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Yosemite Trip

Yosemite was MAGNIFICENT!! Words cannot describe the beauty. We had a
great time.

We left Wednesday, mid-morning and had an uneventful trip except for the
fact that it took so long. Pulling a heavy 
trailer with our packed RV took its toll on the speed at which we
traveled. We arrived at the horse camp in the evening 
and looked at what lay before us. A beautiful green meadow with deer
grazing, tall, majestic pine trees and a roaring 
river right next to us. No one else is around or can be seen.  We have
the whole beautiful place to ourselves!! How 
perfect. Our horses tied perfectly to the provided high-line and we set
out their hay and water buckets.

The camp is located within walking distance to an old, beautiful hotel,
a "pioneer" village with stage coach rides and an 
old, quaint covered bridge. We walked our horses around and over the
bridge allowing them to stretch their legs and 
soak in the sights and smells.

The next day we set out to ride to the majestic groves of pine and
sequoia trees. We also made the trip to Wawona 
point that was a granite ledge that over looked the whole valley, about
2500 feet above. What a view! 

Yosemite has a large bear problem (raiding cars, foodstuffs) and heavily
promotes proper food storage and conduct. I 
was secretly hoping to see a bear in camp or on trail but my chances
went down to near zero as the ranger said that in 
our camp area they have not had any bear problems at all. I wondered
what the horses would do, but I never got a 
chance to see their reaction.

We rode two other trails during our trip and found the trails to be in
great condition. There were some boggy areas and 
a water crossing with a 10 ft. straight drop right next to the trail and
these were the areas that I choose to get off and 
lead her across. I did have one incident where I was pitched off down
hill and hit/landed on my back so hard that the 
wind was knocked out of my lungs. We were coming down the trail and Kyla
had to step between two boulders and 
step down into a bog. Instead of stepping down she surprised me and
unexpectedly jumped to the uphill bank of the 
trail and with all my weight thrown to her right. With me hanging off
her neck she then jumped to the downhill, muddy 
side of the trail, pitching me over the right shoulder. The hill was
steep and she came down with me, but didn't fall. She 
tried to scramble up the muddy hill but couldn't get any footing so she
plowed into the thicket of bushes,  parallel and 
downhill of the trail. Again, Thank God that I didn't really hurt myself
and I thank myself for always wearing a helmet. 
This is the second time in 30 days that I have been pitched off (I hate
to say that I "fell off" because that is what I 
DIDN'T do) and the second time that I have felt hoofs over me. Kyla must
do a great job of keeping her feet off me.

On our (long) way home, coming into Yosemite Valley,  the road leveled
out and when I pressed on my brakes  they 
went all the way to the floor. No brakes!! We were able to stop and I 
called for roadside assistance but was told that 
there was not any mobile mechanics and we would have to unhitch the
trailer and have the motor home towed in. 
At the garage there were many cars and RV's ahead of us and there was
only one mechanic and he couldn't get to it until later in the 
day. I begged and pleaded but was told "sorry" and I reluctantly
resigned myself to a day spent by the side of the road 
with the horses tied to trees while Allan went with the motor home to
get it fixed. The tow truck arrived and to our 
surprise the driver had brought the mechanic with him. I hugged the guy
right there, I was so happy. The mechanic said 
he didn't want the horses on the side of the road and decided to take
pity on us. We were so relieved to have our 
brakes fixed and be on our way in less than one hour. Ten cheers for the
tow truck driver and mechanic in Yosemite 

The scariest part of the trip was going down the Tioga Pass, the highest
elevation pass in California, after we had 
experienced brake failure a few hours before. I adjusted my trailer
brakes to carry more of a load and we had new 
brake fluid and had the brake lines "bled" of the air from boiling brake
fluid so my RV was as ready as it ever was 
going to be. I was the one so scared and we stopped twice on the way
down to let the brakes cool.

We drove to Bishop and dropped the horses and trailer at a very nice
private stable to be boarded for a few days for this 
weekends Eastern High Sierra Classic ride. That way it saves the horses
about 12 hours in trailering.

The 5 days spent in Yosemite were fabulous and will give me fond
memories forever. I think more equestrians should 
enjoy the horse camp in Yosemite and I was surprised that we were the
only ones in camp except for our last day. It 
was an experience that will last a lifetime.

Lauren and Allan
Kyla & Bugs

P.S. Bugs is still available if anyone (well not just anyone ;-), ) want
to ride him for this weekends EHSC.

P.S.S. Thank you to everyone who responded with information to help us
prepare for our trip.

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