The Long Ride

On August 7th of this year, three women decided to take a trip on their horses from Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite to Donner Summit.  The trip was supposed to be 200 miles. However, after day 5, with equipment failures, terrain that is not horse friendly whatsoever, snow,  and the extensive time it takes to pack and unpack each day at camp, they fell behind and knew they would be ending the ride for this season sooner than they planned.

Did this discourage them?  Heck NO! They are going back next year armed with experience and lessons-learned to continue where they left off. I plan on hiking behind them filming each step of the way.

If you are debating weather to traverse this section of the pct on horseback, take a look at this film.


A Rough Ride on the Pacific Crest Trail

Three friends, four horses and a lot of guts! These women traversed 76 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite to Kennedy Meadows North. It was a HUGE snow year for the Sierra, and hikers had a difficult time in this very stretch. Some came close to death and one did lose her life.  This same stretch on horses is almost impossible.  As the PCT is said to be made for horses in mind, in reality it’s not as these women soon found out. The full documentary will be coming soon!

PCT Re-Supply a Bust, so I did this Instead!

I was supposed to meet up with some lady PCT horse riders in the Sierra for their re-supply but they are two days behind because of snow and down trees in mid August!  They are averaging about 7 miles a day. Getting over the passes is slow going for them. Hikers can get around these obstacles a lot easier than horses!  They started in Tuolonme Meadows (Yosemite National Park) Aug 7 and was supposed to be at Kennedy Meadows North on Aug 13 (today).  That’s not going to happen.   So, with my plans for a mountain weekend on hold, I did this instead!

his is a cover song called Barton Hollow by the duo The Civil Wars.



High Altitude Coo-Coo (ness)

In this episode of Twylaworld, we head up to almost 7000 feet to  some nice and refreshing alpine lakes for swimming and toe dipping.  It’s 107 degrees in the Sacramento Valley, so it’s time to head up into the Sierra for some cooler temps. The snow is FINALLY starting to disappear!

A six mile round trip hike didn’t sound like a big deal when I looked at the map, but you are going to climb 1633 feed in the three miles in and there are lots of  boulder steps to traverse.  You will really work for this swim, but its TOTALLY worth it!  There are three large lakes that are very close together with a fourth smaller lake that is tucked between the second and third large lake. The second lake is the largest and most popular for backpackers.  The water is clear and oh so refreshing!

Take your lunch, swimmin’ britches, sunscreen, bug spray and water. There is a place to filter water along the way if you run out.  The views are spectacular and the lakes are crystal clear!

I would consider this hike on the harder side.

I want to go back and camp next time!

Mysterious Gigantic Tire Appears in the Woods

In this episode of Twylalword, we go on an 11 mile hike in the beautiful foothills of Northern California near the town of Foresthill. This is a GREAT hike and has very nice ups and downs and is the perfect interval workout. This trail is shared with mountain bikes and horses. Beautiful in the Spring!

We come across a weird ode to Sesame Street, a GIANT tire in the middle of the woods, and we get to hear the story about a guy dubbed “sticky pants”!

Sit back and enjoy the scenery!


It’s my Mountain Winter Wonderland Adventure at Donner Lake!

I have been a downhill skier for the past 43 years and I thought I’d never give that up!  Sadly its become so darned expensive (100+ dollars a day) to get a few runs in. I just don’t want to pay it.  Oh sure, I could get a season pass, but then I’d have to ski a boatload of times to make the pass pay for itself. Then, the pressure is ON to get up the hill once or twice a week in the 12 week ski window in Northern California. Then there are the winters where the snow is CRAP and I just paid a boatload of dollars for a worthless season pass.

I have now switched over to snowshoeing and possibly cross country skiing. I never understood the attraction of either until last Friday. For one thing, it’s FREE (other than $5.00 parking) and it’s beautiful.  No pressure to get up the hill and use a pass and deal with the crowds, lines and ridiculous price of a lift ticket!!

Take a walk through the winter wonderland of Donner Lake with my hiking buddy John and I.   WHO ELSE has been priced out of downhill skiing?

Don’t forget to click the follow or subscribe button on the right to get email updates from me, and if you head over to my youtube channel, you can subscribe there as well.  If you are one of my email followers, go to this link to see the video!



Sailing La Vagabonde – Two Aussies – One Boat, Big Adventure!

Meet Riley and Elayna from Australia. These two young souls who are traversing the world on a 43 foot sail boat.

