills. Although Meadow Lake died allot of those mines are hidden up in these parts and there is map to tell you where to look or go. I have seen tunnels in the mountains taken by others who ventured here they exist but so do camps like this.

The camp had about three downed wood structures probably miners cabins or maybe a blacksmith shop and general store. There was another cabin that was locked most cabins are just that one room where the miner did his cooking, sleeping, eating and living here. The cabin that was locked was quite older then the cabin with the door missing off of it. The cabin with the door open was a bit creepy as everything was as is the way whoever left it. There was two old two liter bottles of soda on the kitchen table, can goods in the pantry from the early 70's, percolator for coffee, empty clothes hangars in the closet, old fridge, stove, mug, ripped curtains and chairs. There was also a badminton racket on the table, medicine and even a crawlspace. \

At first I thought maybe someone primitive is living here because you never know it happens all the time in the sierras. People tend to forget that Meadow Lake is home to the wild man, bushwhackers, serious jeepers and hikers. Its also home to hermits just like Hartley was true brave men who embraced the outdoors living in seclusion and off the land. In this case Hartley never left the area and he was murdered for it. Besides the camps shacks there was a sign that says Sunny Acres and a pile of bed springs from a few beds that were probably in these cabins and removed at a later time.

We thought that this would be all there is to see but deeper in the woods I found ore cart tracks and piles of bricks. This indeed was a mining operation without the mine. There is a little overgrown road that you keep taking through the camp which took us to a very large homestead. It had two stories perhaps a loft as well made completely out of wood quite aged with giant wood shutters. The opposite side of this big wood structure was covered in shingles and the roof was made of aluminum. There were no shutters on the back of the homes windows. There appeared to be an older rendition and you could tell some renovations were made. Its quite possible that this was the administration building for the mine or the owner lived here who overseen the miners. The place was just creepy there was dead flowers in pots, debris scattered everywhere and inside the door window furniture just piled up on top of another.

Behind the homestead was an outhouse that boasted two toilets side by side just like something you might see in Europe. I guess in the woods nobody was shy back then if you had to go you went. This outhouse was falling apart held up by a piece of wood and some rocks. At that moment the boys looked and seen some man booking in the woods. He did not see us the vegetation is thick but we seen him and there are no trails back here. There is a couple dry seasonal creeks which you can use is trails to go to and from Fordyce Lake. But at this point for safety the boys and I ran down into this deep ravine through tons of brush and into a dense area of the woods.

We found a season creek bed followed that through this very overgrown area where the leaves were turning gold. We were literally walking through a golden meadow as the sun pierced the forest floor below it was magical. Through the trees we could also see a rocky peak high above us and these cliffs. We were in some uncharted country it was quiet and we managed to begin descending onto the lake.

When we came out of the woods there was massive granite slabs, cliffs and very harsh terrain which would take us a few hundred feet down to the lake. We had to be very careful it was easy to lose your balance here or even slip it was very steep with granite rocks and slanted slabs for hundreds of feet. We eventually climbed down and stood on the shores of Fordyce Lake. If you continue past Old Man Mtn. in the distance there is a place called Baltimore Town. It appears that there were many mining camps, settlements and towns that early pioneers once braved in this vast frontier. Although they no longer exist these emigrants first hand visited lakes like Fordyce and very little has changed since then scenery wise.

This lake is huge let me just add the water is so clear and blue its paradise. Off to the SW you have the monolithic Old Man Mtn. There is also Phoenix Lake below it but you cant see it. Fordyce Lake was very low probably 80' below normal levels so the rocks we were on should be technically underwater. The Lake is very narrow and long to the south is a massive dam which you can walk on but we could not get to it because you have to access it from the other side. Part of the lake goes behind the mountains and trust me many of the peaks here are volcanic domes and vents so the views are very picturesque.

To the northwest the lake also has a hidden cove you cant see we kind of were in the middle of it all so I could see at least 75 percent of the lake. I heard a strange vocalization while up here and there were no humans we could see across the lake nobody was there. There are allot of coves or blind spots to the lake but the vocalizations came directly across yet no explanation for them in board daylight. My son said probably some guy well generally most hikers do not blurt out vocalizations that sound like bigfoot towards us.

