Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m. Please note that smoke and forest fires can cause road closures in California during the summer months. For up to date road conditions and closures please contact the California Department of Transportation hotline at 1-800-427-7623 or at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/
Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the hotel lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in.
Dinner: We’ll walk to a nearby restaurant for a family style dinner with soda, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: As we linger over dinner, continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholar riding companions, and some of our wranglers from Rock Creek Pack Station who will talk about our learning adventure on horseback. Orientation: After dinner the Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. All of our activities in the field take place in the John Muir Wilderness, established in 1964 by the Wilderness Act and named for the great naturalist John Muir. It covers 581,000 acres stretching along the crest of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which Muir called “The Range of Light.” We will typically cover 5-9 miles a day on horseback, approximately 5-6 hours with an hour break in between for lunch. Topics for evening campfire talks will vary by season and staff expertise, addressing aspects of natural and human history such as exploration, the Donner Pass, mountain lions, and more. There will be opportunities for taking photographs, fishing, and swimming so pack accordingly. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. After orientaion we'll walk back to the hotel to get a good night's rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: We will depart early from the hotel and drive to the pack station before breakfast; high elevation, horseback riding, hiking around camp.
Breakfast: Upon arrival at the Pack Station, we’ll have a hearty buffet breakfast prepared by the chef with hot and cold items plus coffee, tea, water.
Morning: Our first field trip on horseback is the ride up to Rock Creek Meadow. We’ll head out from the Pack Station on a trail that crosses Rock Creek then heads up switchbacks towards the high country and the John Muir Wilderness. We expect to arrive at Rock Creek Meadow in the afternoon, where the pack station staff will set up base camp.
Lunch: Picnic lunch of sandwiches on the trail.
Afternoon: Free Time. We’re deep in the heart of the backcountry. Since Rock Creek Meadow and the surrounding mountains are a photographer's paradise, you might like to take a little photo safari, go fishing in nearby Rock Creek, or just enjoy some R&R.
Dinner: Our barbecue dinner is cooked on the open fire, and is served buffet-style as we sit in comfortable lawn chairs around our campfire.
Evening: Evening campfire talks will vary by season and staff expertise, addressing a range of topics such as natural history, exploration, the Donner Pass, and even mountain lions.
Breakfast: Around the campfire, enjoy a delicious hot breakfast prepared by the chef with choices that vary daily; coffee, tea, water included.
Morning: This morning’s field trip on horseback takes us to beautiful Dorothy Lake. We’ll ride through large aspens, timber pine, Mountain Mahogany, and cross verdant mountain meadows with occasional stops. Once we reach the lake, you might choose to swim in the snow-melt waters, fish for trout, take a short hike, or just relax.
Lunch: Picnic lunch of sandwiches at the lake.
Afternoon: Returning to camp through this scenic wonderland, we’ll have some time to freshen up and relax before dinner. There will also be a demonstration from the pack station staff on how to load a mule.
Dinner: Our cooks will delight us with another tasty meal cooked on the open fire.
Evening: In the superb silence of the High Sierra, what could be better than the toe-tapping strains of music drifting through the air? Enjoy a special treat as we’re joined by a guest musician. Sing, clap, dance, or just sit back and enjoy under the star-filled sky.
Breakfast: Around the campfire.
Morning: Nothing could be better than another beautiful ride in the John Muir Wilderness to Francis Lake — a sparkling mountain cirque! As we observe the Sierras while riding, we’ll learn about rock formations and the history of the region as well as wildlife.
Lunch: Picnic lunch of sandwiches on the trail.
Afternoon: After returning to camp along the trail, the remainder of the afternoon is free. You might like to go hiking near camp on your own, go fishing, or just absorb the peace and beauty of nature.
Dinner: Food never tastes as good as a hearty dinner cooked outdoors over the open fire.
Evening: What will this evening's fare be? Another fun opportunity around the campfire with your new friends to learn about the area's fascinating natural and human history.
Breakfast: We will have our final hot breakfast around the campfire.
Morning: Depart our camp and head back towards the main Pack Station.
Lunch: The cookhouse at Rock Creek Pack Station has been preparing for our return with a bountiful farewell lunch. We’ll return to civilization with rich memories of incredible landscapes, wonderful riding experiences, and starry nights. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!