The Would-Be Sailor

Riley Whitelum, age 31 worked in Australia on an off-shore oil rig. He had done some traveling in his off time and had dreamed of sailing the world. However, he had two problems. #1, he needed a boat, and #2 he needed to learn how to sail. That right there would have stopped most in their tracks and this dream would have been just that… a DREAM.  Riley, however is like me.. a DOer! He  saved his hard earned money and started shopping around for a sailboat. He found that he could get a good deal on a boat if he was willing to travel to another country.  He ended up buying a boat in Italy from three arguing Italian businessmen. The boat ended up costing him 100,000 AUD, but he ended up with a 2007- 4 bedroom 2 bath 43.4 sailing vessel. Here is one for sale that I found online. its 84K USD. He does mention in his bio that it took him 8 years working on the oil rigs and in mines in Australia to save for this boat.  So in the scheme of things, if that’s your home, it’s not that much! Yeah there is upkeep.. but hey.. my house has expensive upkeep too!  My heat and AC bill alone cost $400.00 a month not to mention my mortgage and all the other utilities and work that has to be done on this place!  But I digress…(that’s another blog post)

Buying a boat CHECK.  Now to sail it.  Riley had about 10 hours of sailing under his belt before he bought the boat, but that’s really nothing if he was going to traverse huge oceans. He took his boat, which he re-named La Vagabonde, and literally  taught himself  to sail in the Mediterranean!  Now that’s determination! He sailed by himself around the coast of Croatia then on to Albania, and eventually ended up in the Greek Islands where he was about to meet the “first mate” of his dreams!

Wandering Soul Mates

Elayna Carausu, 22, from West Australia is a professional scuba diver (dive master) and a talented professional musician. She had been singing professionally for a travel company  in Greece when a young strapping sailor with a 43 foot yacht came and literally swept her away.  DANG this is fairy tale stuff, right?  Elayna agreed to sail around the Greek Islands with Riley. Weeellll she’s been on the La Vagabonde now for about two years as of this writing. I think they kind of like each other…Ya think?

The two ended up cruising to Turkey, then to Greece, then to Sicily, Malta, Spain, Gibraltar, Canary Islands and many other places. With a mission to get to the Caribbean, they then  crossed the Atlantic ocean, toured  the Caribbean islands then went through the Panama Canal and eventually crossed the Pacific which took them about 21 days to the French Polynesian Islands and various Atols.  I did a Google map of these islands and there are hundreds of these specs of sandy beaches.  They could be out there for a long long time basking in the sun and swimming in the most blue and clear water you’ve ever seen!  Oh the horror!

How do they Pay for all of this? 

Of course, the first thing that people think is-These people must be rich!  They must have rich parents and are trust fund babies. They won the lottery!    Nope!  None of the above. They are young, ambitious, adventurous and willing to do what it takes to get it done.  At one point, just before the Panama canal crossing, the couple had  to leave their boat dry docked in Grenada and head back to Australia to make some money for a few months then return back to continue their adventures. Ya do what ya have to do!  They then came back to La Vagabonde and continued on with their journey. But something happened…… a turning point in their voyage where I don’t think they’ll have to return home any time soon.

Thanks to Elayna’s natural talents of video shooting and editing, their Youtube channel blew UP!  Their following grew to the point that their audience is willing to pay through the a crowd funding platform called Patreon to fund their videos. People can’t get enough of the fun and are willing to pay to help the La Vagabonde crew to keep the show going!  Hey, TV has sponsors.. so WHY NOT? You would pay the cable company to watch them on the Travel channel, right?  Well, they don’t have to sell out to the big guys! They control their own show!  Note to self: look into the Patreon thing for my creatives…..  Also, because of their huge following, they got the attention of a Catamaran manufacturer in France who is letting them sale one of their brand new million dollar Catamarans for  a year.

Oh, and they eat lots and lots of fish they catch themselves as well as the fresh fruits and veggies they find at the local island markets. They know how to live on the cheap!

These two are living the life and made it happen all on their own!  That’s how living the dream is accomplished. Gettin’ it DONE.

Guts, determination, willingness to do with a little less, no excuses,  and just DOING IT!

Watch them on Youtube  as they take us around the world.

If you like their vids, throw them a couple of duckets, quid, cash, moola, peso,  dollars here!

To read their bios and learn more about the boat La Vagabonde, go here

To buy some of their cool swag like shirts, hats, koozies, etc. go here!