We spent time at the lake it was my sons Birthday so he went swimming so did the dog. We all had a nice lunch here and I found on the rock a blue crab torn to bits. It was not large but its claws and pinchers were blue in color. There was bees swarming all over the remains. Just as I found a trench coat, ripped clothes and a hat on various rocks where water should be. It appears back in the day people may have boated here throwing there things into the water or maybe even losing them hard to say for sure. But when you see old clothes strung out on a steep bank it has to make you wonder.

I tried to use the two way radios the entire day to keep in touch with Tammy back at base camp strangely not once did I get her on the radio. I contacted her all day long even a half of mile or so near camp when we were heading to Sunny Acres and had gotten nothing but static. I am not sure who was even listening to me because later on I starting to making alien probe jokes and UFO jokes because I thought maybe she could hear me and I just could not hear her. Well I guess I pissed off three dudes who all of sudden magically appeared on my channel and begin to put together a witch hunt.

They wanted to crucify me we heard them talking with one another saying how they are going to find me, search the main roads and trying to put together possible descriptions. People need to lighten up and they had gotten close as we heard them come up on the dam trying to see if they could spot us. By that time we were just about to head into the national forest into the primitive zone and trust me nobody is going to find you in that jungle. I guess my jokes pissed them off its to bad they did not realize that I was not talking to them dumb asses. They spent the next two hours trying to find me its nice to know people waste there time trying to kick someone's ass rather then enjoy the great outdoors.

Eventually we came up on some waterfalls and rapids we stopped here so the dog could get some water. Its a good thing I brought allot of water because we could fill the bottles for later then use them to water down the dog. Rascal is a good hiking dog I bring him once or twice a year on Bigfoot expeditions. The problem is he is a pit bull American bulldog mix therefore his joints get very sore so he was starting to tire out. Each year it gets hard to take the boy out for adventuring believe me. Because he is a loyal companion to have and is pretty good at seeking out the safest ways for us to journey. The hike in the woods was nice we found a tree almost as big on its side as a giant sequoia pretty amazing.

When we were climbing in the woods we had gotten high above Fordyce Lake that is when we came across a Hermits shack or some sort of homestead in a clearing overlooking the lake. This is something I have not seen on any site which means we found something very hidden that may not have been visited in decades. The site was scattered with allot of wood and rusty nails. There was also a bed laying out front without the mattress. The home was built into the home therefore it had a basement with shelves, cupboards and a workshop. While to get to the story above you had to climb a ladder. All the walls to the main floor had fallen over one entire wall was laying on its side on the west side of the structure. There was also a tree it had to be over 150' tall this area had been untouched and whoever lived here had to be a hermit this was not state of the art just a primitive homestead above the lake.

Its very strange when we were in some thick woods climbing the forest floor we found a gravesite in the middle of nowhere. It was a pile of stones with a wood board placed in the middle of it. This is a typical miners grave either that or someone buried someone here back in the day. Nobody would ever find this believe me you could spend months searching that area its that well hidden. Hell I could never find it again but being there was allot of mining deaths probably back in the day they did not have a choice but the bury the individual here either that or leave them out in the open decomposing. This tells me there is allot of hidden secrets in the woods surrounding Meadow and Fordyce Lake. Things you cant see that you might stumble across if you explore enough.That does not even including the mega mushrooms we discovered growing on some bark!

We ended up trying to take a different way and it took us right back to Sunny Acres where we found in the woods some rusty tub or tank this time around. At this point we decided to get out of there hit some of the jeep roads where briefly I could see Hartley Butte between the trees. The butte is this massive volcanic dome with no trees growing on it and is one of the best areas to view the lakes in the area from above. Once again the boys and I would go primitive heading northwest towards the butte. We could not see it but we knew we were heading in the right direction towards it and when we had gotten a break in the woods we might be able to see it in its glory.

We followed some jeep road where we seen blood splatter on the rocks. There was also brains and other tissue splattered on the jeep road. We begin to follow the blood trail and ran into guys I guess loading up a deer into there pickup truck. I tried to be evasive and we decided to just hurry up go into the forest again because they were looking and I think they were poaching I really do. I heard a couple gun shots earlier this probably was them killing this deer. I do not mind hunting I just hope others do it legally and responsibly is all.

