Honestly, so much happened in such a short period of time that after 36 hours in the vastness of the Eastern Sierras and the Adobe Valley, with no cell service, no radio, TV, outside interference you just kind of lost track of time. At one point, a few of us were talking and we couldn't remember if something that we had seen took place that morning or the day before. It's one thing if it is just you thinking that way, another when there are a few others trying to figure it out too.
Thursday was our first full day, it rained pretty much the whole evening and night. It rained a lot! Do you have any idea how difficult it is to have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night in the rain? There was not roof over the Privy either - which meant that if you had to go, you were going to get wet and guess what? It was raining...do you know what the sound of running water does to your system in the middle of the night? It reminds you just how badly you have to pee...over and over and over again. That was the hardest part of the the whole trip for me.
What do you think of the bathroom situation? No roof...No heated seat...no running water...
After we all moved our things into our tents, we chit chatted for a bit, went over some rules and how-tos, we grabbed our gear for a nice looonnnnnggggggg walk out to where the horses were. It looked closer than it really was and it started to rain again...lightly, thank goodness....at first.
We walked out to where the horses were, carrying our gear and tripods. It was wet, wetness kept falling from the sky...a little at first and then later, a lot. Like I said, it rained...a lot during our trip. But then you get to see this...
The ground was wet, the grass was wet and eventually my boots were wet, slowly followed by my socks and feet...
The light was fading fast and it was time to head back and eat dinner. The beauty of these amazing animals was breath taking, even in the rain. They were perfect!
The second day was going to be our first of three rides during our time with Rock Creek Pack Station, Ken Lee and Ivana Crone. We rode much closer to the mustang herds than we were able to walk to. That being said, we had to photograph from on horseback. We could not dismount. It was interesting at first, but eventually I figured out what worked for me.
Look at that view! It was truly spectacular. Snow covered mountains to the east and to the west. Beyond incredible! And the horses, even in the dismal rainy dreary morning, once we arrived out where they were, the rain diminished and the light again was quite amazing even though only for a short period of time.
Yes, a few of the images are repeats, but I just had to throw them in again. Especially the one of my horse Utah. Everyone is assigned a horse. Do you have any idea how hard it is to take a selfie with a horse? They have a very long face, but it is a super cute one.
Once we made it to upper camp, we all headed out to stake claims to our tents and move our gear into them. It was a beautiful location surrounded by willows and mountains with wild flowers blooming everywhere.
Our cook Maddie always had a pot of coffee and hot water on the stove and snack on the table. Dinner was amazing, pork chops with all sorts of fixin's. Even though I was hungry, I just wasn't able to eat that much. I had the wonderful challenge of dealing with altitude headaches. It's not the first time and eventually goes away. It just takes me a couple of days to acclimate vs. hours.
We crossed the California/Nevada border on horseback the next day. It rained at night, then cleared. It was obviously really cold because the rain froze on the tents freezing zippers shut for a couple of ladies. Mine opened, but it took a little longer for the zipper to work through the ice. The weather was perfect. Not too hot and not too cold. It didn't rain a lot during the day, but late evening it started coming down both nights we were there. Friday night we had tri-tip, mashed potatoes oh yummmmmm! The food was really great!
Over all, a wonderful trip. We didn't have to deal with high heat, mosquitoes or biting flies...which was really nice. The only thing that would have made things better would have been a different bathroom situation....like a roof!
We rode back to camp the next day. It was about a three hour ride and as we mad our final approach to the meadow where the mustangs stayed, there was a new one...a brand new foal. It may have been only a few hours old. So beautiful! While observing and trying to photograph this new little one, another stallion challenged the babies daddy and we witnessed how protective he was as the two stallions charged each other. A short exchange of hooves, snorts and flinging heads and it was over as fast as it started...but it was amazing to see first hand.
What a fantastic adventure!
Once back to camp, we all said our good-byes. Rae and I loaded up her car and headed to Lee Vining where we grabbed a motel room at Murphy's...right next door to two of the women from our pack trip, Terri and Pam. After a nice long hot shower and a nap, we met up with them and headed over to the Mobil Station (Whoa Nelly Deli) for dinner which was AMAZING!!!! Then we took them over to see the South East Tufa's at Mono Lake.
Back to the hotel for a really good nights' sleep!