ray on beulah
Ray DeLea
(aka: the Pigmy Packer circa 1969)

new ovh logo



NOTICE:
All items on this website have been catagorized as fair use and are being displayed strictly for non-commercial and nonprofit educational purposes. No items on this website are in anyway sold or used in publications of any sort by the website owner. Wherever possible, permission to use each item has been obtained from the author (if still alive) or from the collector of such material, and an agreed upon credit has been given.

What is this site all about?

1. The telling in words and pictures of one of the Eastern Sierra's most incredible mule packing outfits - Mt. Whitney Pack Trains which operated out of Lone Pine, CA from the 1940s through the early 1970s.

2. The history of Owens Valley towns, pioneering families, and individual people who made Owens Valley what it is today.

3. Stories of mining camps and surrounding areas affecting mining in the mountains surrounding Owens Valley.

4. Stories and photos about the Sierra Nevada Mountains (The Range of Light that is like none other), the personalities who enjoyed them in the past and who are part of the lore we relish to hear about today.

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Revised- May 2020: High Sierra Adventures
Added endorsements and poem, expanded Foreword, needed format enhancements.
high sierra adventures
This book follows the adventures of a teenager who worked for Mt. Whitney Pack Trains, out of Lone Pine, CA, for six summers between the years of 1965 - 1970. It details his journey from being a "city slicker" knowing nothing about livestock and packing to becoming a seasoned packer / guide for one of the most prestigious pack stations operating on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. Using a combination of photographs and life events he takes the reader progressively through six summers of "learning the ropes" of being a packer as he packed in such groups as the Sierra Club, the Trail Riders of the Wilderness and private parties. This book is full of events that will make you laugh and cry as he describes the pack trips, wrecks, wrangles, livestock and personnel that made each summer a greater adventure than the preceding one.
Copies are now available through Amazon
At the Eastern California Museum in Independence, CA
and at the Whitney Portal Hostel & Hotel in Lone Pine, CA

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mt whitney from thunder mtn
Mt. Whitney and the Eastern Sierra crest as seen from Thunder Mountain.
(Photograph by Mike Porter - 1977)

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This site is graciously being hosted by the owner's of Shocking.Com - Stop by and pay them a visit and express you thanks for their generosity. Without their generosity, this site would not be possible.

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Owens Lake and Vacinity
1939 USGS Topographical Map


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noah becker
A 7-shot vertical pano stack of the Sierra Nevada west of Lone Pine as seen under a full moon from the Alabama Hills.
(Photograph by Noah Becker - Thanksgiving 2018)

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Entries since 25 April 2020 - Added a new page on Swansea
Entries since 02 September 2020 - Added a new page on the Piper Family of Oasis, CA
Entries since 03 September 2020 - Added a new page for Little Lake
Entries since 11 September 2020 - Added a new webpage on Keeler and Cerro Gordo
Entries since 12 September 2020 - Added a new webpage to the Carson & Colorado RR
Entries since 15 September 2020 - Added a new webpage on Ed Thistlethwaite
Entries since 17 September 2020 - Added a new webpage on the Big Pine Citizen newspaper
Entries since 21 September 2020 - Added 3 photos of Chrysopolis
Entries since 31 December 2020 - A Thousand Acres of Nothing
Entries since 27 January 2021 - Added a new page with many of the Native American Paiute photos from the Bishop area consolidated
Entries since 03 February 2021 - Completely reorganized all of the Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Railroad webpages
Entries since 23 April 2021 - Completely revamped and reorganized all of the Manzanar webpages
Entries since 02 May 2021 - Completely revamped and reorganized all of the Sierra Nevada / Owens Valley Place Names webpages
Entries since 11 May 2021 - A Survey of the Inyo County Schools (1935)
Entries since 11 May 2021 - Water Delivered for 5 cents a Ton
Entries since 26 June 2021 - Irene Cuffe

 

 