When we went into the woods we begin a steep climb very few realize this but Hartley Butte is so large it starts at Meadow Lake and slowly ascends. We were just a half of mile below the crown so we were already more then halfway there to begin with. Sadly we climbed up on a jeep road just below the butte and there was a gate, fencing and a private property sign. Hell there was also a house back here or wooden cabin and there was a pickup truck heading to it. Luckily the individual did not see us because I was not looking for trouble when you climb up hills and mountains coming out on a road you cant see that road till you are at the top. So instead we climbed along these cliffs followed the road to the outside of the gate then we cut over to the butte.

We stood below the cliffs of the butte and to be honest its a very safe climb you can take your dogs, kids and families trust me. But you have to hike on the back side that way you can gradually work your way to the top. My kids tend to get a head of me they are great climbers but this butte killed my bad knee. Part of it is steep then eventually it levels off and there is this little area you can sit up there with your family and have a picnic that blocks out the wind. There is other huge flat stones you can also sit on if you want to reflect or lay back enjoy the scenery. When we had gotten here it was windy on and off there are no trees to break it just rocks you can duck behind. I seen this butte my first trip here then did more research to realize it was named after the towns founder who discovered gold here which sparked a boom town overnight.

I toked one we had a nice healthy meal here I ate fruit, cold cuts, drank beer, toked, fruit snakes, cakes and everything else we brought with us. The view up here is simple stellar of Meadow, Fordyce and Faucherie Lakes. There is also to the south some other lake but its small and does not show up on any maps. I tried to see French Lake but mountains and a ridge where the basin resides obstructed it. But I could see English Peak an area we would be hiking near on our final day. French Lake I was planning on visiting Sunday morning as that actually is NW of Meadow Lake rather then to the SE. Its amazing because the lakes are all in sync only separated by a mile at most from one another. The top of the chain is Meadow Lake but the lowest of them is Faucherie Lake. Each lake connected by a creek each one draining into the next its pretty cool.

I had gotten to see a very nice perspective of the area from up here do some great photography and filming for our viewers. Its hard to tell when you look at Meadow Lake that a city once stood here because from above these lakes just look like forest covered blue gems from afar. But when you get down to Meadow Lake there are platted roads and areas that are very open. I could see our camp spot from above and the dam below as well. The view was simply stellar and this is not a hard butte to summit as it stares directly across to the South at Old Man Mtn. Its not the highest point in the area but its one of the best areas to rock climb above Meadow Lake and puts these lake basins into perspective. Its very open as you stare across towards other peaks and geological landmarks. There is a few peaks I seen at the top of the butte I never seen in my life one of them had these beautiful volcanic spires which looked like a castle on top of the peak.

The boys and I packed it up then headed back to camp. I was pretty sad that Tammy was sick the entire day she did not get to go. My dog was so tired that he plopped down and never moved the entire night. I must had given him a good workout because he was bushed. I would not be able to bring him hiking the next day I tried but he could barely even walk when he did he was acting like he was 120 years old. Generally he has hiked days in a row with me but this time around he just could not do it. But I have to say I spoiled him well he had gotten pork chops and slim Jim's. He worked hard and deserved the special treatment.

At camp the boys and I made sandwiches I promised them they could have as many as they wanted once we arrived here. I bought rolls, ham, turkey, aged pepperoni, provolone, Colby pepper check, sweet honey mustard and chicken breast shavings. Those were the best sandwiches ever and we worked quite an appetite up from exploring all day. I was not done yet though I had some more adventure left in me at the time! So after fueling up Tammy and I headed to where downtown once stood to metal detect. I would have gone to look for some caves above Meadow Lake but I only had a general area and it was almost nightfall which meant it would be a shot in the dark at least with metal detecting I was camping in the ghost town so I did not have to look very far to find some cool stuff!

Metal detecting is allot of fun I do not do it to get rich I just try to use it as an educational tool so others time to time can learn about the people here. Downtown is full of metal underground every single time it went off I dug up a nail or bolt from the 1800's. Accidentally I dug up some pink pieces of glass that were broken. We did not have long the sun was setting but we did take a forested road which leads to where the residential area use to be. Every area that had a clearing a structure stood and in those areas we also had gotten hits. The town had to be massive especially when you find so much rusty metal site after site its everywhere. What it tells me is that the area at one time had structures most of them probably wood and the type of glass I was finding dates back to the mid 1800's so definitely I found signs of the town here.

