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OUR NEXT RIDE

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Laurel Mountain

January 31, February 1 & 2, 2020

 

2020 AERC Ride Season 50-55/50/50 & 25 or 30 each day LD plus Intro/Duck Rides. Duck rides eligible for WDRA recognition.

Distances subject to last minute adjustments for weather.

We have always had a soft spot in our hearts for the trails around the El Paso Mountains. We used most of these trails in the days when the Death Valley Encounter started with two days here and then moved to Trona. Last year we modified the Laurel Mtn trails to use for the Cuyama ride due to weather on the coast.  The revisions made for a better event and led us to sanction the LM ride as a 3 day event. The trail will touch the spectacular geography of Red Rock Canyon and has been modified in that area to go over the Bonanza Trail, past several old miners cabins and an old time post office.

There is plenty of camping room in the gravel pit that is immune to weather problems.  There is a motel and restaurant 7 miles north in Inyokern as well as numerous facilities in Ridgecrest.

Registration will start at 3:00 on Thursday. The vet check will start at 6:00 on Thursday if the vet shows up on time. There will be a ride meeting around 7:00 each evening but don’t ask any dumb questions. Contrary to what is on some internet information, the 25 will start after the start of the fifty on most, if not all days. The fifty mile rides usually start at 7:00 and the 25’s will probably start at 8:00. On the first day the 50’s head south into the Goler wash area then back up to a lunch near the Golf Ball. On the second day the 50’s route winds through the flats and rolling hills of the high Mojave Desert and then climbs to the summit of the golf ball pass, then drops into the Garlock area and back through Mormon Flat to a lunch in camp. The 25’s will take a few shortcuts and will have a lunch stop along with the 50’s near the Golf Ball on the first day. Lunch will be back in camp for all riders on the second and third days. The third day is similar to the second day of the Laurel Mtn ride. Much of the footing is all weather decomposed granite and desert two track with some rocky sections and sand washes thrown in. The trail is easy to moderately difficult but can be easily completed on new horses ridden with care by good horsemen.

A General Description of this ride is a no frills, low budget, relaxed training ride that will offer riders an opportunity to camp out with friends and ride around the eastern Sierras.

Ride Rules are generally the same as AERC rules as interpreted by the ride manager and her advisors. However, be aware this ride has completion requirements that differ from AERC in that the control judges can and will pull horses that do not recover to their satisfaction.

Directions: 

Travelers from all directions should take US Hwy 395 to the junction of South China Lake Blvd and Brown Road. This is the location of the vet check on the Twenty Mule Team Ride. Instead of turning towards Ridgecrest, go west on Brown Road for 4 miles. Turn left on EP26 (Wiknich Rd), an old paved road, for 1 mile to the ride camp. 

From the San Fernando Valley area: Take Hwy 14 to CA 178. Turn right to the town of Inyokern. Turn right on Brown Road at the gas station/convenience store and follow Brown Road to EP26 (Wiknich Rd).

Basic Ride Info: We have combined the trails north of the Garlock Road between Hwy 395 and CA 14. This year we have expanded the ride to a three day Pioneer Ride and have added a WDRA ride each day for those wanting to ride more than an LD but less than an AERC 50.  The camp is easy accessible on a good road and features a good base even when wet. The camp has no amenities other than the water and portable toilets supplied by ride management.  The first day trail starts near Sheep Springs and heads out towards Laurel Mountain then down into the Garlock Valley before climbing back through Goler Gulch onto Mormon Flat and back to the camp. The second day returns to Mormon Flat, then turns west into the Last Chance area and the upper Red Canyon drainage then back to camp via the west side of Black Mountain. Most of the trail is excellent desert footing with spectacular desert scenery, hopefully with green grass and early flowers if El Nino delivers as promised. A motel and the best Mexican restaurant in Kern County is located in Inyokern just 6 miles to the north.  More choices for accommodations and culinary options are available 8-10 miles away in Ridgecrest.

Destination information for health certificates: Health certificates are required for horses coming into California from other states. They are not required for horses coming from within the state. The requirements for health papers vary depending on conditions both in California and other states. Your local veterinarian will be able to counsel you on current requirements. The destination address is EP26 and Brown Road, Inyokern, CA 93527.

Meals: Annie will not be doing dinners in ride camp as there are a multitude of restaurants in Ridgecrest, as well as a fine Mexican Restaurant in Inyokern. Annie’s free lunches are available at all XP Rides including Laurel Mtn.

You can pay at the ride after determining how many days you end up riding. Entry fees for the AERC events are $120.00 per day. Entry fees for WDRA events are $100.00 per day.  The fees were increased due to a 60% increase in California drug fees as well as a 20% increase in BLM fees. Sorry about that.

Phone 907 209 8881 or e-mail duck@xprides.com

 

Phone 907 209 8881 or e-mail duck@xprides.com

 

 

There are several pertinent web sites for information on this ride.

http://www.xprides.com/ for general information on XP Rides

http://www.xprides.com/ride-entry/riding-and-racing for information on Riding vs Racing

http://www.xprides.com//veterinary-pre-ride-info for veterinary information

Convention News for 2020

XP Rides will no longer have a booth at the AERC Convention.  We have decided to support those who support us and have decided to have our booth at the MRER convention in Denver, Colorado. We will present the 2019 XP Awards at that time.  