Entries since 18 June 2020 - Added the story of Sylvia Winslow - the artist who did the painting over the American Hotel in Cerro Gordo
Entries since 20 June 2020 - Added 4 new photos to Little Lake
Entries since 20 June 2020 - Added the article on Mountain Trails to Jordan Hot Springs
Entries since 20 June 2020 - Added 4 photos to early Lone Pine
Entries since 24 June 2020 - Added 22 new photos to Early Bishop
Entries since 24 June 2020 - Added 3 new photos to Cartago
Entries since 24 June 2020 - Added 5 new photos to Swansea
Entries since 26 June 2020 - Added 2 new photos to Near Owens Valley
Entries since 26 June 2020 - Added 10 new photos to Olancha
Entries since 28 June 2020 - Added 16 new photos and two stories to Cerro Gordo
Entries since 28 June 2020 - Added 2 photos of the John Barlow grain silos at Fish Springs
Entries since 28 June 2020 - Added 9 new photos to Manzanar
Entries since 05 September 2020 -Added 6 new photos to Manzanar
Entries since 06 September 2020 - Added 3 new photos to the Wonacott Family
Entries since 11 September 2020 - Added 14 new photos to Laws
Entries since 12 September 2020 - Added 9 new photographs to my Carson & Colorado RR webpage on the closing of the SPNG in Owens Valley
Entries since 23 September 2020 - How to Get Rich in California
Entries since 28 September 2020 - Added 11 new photos to Rena Beth Smith files
Entries since 31 December 2020 - Added 4 new photos to Owens Valley / Owens Lake
Entries since 07 January 2021 - Added 11 photos of Mono Mills in 1913
Entries since 07 January 2021 - Added a letter from Manzanar internee Kosh Ado
Entries since 08 January 2021 - Added 5 new photos to Big Pine
Entries since 08 January 2021 - Added 8 new photos to Bishop
Entries since 08 January 2021 - Added 12 new photographs to Independence
Entries since 08 January 2021 - Added 9 new photos to Olancha
Entries since 09 January 2021 - Added 10 new photos to June Lake area
Entries since 09 January 2021 - Added 9 new photos to Little Lake
Entries since 09 January 2021 - Added 10 new photos and a matchbook cover to Lone Pine
Entries since 09 January 2021 - Added 15 new photos to Mammoth Lakes area
Entries since 11 January 2021 - Added 3 new photos and one letter to Manzanar
Entries since 11 January 2021 - Added 17 new photos to Cerro Gordo and 10 stories
Entries since 11 January 2021 - Added 16 new photos and Leschen Rope Company story to Cerro Gordo and 4 stories
Entries since 11 January 2021 - Added 9 new photos to Cerro Gordo and 4 stories
Entries since 20 January 2021 - Added 13 new stories - Cerro Gordo and Saline Valley Salt Tram
Entries since 21 January 2021 - Added 22 photos to Mono Lake
Entries since 15 March 2021 - Added a new trans-Sierra road article
Entries since 15 March 2021 -Added 5 newspaper articles about Keeler
Entries since 15 March 2021 -Added 2 newspaper articles about Native Americans
Entries since 16 March 2021 - Added 13 new photos, 2 maps and 2 stories to Owens Valley / Owens Lake
Entries since 08 January 2021 - Added 15 new photos to Bishop
Entries since 01 July 2021 - Added "Life in the Sagebrush Lands of Southern California"
Entries since 01 July 2021 - Added "Bruce Morgan, A Life Sketch" by Charles Morgan to Bruce Morgan memories page
Entries since 01 July 2021 - Added Marye Roeser's book: Switchback Trails Across the Sierra to the list of packer publications.


 

Site navigation: You may navigate through this web site by returning to home and clicking on one of the buttons below or by using the arrows at the bottom of each page. The arrows will point you to the next three or prevous three pages of site information. New additions to the site are always featured above.


