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My experience with horse back riding in the high Sierras has been McGee Creek. It started off with taking my family on a 6 hour horseback ride. We rode through some beautiful meadows along side a rushing creek that one could easy fish for trout. Stopping to pick huckleberries along the way that were so good I wish I had collected enough for a pie. I found my self back in the saddle again at which time my rear had begin to grow more sore than one can describe. With my sore saddle and a belly full of berries riding up switch backs at a 45degree angle on granite I was experiencing the hooves of my sure footed donkey slipping and sliding from time to time as we approached the summit of our ascent to the half way point of our ride. Reaching the top my vision exploded with turquoise blue water, green pines trees and cobalt blue sky. It was time to have lunch and try our luck at trout fishing in the lake. The golden trout were 6 -14 inches long and refused to bite at anything on my line although they were happy to eat any of the bread crumbs that my daughters were throwing to them. Experiencing the wonderful views that the horseback ride had to offer, our guide herded us off to our horses to descend back down the mountain, finding us on the same trail being equally as exhilarated back down the switch backs next to the rushing creeks of melting snow water. We were soon back at the pack station but finding it difficult to get off my mule as my legs appeared to be permanently affixed to the saddle. Finally I was off and needed to site on a log for 30 minutes to regain my land legs I strongly suggest for anyone else who is a novice at horse back riding to take the two hour horse back ride at McGee Creek. or if your dare do as I and go for the 6 hour experience, I remember it fondly.

Douglas Freed Thousand Oaks, CA Summer 2008