We went back to camp to settle in for the night and relax we were all pretty muddy. I cooked cheeseburgers, mac n cheese with broccoli in it and salmon steaks. It was my sons birthday so this is more of a meal on his level especially the fish. He is having a real birthday party Oct. 2nd so his friends can spend the night but for now we settled for a small little birthday celebration by a camp fire, lanterns, piece of cake and a card with money. It was simple and the boy was happy. He had gotten some of his favorite foods and hiked in some the most beautiful areas of the Tahoe National Forest. There are no cars, highways, cities or towns nearby you stand on that butte you can see 100 miles in every direction seeing nothing but mountains that go on what seems to be an eternity.

I turned in a little earlier I spent some of my trip photographing the moon we were less then a day away from the rare super blood moon event which only occurs once every generation or 30 years. I may never live to see another one but ill enjoy all I can enjoy while I am here for sure. I slept good but again id be up at the crack of dawn to start a fire and get ourselves ready for our final destination "French Lake".

Day 3

We ate breakfast then I started a campfire it was fairly cool in the morning but not as cold as last years trip at Woods Lake. Last year around the same time there was snow where we camped here and there. Winter comes early in these parts so we were blessed to have such great weather.

Tammy had gotten really sick again and my dog was not doing well either he was just very tired which normally he hikes for days. He was whining to go but he was hobbling around so I took Tammy's dog Rocky who likes to climb and run like crazy. He has a good sense of hearing and smell perfect for Bigfoot chasing. Of course bigfoot likes little dogs so you do have to be careful in the field if your going to bring one.

I took the jeep we offroaded near the cemetery a little past the hill its on then took another rugged road where we parked at some bent rusty gate. More like a iron bar across this rugged overgrown trail more or less but its one of the only ways to get down into the French Lake Basin. This area is like a lost world at times you cant even see what is around the next corner its pretty cool.

The area you start off with is amazing full of cliffs, granite peaks, jagged rock formations, overgrown dense woods and very large trees. This may have been an old jeep road its hard to say because at times its so bad that it kills your feet as many of the rocks are loose while others are very large and you have to scramble past them. The trail at times was so overgrown we could not even see it other times it was just very narrow and we could touch the foliage on both sides.

One area had a bunch of small loose rock for nearly 300' it was brutal we were slipping and sliding like crazy. Each time we made our descent the cliffs around us grew taller and rock formations. We could see a very large open area signifying another lake basin. We could also see off in the distance English Peak which towers over the lake itself. Eventually when you get about half way down the trail kind of zig zags and you can begin to see the blue pristine waters of French Lake.

We went off in the woods and found a hidden pond which has mud on its banks great for finding strange tracks. Allot of the lakes in this area possess rocky shores so you wont find any tracks. But if you study maps carefully you can see at least 50 bodies of water surrounding Meadow Lake some reservoirs while others are smaller ponds like the one we discovered. Between the last two trips out here I have found at least five ponds and they are good areas to search for Bigfoot at because of there remoteness and soft earth around them.

Jarrod and I begin to walk around this pond where I found a track with toes about 11" but this looked more like a bear and there was some scat nearby with nuts in it. There was a second impression near this one that was very large, deep and it was not in good shape but again something made it with allot of weight. The difference is that this impression was all alone and the bear like track there were a few leading to and from.

However on the other side of the pond I sent my son around to check for tracks. I thought I seen an impression on the other side but he is quicker so I told him to let me know and right away he is like dad you have got to see this track. So I grabbed the gear ran around the pond sure enough there it was a nice beautiful deep track in the mud about 5' from the water and 5' from the grass or harder earth. Whatever made it stepped from the grass with one foot and a very large stride into the mud. It may have been very large because the impression was facing towards the water and it was one single track nothing more.

