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“The trails probably will always be there, but the question will be,


who gets access?” –Rebekah Wan


The Ride


Tues., April 30 Norco to Grand Terrace (21 hours)


Wed., May 1 Grand Terrace to Glen Helen (19 hours)


Thur., May 2 Glen Helen to Phelan (21 hours)


Fri., May 3 LAYOVER


Sat., May 4 Phelan to Adelanto (23-25 hours)


Sun., May 5 Adelanto to Kraemer Jct. (22-23 hours)


Mon., May 6 Kraemer Jct. to Red Mtn. (26 hours)


Tues., May 7 LAYOVER


Rebekah Wan and Jack, her Mangalarga Paulista trail horse from Brazil.


“My favorite speed is three miles per hour,” says Williams, whose living room walls are adorned with scenic photos of himself, his wife, Sigrid, and their horses in spectacular set- tings accessible only by trail. “I really enjoy taking everything in—the land, the scenery. Good day, bad day, windy, rainy—it doesn’t mater. I just like it all.” The riders also share a heart-


felt bond to save trails for hors- es. The adage “use them or lose them” holds true—whether the pressure comes from developers in urban areas or cuts into pub- lic land access. “The trails probably will


always be there, but the ques- tion will be, who gets access?,” said Wan, Administrator at SoCal Equine Hospital in Norco where her husband, Paul Y. Wan, DVM, practices. “The last 10 or 15 years, it’s been a batle. I hope our ride brings awareness that these trails are needed for equestrians.” “We’re having a lot of prob- lems with public lands,” adds Williams. “A lot of people don’t


even know they are there.” Founded in 1973, Back Country Horsemen of America now has 194 state and local chapters nationwide with a clear mission: keep trails open on public lands. Keeping trails involves main- taining them, and in 2017, BCHA volunteers spent 324,154 hours working on trails in public lands. “To keep the trails open, we


need to help,” says Williams. “We cannot depend on the govern- ment to do all this. They can’t afford it.” Education also drives Wan,


who sees teaching as a tool to get horsepeople out on the trails more.


“The two biggest things Mike


and I would like to see from this ride are awareness and educa- tion,” says Wan, who conducts regular horse-health community workshops at her equine hos- pital. “Riders may need to ask about safety or first aid in the backcountry, or other obstacles they may possibly encounter. I think that’s something that keeps people from doing it, and teaching them the preparedness


and being able to stay safe will break down some of the barriers for those who may not be confi- dent that they can do it.” Whether for a one-day wil- derness ride or for a 300-mile journey to Bishop Mule Days from Norco, planning is key. The support team behind this trip is well-prepared, featuring the spouses and Elaine Bailey, who’ll spearhead the ground crew. Williams and Wan will garner lessons from this expedition, too. Both are puting in for the Wilderness Riders program that trains stock users about the value of wild lands and the importance of Gentle Use / Leave No Trace Skills. “It’s going to educate us and it’s


going to allow us to share with other people what it means to be a wilderness rider or a ‘leave-no- trace’ expert in the backcountry. “It also will show our friends


and other people that we’re capable of doing this—and that anyone can do this, too,” he smiled.


More online: http://bit.ly/902BCHC


Wed., May 8 Red Mtn. to Inyokern (24 hours)


Thur., May 9 LAYOVER


Fri., May 10 Inyokern to 9-mile (17 hours)


Sat., May 11 9-mile to Coso Jct. (16 hours)


Sun., May 12 LAYOVER (tentative)


Mon., May 13 Coso Jct. to Olancha (17 hours)


Tues., May 14 Olancha to Lone Pine (24 hours)


Wed. & Thurs., May 15-16 LAYOVER


Fri., May 17 Lone Pine to TBA with Wagon Train (15 hours)


Sat., May 18 TBA with Wagon Train (15 hours)


Sun., May 19 LAYOVER


Mon., May 20 TBA with Wagon Train (15 hours)


Tues., May 21 Arrive in Bishop! (15 hours)


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