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 plated meal 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 Virginia Lakes 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 beautiful Eastern Sierra at the Northeastern edge of Yosemite National Park and the Hoover Wilderness Area. 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.
Breakfast: Our day begins with a hot breakfast at a nearby local restaurant to prepare us for a day of adventure . Then off to the trailhead where the staff will pack our mules and we'll get to meet our horses.
Morning: Our first ride is the trek up to Virginia Canyon. Take in the scenic Aspen tree groves. This species of tree is thought to be the largest living organism on earth due to its vast network of roots connecting each individual tree trunk that can cover multiple acres.
Lunch: Picnic lunch of sandwiches on the trail.
Afternoon: You’re deep in the heart of the backcountry… and the surrounding mountains are a photographer's paradise. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy. Fish in the nearby lake, rest or explore the area.
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: Our evening campfire programs vary depending on the staff and group, but typical presentations include the natural history and exploration of the area, the Donner Pass, and even mountain lions.
Breakfast: A delicious hot breakfast served around the campfire gets us ready for a day riding the trail.
Morning: Today's ride takes us to some of the remote alpine lakes of the region. We travel through large aspens, timber pine and Mountain Mahogany and cross verdant mountain meadows. Depending on conditions, we may ride to East Lake, Gilman Lake, Hoover Lake or Summit Lake.
Lunch: Picnic lunch of sandwiches at the lake.
Afternoon: Return to camp after time on the trail in this scenic wonderland with a bit of time to relax and visit with new friends. Take a short independent hike close to camp, go fishing, or relax.
Dinner: Our cooks surprise us with another excellent meal cooked on 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: Delicious hot breakfast served around the campfire.
Morning: Nothing could be better than another beautiful ride in the Hoover Wilderness under a canopy of colorful Fall foliage. See up close how the seasonal change is affected by altitude.
Lunch: Picnic lunch of sandwiches on the trail.
Afternoon: A little more time on the trail and we return to camp. Enjoy your peaceful surroundings with a leisurely afternoon, then learn how to become a wrangler with a demonstration from the pack station staff on how to load a mule.
Dinner: Food never tastes as good as a hearty dinner cooked outdoors over 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: We will have our final hot breakfast around the campfire.
Morning: Take in your last glances of this beautiful wilderness as we ride out from our camp and head back to Bridgeport.
Lunch: Back in Bridgeport, we'll partake in a bountiful farewell lunch. Share contact information during our program wrap-up. Then back to civilization with indelible memories of incredible landscapes, wonderful riding experiences and starry nights to carry you over until your next trip.
Afternoon: Program ends after lunch. 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!