Its like whatever it was very tall with a huge stride because it stepped from the grassy bank to the mud and apparently was able to take a drink even though the track was still far away from the water. I measured the track it was about 17" in length from heel to toes definitely much wider then a human foot. Also what stood out more then anything is that it had five big toes. None of the toes went from large to small they just were all very large and pudgy. You can see them on video with my hand comparison I use as an example. Its as if something came out of the woods to have a drink of water here. Strangely I stepped near the track for awhile my hiking shoe barely made an impression in the mud yet this thing was an inch deep and had so much weight to it that the dirt was forced upwards between the toes and entire foot.

This was a nice find its apparent that a variety of animals come here to drink maybe even find food. That includes deer and definitely bear. But that one single track is just very weird it might tell another story about how these Bigfoot like creatures are no longer making there way to these lakes and reservoirs. But rather they might be drinking from smaller ponds that are more remote. With the four year drought in effect many reservoirs are very low therefore these creatures cant just stand near the woods to get a quick drink because of the extensive visible shoreline. So it would make sense that they would perhaps lurk around these smaller ponds and wetlands we found in the region while exploring.

We begin to hike down into the basin some more you have to understand that these basins where lakes reside are very deep. You have to work your way around cliffs, rocks and glacier granite slabs for hundreds of feet down. Its very harsh terrain and if you do not know how to handle it you could die by taking the wrong way down seriously! One tumble or roll its over so you can take the trail all the way but we chose not to. We actually had gotten about half way down into the basin then decided an area of the lake we wanted to chill at so we just begin to cut down the side of it. Its very desolate here there are no roads to French Lake you rock climb in or you just don't! I wanted to see this place really bad and it was in my itinerary so to be doing it was a really great feeling considering how much exploring we did already. My kids are becoming leaders in the woods they are going on expeditions that cost others hundreds of dollars leading the way through primitive areas and its really as a father amazing to see!

There was some cliffs on the edge of the basin so we had to cut to our left down into this ravine or wash which was very harsh with allot of foliage and giant rocks. Eventually we came out on French Lake and had a nice little cove on the southeast end of the lake. This place is pretty close to eerie its so quiet not one kayaker, boat, four wheeler, hiker, camper or human here. Then again this is not a very easy accessible lake none of them we visited on this trip are. Some areas have a jeep road or two you can access them buy but guaranteed you will climb boulders to get to them via those routes. Fordyce Lake has two jeep roads that you can take to get near it but French Lake has none therefore we had the entire basin to ourselves lol. It is no wonder why Bigfoot may be more prevalent here then other places that see more human activity it makes sense.

We had a nice break on the lake the dog was stinky so I threw him in its pretty funny because my son snapped the photo as he was mid air leaving my arms. That dog loves to swim he also dries off in 2 minutes because his hair is less then an eighth of an inch. The boys skipped rocks and raced wood logs across the water. I think one of them skipped a rock six or seven times I could not film it memory was running low but I let them be boys and play. The lake is really nice to the north is a very large dam then on the SW side is this granite island with trees and rock formation on it. There is also a hidden cove on the back side of the island but you cannot see the cove or on the other side. The shoreline is not that friendly its very rocky full of giant car sized boulders and there is no trail around this lake. As a matter in fact there is a hill blocking the cove on the SW side and its some rough terrain if you want to get over there. There are these cliffs on the west end of the lake that are hundreds of feet high and very steep.

I did manage to find an area where allot of berries were growing so anyone who says what does Bigfoot eat well if a bear can sustain itself here so can one of these creatures. There are nuts and berries in these parts in abundance I do pay attention to the food sources every location we go at times just to try to understand this creature better. Then when you see English Peak off in the distance which is covered in cliffs, forest and rocky outcrops it has to make you wonder if a mountain like that is home to these kind of creatures. Maybe they reside up on the granite cliffs which can contain caves or live in nearby mines and at night work there way down into this basin to gather food or water. There is supposed to be 1500 year old petroglyphs near where we hiked who were made by the Martis Indians. Its hard to know the exact location to many rock faces, crevices, granite rocks covered in foliage etc. But the Martis were the first humans to live for many centuries along this lake so its a very ancient place and to be able to hike here was truly awesome!