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Owens Valley History Index

Mt. Whitney Pack Trains (MWPT)
History
Owens Valley History
Places
People
Things
button 1950s MWPT Brochure

button Bill Smart / Paul Lamos Archives

button Bob Swandt

button Bruce Morgan Memories

button Bruce Morgan's 20-Mule Team

button Chrysler and Cook Brochure

button Chrysler & Cook Days

button Duane Rossi: Cowboy Poet

button Ed Brown - Packer & Cowboy Poet

button Irene Kritz - Cook, Packer, Author

button Jayne and Bob Douglas Archives

button Kathy Jefferson-Bancroft Archives

button Reif Kipp Archives

button Mary Jefferson Archives

button Monache Meadows Cowboys

button Morgans, The

button MWPT - 1930s & 1940s

button MWPT Packers - 1940s - 1972

button MWPT Reunions

button MWPT Roster of Packers

button Nancy Droubay Archives

button One Packer's Sierra Experience

button Packer's Books / Publications

button Packing, 50 Years Ago

button Rena Beth Moore-Smith Archives

button Robert House - GTC Packer

button Sierra Club "High Trips" - 1946 - 1972

button Stephanie Morgan Archives 01
button Stephanie Morgan Archives 02
button Stephanie Morgan Archives 03

button To Top of Mt. Whitney" by Rena Moore


button Tommy Jefferson

button Aberdeen

button Bartlett

button Benton, Benton Crossing

button Big Pine

button Bishop

button Bishop Mines & Tokens

button Cartago

button Casa Diablo & Hot Creek

button Casa Vieja & Surrounding Areas

button Cerro Gordo

button Champion Sparkplug Mine

button Coso Hot Springs

button Darwin

button Dirty Socks

button Dunmovin

button El Camino Sierra

button Glacier Lodge & Palisades

button Golden Trout Camp

button Grant

button Independence

button Jordan Hot Springs

button June Lake Area

button Keeler

button Keough's Hot Springs

button Laws & Laws RR Museum

button Lee Vining

button Little Lake

button Lone Pine

button Lone Pine to Porterville Road

button Mammoth Lakes Area

button Manzanar - Events Leading Up To
button Manzanar - WWII Propaganda
button Manzanar - Beginnings
button Manzanar - Life At: 1
button Manzanar - Life At: 2
button Manzanar - Art At: 3
button Manzanar - Portraits
button Manzanar - Life After: 1
button Manzanar - High School
button Manzanar - American Memory Project
button Manzanar -Berry Tamura
button Manzanar - Hiroshi Hondo
button Manzanar - Aubrey Hemming
button Manzanar - Ben Baker
button Manzanar Free Press

button Manzanar - Owens River Valley

button Mono Lake Area

button Mt. Whitney Trail & Portal Road

button Near Owens Valley

button North of Bishop: McGee Creek, Round Valley, Sherwin Grade
button North of Bishop: Tom's Place
button North of Bishop: Bishop Creek, Hilton Lakes, Parchers Camp, Andrews Camp
button North of Bishop: Mammoth Lakes
button North of Bishop: June Lake, Grant Lake, Rush Creek, Culver's Camp
button North of Bishop: Mono Lake, Benton, Benton Crossing, Lee Vining

button Oasis

button Olancha

button Owens River Valley - Manzanar

button Owens Valley & Owens Lake

button Pearsonville & Freeman

button Rex Montis Mine

button Saline Valley Salt Tram Photo Album

button Sherman Stevens' Sawmill

button Swansea

button Tunnel Airfield


button U.S. Vanadium (Tungsten) Mine


button Alfred R. Giraud

button Allie Robinson (Pack Trains)

button Andrew Alexander Forbes

button Bill DeCarteret - Mountains, Mules and Memories

button Bob Swandt

button Bob White & Tunnel Airfield

button Burton Frasher

button Colonel Sherman Stevens' Sawmill

button Crosby & Dobbins: Two Gals in Search of a Great Catch

button Dave & Gayle Woodruff

button Desert Padre

button Duane Rossi - Squawbuck Joe

button Ed Brown - Rhyme Doesn't Pay

button Ed Thistlethwaite

button Father John J. Crowley

button Franklin Merrill-Wolff

button George Brown, Native American

button Hiroshi Honda

button Irene Cuffe

button Irene Kritz - Campfire and Smoke

button Jane Wehrey: Voices from this Long Brown Land

button Jim Thorpe, Native American

button John & J.D. Black of Bishop & Big Pine
button J. D. Black L.A. Aqueduct Files

