Lone Pine, California – November 26th, 2018

Lone Pine Rodeo Grounds

Dawn rises from behind the Inyo Mountains still dark and shaded as the Sierra Nevada’s scream, “Good morning! Good morning!” with early morning sunshine.

What a view! Hwy 395 is busy with holiday traffic. McDonald’s parking lot is full, dogs bark, ravens caw, and the day begins.

Nights are cold, good for sleeping. Days warm, and warm, and warm until I am suddenly surprised by the coolness when the ball of heat dips below the lightly dusted snow-covered Sierra Nevadas.

 

California Recap

 

I do not have one single photo of my Taylorville stop. I arrived at 3 pm, November 1oth, spoke at 6 pm, and left early in the morning. It was, however, a very important stop for me because once again I had met someone in 2007 on my 5000-mile ride that simply became an overnight best friend, Georgette Bauchman, who passed away some years ago. Her daughter was there when I spoke, evoking tears from the crowd, recalling how much this woman helped me, encouraged me, and fed me hope when I so needed it.

Taylorville in 2007. New owners have made it into a store that makes the likes of me drool with indecision…. what to buy? The selection is unbelievable.

 

Georgette sending me and my beloveds Honor and Claire Dog off in 2007.

 

Thank You, Bill and Denise Battagin who reached out, pulled me in. They knew Georgette (she delivered mail, everyone knew Georgette) In 2007 their children were still young, now grown, off to university. They took me this time, for a drive in a NEW Tesla. Like riding the future, simply unbelievable. The speed, the silence, the agility. Recharging for the Battagin’s is done by solar. Way cool!

AND THEN…there is a 69′ Ford still running around using a Benchmark Map, one of my valued sponsors, leading the way.

 

Look at this!!! YIKES, says my old blue Ford, She’ll get rid of me now for sure, it says. (November 2018)

 

Bridgeport, CA. I stayed at the very same place I did when I rode through in 2007. Dipped down to 3 degrees (colder in 2007).  Friends of the Library kindly insisted I stay one night at a guest house. The Simensen’s own the Historic Cottage! it’s on Airbnb under Bridgeport, CA. (Horses were right out the window.) I extended it for another night, LOVELY. Big turnout at the library! Thank you, Abbey! (Bridgeport Librarian).

 

Curator, Samantha Szesciorka, invited me to speak at the Wilbur D. May Museum. Samantha did a long ride (influenced by yours truly, smiles) around Nevada a few years ago. One of only a few long riders I have ever met. Had a big turn out and such a lovely stop in Reno. Thank you Samantha!  the photo below is called, “3 women”

 

 

Further south…. Next stop, Millpond Equestrian Center.

Millpond Equestrian Center, near Bishop, CA, for two nights. Well run, clean, and one of the biggest places I have stayed at. The best part was all the children and the youth programs running throughout the year. The owner, Hilke Ungersma–how many years Hilke? 25 plus–you have done well!! Thank-you Hilke!

 

The magnificent Sierra Nevadas.

 

They are so in your face like right there, reach out and touch them.

Over-nighted at 8 Mile Ranch where third-generation packers Jennifer and Lee Roeser own and run the 8 Mile Ranch & McGee Creek Pack Station. Legendary Packers! They knew Bill Workman (who is also a legendary packer–there are not many of them) from my area in Montana. Saddlemaker Lee made ALL, I mean ALL of the saddles and packs they use on the mule strings. I did not have an opportunity to see the line of handcrafted equipment, but oh my, I wish I had. Thank you, Lee and Jennifer! (and Trevor and Lilly).

 

Bills Old Blue Truck is on the adventure of a lifetime!!

 

Source Micro-nutrients arrived this week. My horses nearly open the box for me. I add this seaweed supplement to loose bits of alfalfa with molasses, vinegar, oil, water and apples or carrots. Slop they love!  A nutritious Colic prevention!

 

Spellbinder Books in Bishop pulled in a full house for the talk there. They also gave me a surprise Birthday cake complete with song and flowers!!

Spellbinder Books
124 S Main St (56.50 mi)
Bishop, California 93514

https://www.facebook.com/spellbinderbooks/

Thank you, Lynn, owner of Spellbinder Books for many years. It’s one of those bookstores which offers space for lingering, talking, and a cafe in the back–very nice.

Remarkable Handmade Stampede Braid, by Donna Murray

Burton Robson from Portland, Michigan (I’ll be stopping there in the spring on the tour) sent a most precious birthday gift, a handmade Stampede Braid made from the hair of my old draft mare, Sarah. He got the hair I’d been saving all these years thinking I must do something with it, this year while visiting me in Montana. Oh my, the story is long.  I put Sarah down (her stifle had completely given out) the same day I began long riding. Very hard.  Waited until the very last minute, then rode out…….  Look at Donna Murray’s work. It is delicate, precise, and for those of us that love our horses as we do, this is a priceless gift. Thank you, Burton and Donna, Thank you ever so much!

Donna Murray -3440 23rd Ave. S  -Lethbridge, AB Canada TlK KA  403-329-8660

 

CHEERS

Friends I met in 2007.  I was so poor back then and they all–each one of them–helped me SOOO MUCH.  This time I took them out to dinner.  Cheers to Kathy Forrester Bancroft, Claiborne Mitchel, and Kathy Noland. An evening meal at the Still Life Cafe. This French cafe in Independence, after this year’s tiny experience with France, sent my heart racing back over the ocean. Sweet. This touched my heart!!  In 2007 Kathy Forrester knew medicinal herbs and helped me when Honor’s hoof needed attention.  Kathy Noland–she just was there back in 2007 and did something because I remember her and her husband, Tom. I smile now. They really all did so much more.  I can not begin to tell it here. This entire stretch was prearranged by Claiborne Mitchell.   THANK YOU CLAIBORNE!!  Claiborne in 2007 with her Loren Bacall British accent, had directorship of the Museum in Lone Pine. She took me under her wing, fed me, introduced me to people, and kept me going.  This time around? From Mammoth Lakes to Lone Pine, Claiborne had all the arrangements taken care of–lodging, publicity, interviews, and more. You can hear her every Wednesday afternoon on KIBS, Bishop FM Radio.                                   Thank You, DARLING.

 

Honor and Claire Dog in front of the Museum of Western Film History – March 2007.

 

“Spirit Look! What’s that horse eating?  Follow me, let’s check it out.” says fearless leader Little Liska Pearl. November 26th, 2018 – Proceeding in earnest toward the plastic horse.

 

Shawn Lum director of Lone Pine Western Film Museum with my two fidgety Fjords who would not stand still because there was another horse over there eating something!

 

Good Bye California until next time!  Many, many thanks.
Fond memories, old and new, ride with me once again.