No less I enjoyed the lake we had gotten to see about 75% of it from where we were at and I think people might have fun swimming across one of the coves to the big primitive island here. But our time would have to be short we had to get back make lunch, pack up camp and finish off some other projects. The problem was we had no trail anymore we left it a long time ago so we had to figure a new way to climb out of this basin. At the bottom of the basin is this brush it will cut you like butter and we had to kind of work our way around this rock climbing for a few hundred feet. Eventually we would reach the trail and climb out of this place. The climb is not for the weak for a couple miles its completely an ascension over lose rocks and harsh terrain.

When we arrived back at camp I cooked sausage along with salad it was good I also had some chocolate milk lol. The boys were happy of course what kids would not be happy when they have a dad as adventurous as me. It was a full weekend but the pain in the ass part was coming and that was packing up camp. Then having to reload it in the jeep which takes up all our extra space once you throw the dogs in and have to take your garbage out of here. But surprisingly within an hour we had it all packed, saved and the raft deflated after having a yummy lunch. We also roasted some marshmallows because you gotta have those at camp. I really wish more folks were involved in our society people are missing out on years of great locations and things that I can only reveal once in a lifetime!

The last leg of my day I spent offroading which on my first trip I did more of this trip was about getting out on foot and really looking around. I have come to the conclusion that the Meadow Lake area holds it secrets well such as the hidden grave, remote cemetery, piles of wood found in the forest and mining debris. Then we found a hidden mining camp and even a hermits homestead up on some hidden overlook. I am sure much more remains to be seen here you could spend years hiking in this lush forest and around these basins never finding everything. If I spent three days journeying and seen this much imagine what someone could see in a few years here? There are lakes, creeks, rivers, ponds, historic sites, mines, camps, peaks and everything else in between. It is just so much to see and your not going to find these places on the Internet. Your either going to find these places exploring primitively or by someone who can tell you where they are.

Before I left Meadow Lake I tried to take the OHV road towards the town cemetery. To my left is supposedly two more ponds. I found dry creeks and I found wetlands that also were dried up because I recognize the plant life I found that was dead. So either the ponds dried up or I was a few hundred feet off. I studied maps but I only marked a general area and I know I was near them but they probably no longer exist. In the sierras they have these plants that only grow in water once the water is gone these plants turn into hard brown spikes. I went into the forest parked on the jeep road disappeared for about a half hour to search for them in hopes to find a few more ponds nearby that may contain more strange tracks.

The woods were so dense back here some of the leaves on trees were turning gold it was pretty. But I had to end up following a dry creek bed in hopes it would take me to a pond. When I could not find either one based on my maps I decided to climb this massive granite rock formation which was about 100' high above the forest floor. I could see English Peak to the north over a ridge and woods surrounding it as I stood up on this cliff to take a selfie. I did not see the ponds seen a couple dry creek beds, woods, ravine and a couple open areas where ponds may have stood before this drought has nearly dried up many of them in the sierras. I did do some rock climbing and wandered around the woods but did not want to leave my family for to long. Its pretty creepy back in here there is just nothing here and who knows what remains hidden back in these woods.

I get the impression that there are some humans who may have gone primitive who have chosen to live off the land. This place is known for its hermits to come up here to hide in the woods. Now the winters are harsh here that was one of the reasons Meadow Lake failed the other is because they did not know how to separate the gold from the ore. But I always felt watched like someone was hiding, watching or maybe up in the trees. Even at Sunny Acres I felt someone may have been still living in one of the cabins just watching us as we walked around. Its just that type of place and if its not a hermit it might just be Sasquatch! This forest is well renowned for having major bigfoot sightings and other types of evidence founded.

I have to say this was a great trip though we uncovered more of the ghost town, metal detected, vocalizations, good eats, fishing, discovering remnants of the ghost town, witnessed ghost lights, discovered a major track up near French Lake and visited quite a few places including the cemetery which was more extensive then I thought. We really lived it up and for a long time I wont forget this adventure. Between both expeditions our viewers are in for allot of excitement, adventure, exploration, scenery and the paranormal it will leave you breathless trust me when I say that! All in all though I had gotten to spend time with my family and get the dogs to be dogs which is always a positive. You really have to hike beyond Meadow Lake if you want to see some of the more prettier scenery and trust me you wont have to go very far.

