July 22 – Hiking with a Horse

Horseshoe Meadow Trail Head to Crabtree Meadow Ranger Station
20 miles

I hiked into Chicken Spring Lake last night and got into camp about 8:00 pm. Just about when I was ready for bed a man and his 2 sons hiked in. It was so great to see the boys excitement when they saw the lake. The boys even popped over to my camp and eagerly said “Hi!” It brought back great memories of when I brought my daughter to this very same lake years ago.

It is fabulous to be back in the high country and I feel good, even in the high altitude. While I was soaking my feet at Guyot Creek I visited with a genuine trail horse and rider. I see pack horses, but never this. I had the pleasure of getting to know Neekos (horse) and Mendorider (rider). What a treat! Mendorider is 77 and has been backpacking, climbing, and horse packing since before I was born. He was a wealth of information and so positive with a zest for life. The duo are traveling through the Sierras on the John Muir Trail. Mendorider even aspires to emulate John Muir’s life and after listening to his truly amazing life story, he is right on track. The 2 rode behind me for the rest of the afternoon. Neekos handled rock stairs like a pro and had a fun quirky personality. I have to admit I do not know much about horses and are around them  like… never. When it was time to part ways,  I bid farewell to Mendorider  and Neekos. Mendorider then turned, smiled and said “You know… we are kindred spirits”. I smiled and nodded.

I am now camped 7.6 miles below the summit of Mount Whitney. My plan is to go to sleep early, 7:00 pm and get back on the trail heading to Whitney summit at 1:30 am. Yes, you read that correctly. I am hoping to summit at sunrise. Dan and I experienced sunrise on Whitney several years ago. It was inspiring. Right now it is lightly raining, so I will have to stay flexible. I am so getting used to that.

Morning Light on Chicken Spring Lake
Morning Light on Chicken Spring Lake
Rules for Entering National Parks
Rules for Entering National Parks
My Pack Stuffed to the Max
My Pack Stuffed to the Max
Mendorider and Neekalos
Mendorider and Neekalos
Mt. Hale, Russell, and Mt. Whitney
Mt. Hale, Russell, and Mt. Whitney
Crabtree Meadow Pit Potty
Crabtree Meadow Pit Potty

5 Comments

  1. Pingback: High Sierra Bliss | Lady on a Rock

  2. Glad you are back on the trail. I hope and pray it all goes smoothly. Neat that you ran into a real trail rider. It’s great to meet folk who do it differently and to share in their excitement while they share in ours.

    • Warren,
      You are so right. So many things have happened so perfectly since starting this trip. I know God has had a hand in all things. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Love the photos and your storytelling as always! I especially love knowing that the are people like Mendorider (and his horse!) out there in the world, following his heart’s desire and doing such unique and interesting stuff. I think that alone makes the world a better place. 🙂
    Oh, and I adored the pictures of you and Dan camping out with the kids! How totally adorable they look and the best part is that you are giving them memories that will last their entire lifetime. What a wonderful gift!

    • Ahhhhhh Chris you are so articulate. I just love your comments. You are right, it takes courage and determination to get out of our boxes. It IS painful sometimes though. I feel you are the example of positive thinking when adversity is knocking at your door. I want to be like the Mendoriders of the world.

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