button John H. Lubken

button Kathleen Haun - Dear Carrie

button Lily La Braque: Man from Mono

button Lona Burkhart

button Mary Austin

button Marye Roeser: Switchback Trails Across the Sierra

button Matlicks

button Norman Clyde

button Olds Family of Keeler

button Owens Valley Shoshone / Paiutes

button Ray DeLea: High Sierra Adventures

button Rena More-Smith: Life in Owens Valley

button Robert A. Trennert: Riding the High Wire

button Robert Likes: Looking Back at Cerro Gordo

button Robert Pearce: The Owens Valley Controversy & A.A. Brierly

button Roni McFadden

button Sam Lewis

button Sierra Lady Pack Station

button Slim Randles - Sun Dog Days

button Squawbuck Joe

button Steve Sorensen: A Branch of the Sky

button Willie Chalfant

button Wonacotts


button 1903 Sierra Club High Trip

button 1916 Sierra Club High Trip Photo Album

button 20-Mule-Team History

button Aparejo Packing in the Sierras

button A Thoiusand Acres of Nothing

button Bessie Brady Steamer

button Big Pine Citizen newspaper

button Bishop MULE DAYS

button Black Jed - B24 Bomber

button Carson & Colorado Railroad

button CG Portal

button Death Valley Sketches

button DESERT NEWS

button Ghosts of Past - Sherman Stevens Sawmill

button Heritage and Humble Pie

button Eastern High Sierra Pack Stations
button Sierra Nevada Pack Station History - WEST
button Sierra Nevada Pack Station History - EAST

button High sierra Panoramas

button Lone Pine Earthquake - 1872

button Lone Pine Progress-Citizen Newspaper

button Lone Pine Stampede

button Los Angeles Aqueduct: The Plan
button Los Angeles Aqueduct: Owens Valley
button Los Angeles Aqueduct: Olancha
button Los Angeles Aqueduct: Rose Valley
button Los Angeles Aqueduct: Desert & City
button Los Angeles Aqueduct: Valley Rebellion
button Los Angeles Aqueduct: Abandoned Farms

button Movie Production in Owens Valley

button Night Ride

button Owens Valley Brochures: A - C
button Owens Valley Brochures: C
button Owens Valley Brochures: D - H
button Owens Valley Brochures: I - M
button Owens Valley Brochures: M - P
button Owens Valley Brochures: R - T
button Owens Valley Brochures: T - W

button Packing Equipment

button Saga of Inyo County

button Saline-to-Owens Valley Tram

button Sawdust Magazine

button Sierra Club High Trips

button Sierra Nevada Crossing

button Sierra Nevada Place Names: A - F
button Sierra Nevada Place Names: G - M
button Sierra Nevada Place Names: N - P
button Sierra Nevada Place Names: Q - Z
button Sierra Nevada Place Names: Spanish Names

button Sierra Nevada Wildflowers

button Stories: High Sierra, Owens Valley, Packing: A- G

button Stories: High Sierra, Owens Valley, Packing: H - M
button Stories: High Sierra, Owens Valley, Packing: N - Z

button SP - Beginnings
button SPNG - Laws/Zurich
button SPNG - Kearsarge/Manzanar
button SPNG - Owenyo
button SPNG - Rolling Stock/Paintings
button SP - Jawbone Branch
button SPNG - Tramway/Mock/Dolomite
button SPNG - Keeler/Cerro Grodo
button SPNG - Decom

button Tales Along El Camino Sierra

button The Album: Times & Tales of Inyo - Mono

button Trans-Sierra Road - Lone Pine to Porterville

button Tuttle Creek Ashram

button Whitney Portal Road Construction



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owens valley
Owens Valley - looking southwest from the Inyo Mountains near Harkless Flat. Tinemaha Reservor in the foreground.


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ATTENTION!
Mt. Whitney Pack Trains, Vintage Photo Request


CLICK HERE

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Attention ... you must see this!