When we took the ridge road leaving the basin there is a place along these cliffs where we stopped to take a family picture from above. I been wanting to do this because its a very beautiful view of Old Man Mtn which you can see off in the distance behind Meadow Lake. I also wanted to capture the Super Blood Moon on Sept. 27th which is a once in a generation event. A super blood red moon? It is when the moon appears 14% larger due to it being closer to earth and is full. I always try to plan events near these eclipses so we can hike under them which is always allot of fun.

The eclipse or rather the moon passed within the Earths shadow causing it to look red/orangish at the time the moon was closest to earth which is a red super moon. Unfortunately it became so cloudy I could not film the eclipse as I had planned but I did get lucky there was a very short time window when the moon was completely red above Meadow Lake and I had managed to set up the camera on the tripod capturing two really stellar pictures for our website. I also took a couple photos of the moon after the eclipse when the sky cleared up and had gotten more of the super moon when the eclipse was over.

By the time I had arrived home it was night we had pizza and watched Fear The Walking Dead I also noticed that my giant cottonwood shed all its leaves lol. I kind of have two homes the one I live in now and the wilderness which I devote allot of my time to. I never felt so at home in my life. Ill miss this place this was a two part project the first one is an introduction to the area with allot of offroading and some exploring. The second expedition focuses more extensively on other areas that surround the lake such as the national forest, mining camps, lakes and historic sites.

I did see photos on the Meadow Lake Page of some mining remnants never found them but in one of them you see this jeep ride over two plants over this mine shaft filled with water. It appears that the adventure is limitless up here and its no wonder why it has its own FB page let me add! I only found a few mining remnants but for a region that has 10k gold claims they sure remain very well hidden which is all the more reason to get out and explore. Very few even know this but Mark Twain stayed at Meadow Lake for a short time. Today where the ferries ran, downtown bustled and men gambled at saloons is all gone. Nature has taken over once again allowing history to be buried but not forgotten and creatures such as Bigfoot to once again roam this vast land.

I do think the key is with this place is to get out and explore. I seen a few campers who never left camp at the lake as a matter in fact some group of kids came to our camp the second night breaking limbs off fresh trees I was pretty pissed. The road they came from has plenty of wood along it yet they start cutting down trees where I am camping and that is not even as bad as these adults who put feces all over the walls of the vault toilet nearby. People have no respect for others let alone mother nature it just pisses me off is all truth! People are clowns and I know animals more civil just like with the three men on the radio announcing how they are going to get me like buffoons.

But all in all I wont forget this trip I took EVP will have to see what transpires I can only hope that we have something that way I can not only show that the town still lives on of Excelsior aka Summit City aka Meadow Lake but also that the possibility of bigfoot reclaiming this beautiful land does exist. It might be a difficult place to reach but its one of the most gorgeous pristine locations I have ever journeyed at for sure! I took hours of video, pictures, EVP recordings, readings and miles of explorations back here. If you cannot give this place your blood, sweat and tears its not worth coming back here but if you do your going to find there are gems hidden all over meant to be found to be appreciated.

It was a bit odd that a few guys were trying to hunt me down but I guarantee in the game of cat n mouse I always win. These mountains are my home and they are one of the only places I can go into the woods vanish from the troubles that surround the rest of the world. My only wish is that nature was more abundant I seen maybe one hawk, one duck, no flowers hardly due to it being fall and dozens of black birds who in turn are so friendly they will climb up onto your foot lol. I plan on working more with this region but in other areas so I cant wait to return!

I just want to also say my cat Sneezer is dying it was nice to see his face when I had gotten home but he is sick with cancer and has days if not hours to live. He was always on our radio show and even went on a few investigations with me back in the day. Best cat in the world and its ashamed he wont make it till 10. But everybody is part of the team our friends, members, family and our pets. He will be missed greatly believe me when I say that. Sneezer has had quite the life on the road, homeless with me, living in the woods, thwarting a thief breaking into my car and so many other adventures. That includes him being cat napped and nearly being put to death. I just wanted to add that in there because our pets become like family and sometimes they also become part of the research that we do here at PGS!
Lord Rick

P.S. Revisions may be made as this is a rough draft for our website not the final edition which will be added in the future!

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