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Olympia, WA's Desolation Wilderness borrows cues from dreamy electro-pop and uses a loose analog recording method -- aided in no small degree by a Roland Space Echo, two Maestro Echoplex delay units, and several spring reverbs -- to create a narcotic, dusty take on the style. The concept was conceived in 2005 as a solo project of Nicolas Zwart, who started recording vocal and guitar tracks while he was still a senior at Olympia's liberal arts school, Evergreen College. His first album, the narcotic White Light Strobing, was written while Zwart was vacationing in his grandparents' Australian beach house in 2008 and then recorded in Calvin Johnson's K Records' Dub Narcotic Studio, where Zwart had interned the prior year. He performed most of the material himself, singing and overdubbing guitar, vibraphone, and synthesizer parts, while also enlisting the help of some musician friends. The album was fully realized once Evan Hashi played drums on the record, while Andrew Dorsett and Adam Oelsner added guitar and bass to the mix. After a U.S. tour supporting the release of White Light Strobing, a 7" followed on K Records titled Until Forever, and a third full-length, Hey Someone, was released by Zwart himself in a limited run of 100 CD-R copies.
The Desolation Wilderness is a 63,690-acre (257.7 km) federally protected wilderness area located along the crest of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, just southwest of Lake Tahoe in El Dorado County, California, United States. It is a popular backpacking destination, with much barren rocky terrain at the edge of the tree line: it has extensive areas of bare granite. Lake Aloha is a feature of the wilderness area, with shallow, clear waters sitting in a wide granite basin carved by glaciers in the last ice age. The Crystal Range is within the wilderness with Pyramid Peak as the highest point in the range and in the wilderness at 9,985 feet (3,043 m) in elevation. Among the many waterfalls within the wilderness is Horsetail Falls.
The location was originally set aside as the Desolation Valley Primitive Area in 1931 with an area of 64,000 acres (260 km). In 1969, it became the Desolation Wilderness.
It is within the Eldorado National Forest and is managed by the US Forest Service. The national forests began as forest "reserves" and were managed by the General Land Office until the Forest Service came into existence in 1905.
Access Horsetail Falls (California)The Crystal Mountains as seen from Desolation Valley near Lake Aloha
The following is a list of trailheads that provide access to the wilderness.
The Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail pass through the wilderness.Loon Lake TrailheadBuck Island TrailheadVan Vleck TrailheadRockbound TrailheadTwin Lakes TrailheadLyons TrailheadTwin Bridges TrailheadRalston TrailheadEcho TrailheadEcho Lakes TrailheadGlen Alpine TrailheadMount Tallac TrailheadBayview TrailheadEagle Falls TrailheadMeeks Bay TrailheadHorsetail Falls Trailhead
Permits are required for both day use and overnight camping. In the summer, a quota system is used to limit the number of visitors on any given day in the wilderness. Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used protected areas in the United States.
The Desolation Wilderness provides a home for many species of plants, fish and wildlife.
Desolation Wilderness supports predominantly Red Fir and Lodgepole Pine forests with associated species such as Jeffrey Pine, Mountain Hemlock, Western Juniper, and Western White Pine. Most forested areas occur between 7,400-9,000 foot (2250–2750 m) elevations, becoming patchy to rare at higher elevations. These hardy trees take root in excessively rocky and often nutrient-poor soils. As much of the ground surface in Desolation is bedrock granite: soils are limited. Decomposed granite accumulations are often shallow deposits within glacially scoured basins. The most extensive forested areas are found on moist soils bordering lakes, streams, and meadows. The limited tree cover in Desolation is valuable for watershed protection, wildlife habitat, and esthetics.Pyramid Peak
The sparse woodlands of widely scattered western junipers and lodgepole pines are interrupted by patches of montaine chaparral species such as Pinemat Manzanita, Huckleberry Oak, and Mountain Pride Penstemon clinging to the expanses of barren rock. There are many wet meadows throughout the wilderness, each unique due to the differences in elevation, exposure, soil composition and soil depth, resulting in a wide diversity of annual and perennial plant life. A variety of wildflower species, sedges, and grasses inhabit these fragile wet areas. Aspen and Willow are common to these wetland areas.
Mule Deer are the largest of the game species found within the wilderness. Black Bears are increasingly common, with individuals being displaced from the Tahoe Basin and lower elevation western slopes into the higher country. More common, yet seldom seen, are the smaller mammals like Coyote, Porcupine, Badger, and Bobcat. Species of special interest that are very rare in the area are the Fisher, Pine Marten, Red Fox, and Wolverine.
Desolation also provides an ideal habitat for numerous alpine rodents such as the Yellow-bellied Marmot, Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel and Douglas Squirrel. Also found is a member of the rabbit and hare family, the Pika. There are also a variety of mountain birds like the Steller's Jay, Clark's Nutcracker, Mountain Chickadee, Sooty Grouse, Mountain Bluebird, American Dipper, occasional Golden Eagle, and others.
Within Desolation's numerous lakes and streams are also a variety of game fish such as the rainbow and brook trout. Excellent fishing can be had at Gilmore Lake. Less common, but also present are brown and golden trout.
California Mountain Hemlock Tsuga mertensiana subsp. grandicona on Mount Tallac trail]]
Marmot on the summit of Pyramid Peak
Golden-mantled ground squirrel near Horsetail Falls