First non-local rider of 2020 season

Just by chance, I was riding Gracie on the PCT north to Highway 74 and back when I happened upon a rider and two horses heading south to finish up the segment from Highway 74 to Coyote Canyon Rd. I caught up to them on the return trip thanks to Gracie’s lightening speed (and general barn sourness) and invited them to a lunch of hay and water at my place. I learned that the rider is planning to do the whole PCT over several years in 500-mile increments, and, by the end of the day, they will have completed everything from Campo to Highway 74.

I was able to offer her my spare corral for her horses to roll in and enjoy their lunch.

I was excited to learn that her mount is a mustang gelding that she trained herself. (You can see his freeze brand in this photo.)

After lunch, they hit the trail to rendezvous with their pick up later in the afternoon.

Desert Tortoise sighting at PCT mile 145.7

During my daily ride on the PCT, I saw a 10-inch desert tortoise in a small wash right off the trail a quarter-mile north of my place. I’ve never seen a tortoise this high in elevation. (They are pretty common in the creosote scrub of Coyote Canyon and other low-desert locations in SoCal.) The trail was pretty busy with day hikers taking advantage of the nice weather to get out of the house during these covid days; I fear the tortoise was brought here and dropped off by one of these people, but I couldn’t know for sure.