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!

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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.

Enjoy!

 

Winter Wonderland in JULY! What? And a lost Hiker!

In this episode of Twylaworld, we head to the Peter Grubb hut to deliver some trail magic on mile 1160 of the Pacific Crest Trail. While there, we meet a character long distance hiker that is literally working his way up the trail. We also meet a real thru hiker  a hiker who hasn’t skipped any sections (she braved all the high Sierra this year) and is trekking her way North to Canada.  We also find a  lost day hiker.  What a day! Oh and THERE IS SNOW lots and lots of SNOW!

 

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!

Taking our little bird to 11,500 feet!

Wow what a snow year for the Sierra! As it’s kinda putting a damper on my usual day hikes this summer with crazy water crossings and slushy snow fields, I’m relieved we have the water for our ranch! Take a trip with my husband and I as we fly over the Sierra near Donner Pass at 11 thousand feet in a Cessna 172 SP! We then head over to the coast (San Francisco Bay) where it’s completely fogged in!

The sites of the Sacramento Valley from Sierra to the Coastal Range is pretty awesome!

 

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!

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Dangling Upside Down from a Running Horse!

Suicide Drag

At 40, I decided I wanted to ride a galloping horse at full speed while hanging by one foot upside down.  This is called trick riding!

Mid life crisis?  Hells yes!   It all started when I saw a photo of a woman riding a galloping horse standing up on top of the saddle! I NEED TO LEARN TO DO THIS.  This sport was huge back in the 30s through 60s, with trick riders performing at all of the rodeos. But for some reason, it started to die out and there were only a handful of people doing this sport in the entire US! There was no one to teach me!   There were no YouTube videos, no DVDs, nothing in Google that showed me how to trick ride.  NOTHING!   The only thing that I found was a book called “Trick and Fancy Riding, 140 ways to break your neck” that was written about 50 years ago.  In this book were stunts that were done on a galloping horse with little stick figures showing the prospective lunatic how to get in and out of each trick!  NUTS!

Then one day, after searching and searching in Google about anything to do with horse stunt riding and finding zilch, I came upon a very crude personal webpage of a man named Rex Rossi about 20 pages deep in the dark reaches of Google.   Rex Rossi is in the Stunt Man Hall of Fame. His trick riding saddle is on display in the Gene Autry Museum in LA. He was a national Trick Riding Champion many times over and performed at Madison Square Garden for 19 consecutive years as a trick rider and trick roper. He had been in a zillion movies and had doubled for John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Clint Eastwood and many others. He was  also a stunt man on TV shows such as Bonanza. He was legendary. I about fainted when I clicked on his contact page and it said he lived only 45 minutes from my house!

I practically had to audition for the man in order to get lessons from him. Once I proved I was serious, he finally let me bring my horse to his ranch.  He was in his 80s at this time and I was lucky to find him when I did. He passed away a couple of years later!

I became a professional trick rider performing at fairs, rodeos and private events throughout the state. I started my own trick riding team called the radical riders. I gave lessons, filmed a trick riding documentary and started the website www.rodeotrickrider.com that had the first forum about the sport before Facebook was around. I have to say that my website brought so many people into this sport and trick riding has made huge comeback. I was also profiled in this fantastic book call Wild Women and Tricky Ladies by Jill Stanford about legendary  and present day trick riders!

In 2008, I broke my arm while trick riding at a rodeo and this led to the end of my performing because my doc said I had bone density issues and I didn’t need to be hanging upside down from a horse any longer.  However, I still gave lessons at my ranch and traveled to other states to give clinics and private lessons.

Today, my chapter in this wonderful world of trick and fancy riding has come to a complete end as I start another chapter in my life. My horse is old and I quit giving lessons at my ranch. The sand in my arena has washed away from the past two winters, and I’m selling my custom trick riding saddle that I had specially made in 2008. That was a hard decision. But, its just sitting in the barn and I need the funds to buy backpacking gear! My new chapter!

What will I do next?  Hike a few hundred miles? We shall call it my golden years crisis!

 

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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?

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