Flight over Owens Valley and the High Sierra
Flight over Mammoth Lakes Area

Flight over the California Basin and Range Province
Other flights
by Dr. William A. Bowen
steam locomotive

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SEARCH THIS WEBSITE USING THE BOX BELOW

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LANDMARK HUNTER landmark hunter

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northern nevada
Click to see locomotive in action

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mt. whitney pack trains
 

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Owens Valley History readers, it's time to put on your thinking cap, we all need your help. Many vistors have left me with unsolved questions, mysteries, etc. regarding people, places, and events that have occurred in Owens Valley. Please take the time to look at this new page on the website and see if you might have the answer to some of the readers questions. If you have any information at all please e-mail the individual with your comments.




The Internet Wayback Machine

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East and Drive U.S. 395
east and drive 395

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Index to USGS Topo Maps
usgs
Early 1900s USGS Topo Maps from University of Texas Library
university of texas

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Eastern California Museum - Independence, CA
eastern california museum

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In search of Owens Valley Ancestory? The following Inyo County website might be your answer.
Courtesy of Pam in Bishop, CA

  Inyo County Gen Web



Hey all of you desert lovers!
All of the issues of Desert Magazine, starting with 1937, are now online for you viewing pleasure.
Many thanks to Rocko for making this wonderful magazine available to all of us desert rats once again.


Click here for Desert Magazine on Facebook




Many thanks to the Backcountry Horsemen of California for their continuing efforts over the decades to help preserve the Sierra Nevada and keep it open to livestock. They strive to promote conservation and the awareness of the benefit of livestock in the backcountry. In addition I, in particular, am thankful that they strive to keep everyone appraised of those, who through misguided legislation or self interests, would try to ban livestock from the mountain range packers not only opened to the public, but who also made us aware of the importance of preserving that same country. It is indeed ironic that it has been those on two feet with easy road-end access to the Sierra, and not four, who have contaminated nearly every stream and lake in the Sierra with giardia.

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Many heartfelt thanks to all of the packers, Owens Valley pioneers, and friends who have so generously contributed to this site in pictures and words so that others might share in the experiences that God has so graciously granted to them!

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Share the experiences you have had:

If you have pictures of people/places which you would like posted on this site please e-mail me for posting instructions. Please try to include the following information with each picture or story (if you can recall):

  • The date the picture was taken (month/year)
  • The place the picture was taken
  • The names of any people in the picture
  • The type of trip you were on (Sierra Club, Trail Riders, private party, hunting, trail crew etc.)
  • The trip leader and cook's name

In addition to pictures, if you have a particular trail story, humorous or serious, which you would like to share with everyone please e-mail it directly to me. If you e-mail the file, please send the file in either Microsoft Word, if possible, or as a pure text file.

Remember - there are a host of folks out there waiting to blessed by your High Sierra or Owens Valley story. Don't disapoint them, or yourself, by failing to share your experience.

Thank you, from everyone, for obeying that still small voice within you and sharing your heart and experiences with everyone.




Owens Lake in 1911 before it was drained dry by Los Angeles
owens lake

Owens Lake and Vacinity
1939 USGS Topographical Map



Free Guestbook
Sign Guestbook

View Old Guest Book Entries
Oct 1999 - Feb 2015 (MS Word)

 Pigmy Packer & Guests
The Pigmy Packer (1970), with his horse - Quarter Boy, and two guest from New York on New Army Pass. Mules were Nigger, Bart, and Dan.


Free Guestbook
View Guestbook

View Old Guest Book Entries
Oct 1999 - Feb 2015 (PDF)

Ray
The Pigmy Packer (1997)

Sunhorn
CONTACT the Pigmy Packer


The Pigmy Packer (2001)


My Favorite Sierra Nevada Fish - Volcano Creek Golden Trout
golden trout


Website Navigation
Use the navigation bars at the bottom of each page or return to the HomePage Index.

 

Golden Trout Camp in the High Sierra

 

 Mt. Whitney Pack Train's Chrysler & Cook Brochure

 

 1930s & 1940s Mt. Whitney Pack Trains

 

Sierra Crossing

 

 Panoramas of the High Sierra


This page was last updated on 02 July 2021


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