My wife, Robin, and I have been camping, fishing, and hiking in the Lakes Basin area, near Sierra City, since we met. These days, our usual home base is a tiny log cabin at the edge of Packer Lake, pictured here. From trailheads around Packer you can hike to many other lakes--Saxonia, Deer, Lower and Upper Tamarack, Young America, Upper and Lower Sardine. Most of the hikes are relatively easy, and on some trails you'll rarely encounter other hikers. In early October 2007, a brief, unseasonable storm passed through and carpeted the area with an inch or two of snow, which made for an especially invigorating walk along the Pacific Crest Trail to the lookout at the top of the Sierra Buttes.