Horseback America -
The Road to the High Sierras (3/00)
really covered some ground. We had to ride over the coastal range, across
the valley to the Sierra.
My mare is due to foal any day.
We are camped waiting for the
snow to melt. Snow level was at 3,000 feet but is quickly rising. We will
ride the John Muir Trail which is high as 13,500 feet in some parts. It
may be August before we can get through. We will spend the time writing
and working on our gear. We'll also be training our horses and mule.
We are in "redneck"
country now... Most of the cowboys won't give us the time of day. We ride
different horses and wear helmets. The "old boys" are the most
open but we seem to intimidate the "young dudes". We have met
a few packers who were helpful to us.
There isn't much work for us
here. We are below Yosemite by the town of Courcse Gold. All the ranchers
use Mexican illegals since they work cheap. We're low on money and have
been eating wild plants and mushrooms. I caught a rabbit with my bare
hands. Gretchen loves that kind of stuff. The chickens have started to
lay. I don't have a rifle any more. We left it in Hopeland because we
had to ride through Golden Gate Park.
No foal yet.. I hate the waiting.
We are camping on a leased pasture and we're not sure how long we can
stay. I want to train the foal before we leave this area. We have a three
day ride to the National Forest along roads.
That should be a challenge
with a new foal.
Travels are light as our new
foal, "DotCom" is learning the tricks-of-the-trade. At one month
old we are already getting attached to her.
We are taking advantage of wild edible plants in the lower elevation by
drying to add to our food supply. The nice weather lets us dry food and
spend time writing on teh computer, thanks to the solar panels. The horses
are looking great and are getting plenty of feed in the lush meadows.
We are migrating deeper into the wilderness at higher elevations. the
High Sierra still has several feet of snow...
We are migrating to the high ground and leaving the browning foothills
behind. Grass is just starting in the high country. We are traveling slowly
by Yosemite Park in the Sierra National Forest, waiting for the snow to
melt on the crest. Our time is spent writing and working on our gear.
We lightened our load by 100 pounds for easier traveling in the High Sierra's
DotCom, our new foal, is doing
great. At just seven weeks old she leads with finger light pressure, ties
and ponies with a slack lead. She crosses high creaks and rivers with
confidence. She is good in traffic and doesn't fear school busses, cattle
trucks or motorcycles. This is a step beyond what is considered imprinting.
This early training will generate a good mind that will lessen chances
of injury for a rider, and the traveling will produce exceptional bone
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