a quick weekend backpack through a remote wilderness Jim and I took off on Friday night for a quick trip up to the Sierra wilderness. Once again, our initial thoughts of hiking the Grand Canyon of the Tuolomne were thwarted - this time by our decision to head to another destination to avoid the weekend crowds at Yosemite. Jim chose the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness based on a short discussion with a ranger a few years ago. This area proved to be as quiet and devoid of people as promised. It is so infrequently visited in fact that you can still obtain backcountry permits right at the trailhead by filling out some paperwork and dropping it in the box. There is no need for quota management as there just aren't enough visitors. Starting from the Eastern Sierra, just outside of Walker, we drove the several miles to the trailhead. From there we made a big loop, starting in a Southerly direction, eventually cutting West, and finally back North to the trail head. Along the way we hiked through a much drier, scrubbier wilderness than we were used to in the Sierra Nevada mountains. We ascended a steep slope, following a faded use trail up to a small lake where we made our camp for the night. The next morning it was back down into the beautiful valley before climbing back out to the trail head. On the way out, along the dirt road leading to the trailhead we stopped stopped to check out some old gold mine relics including an old mine and an old rock crusher.