The articles:

A LOOK TO THE FUTURE

and 

A RATIONAL DISCUSSION ON AERC MILES  

have been moved to the the General Ride Info Page

Results are now posted up thru 2019 Death Valley Encounter

New for 2020

WDRA and the XP Rides: The Future is Now

Last year, I watched the AERC struggle with the issues that have plagued the organization for years – how to measure ride distance, rules, protests over rules, additional rules, a large and cumbersome management structure, and how to balance the interests of both racers and riders. I wrote an article on the XP webpage entitled A Look to the Future. In that editorial I laid out what XP Rides would do in the coming season. Early this year, as I started moving toward creating a new organization, I spoke with other ride managers to assess others feelings about the future of the sport. To my surprise, there were many with similar fears and concerns for our sport. Instead of branching out on my own I found others who were interested in proceeding with a new organization that expands the offerings aligning the interests of riders and ride managers.

Instead of the WERA that I talked about, the group decided upon forming the Western Distance Riders Alliance. WDRA deals specifically with the issues we have in the western part of the country. I am proud to be affiliated with this group and, while I am not an officer, I am a member of the board. 

Going forward XP rides will continue to offer the same AERC venues that we have in the past. The difference being that we will make sure all the rides meet AERC standards to the best of our ability. With so many rules and rule interpretations coming out of that organization it may be impossible to comply with every requirement, but we will do our best to try. The main take home point is that the AERC rides are going to be a full fifty statute miles, or longer, as there will no attempt to adjust the ride mileage for time or difficulty of terrain, as we have done in the past. We will also abide by the strict interpretation of the AERC completion requirements.

The XP will now offer an additional ride format to complement the AERC rides. Riders wishing to participate in an AERC sanctioned event will continue to have that opportunity but we will also offer the WDRA option so riders will have the opportunity to continue to experience all that we offered in the past.

The WDRA option is for riders who don’t care to subject themselves and their horses to the strict interpretation of the rules on AERC endurance rides. The WDRA offers us the opportunity to offer rides that fall out of the range of AERC sanctions. To be clear, AERC only offers the opportunity to enter a fun ride of less than 15 miles, an LD ride between 25 and 35 miles, or an “endurance ride” that is over 50 miles. The AERC definition leaves holes between 15 to 25 miles and 35 to 50 miles.

WDRA is a direct outgrowth of the AERC. All members of the WDRA board are AERC members and many of the WDRA board members are also AERC board members or past AERC board members. WDRA is not encumbered by some of the early mistakes of AERC that have never been rectified. I have yet to find an AERC director who does not believe 26 Board Members is unmanageable. WDRA has an upper limit of nine board members.

One of the most divisive issues facing the sport today is the issue of mileage. AERC has defined an Endurance Ride as 50 miles, no less. The 50-mile definition was done at a time when the Tevis Cup was thought to be an accurate 100 miles. WDRA has simply defined an endurance ride as “An equine event over natural terrain that demonstrates a horse and rider’s ability to perform.” WDRA also recognizes the inaccuracy of the AERC mileage database. Realistically, the AERC database has never been anything more than an indication of a rider’s participation in AERC events with an estimation of the distance traveled. WDRA has addressed the mileage issue by shifting the definition from statute miles to Mileage Points.   Mileage Points allow ride managers to continue doing what many, if not most, western ride managers have been doing since the beginning of the modern sport. Ride managers have always used time and difficulty of terrain along with distance to determine the ride mileage. All across the country this has never been a problem till GPS devices became mainstream and individual riders considered GPS measurements precise mileage recording devices. Besides the innate inaccuracy measuring miles with inexpensive devices, it is not realistic to compare rides on flat terrain with good footing to challenging trails across mountainous terrain with rocky footing. XP Rides have always favored historic, scenic, interesting and challenging trails over a flat and fast racecourses. Ann and I are excited to add the WDRA format to our XP rides and now other ride managers have the opportunity to offer rides on trails where an AERC completion may not be practical.

The bottom line is that I can now offer riders both an opportunity to compete in the AERC as well as the opportunity to enjoy the laid-back way Ann and I have fairly treated the riders and their horses. Instead of having to bend the AERC rules towards leniency and bending the XP philosophy towards more rigid standards, we can now offer both. We welcome you to XP rides, whether you choose to ride with the AERC or WDRA option.  More information on WDRA can be found at http://xprides.com/western-distance-rider-alliance/

Carol McLeod has volunteered to build a data base for XP Results.  At some time in the future we will offer an option to include all your lifetime XP mileage in that database. Many thanks to Carol for taking on this task

Entry Fees in General: 

Ride information will be sent to those who have entered online usually within a week of the event. If you have not received a response with the information you are looking for you should call or email us. 

WE WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT PAYPAL THROUGH THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY OPTION. 

We do not require pre payment for most of our rides, so its easiest to just bring cash or check to the ride and pay when you decide how many days you have ridden.  Its the old time way of doing business based on trust.  

 

Entry fees are a composite of ride entry fees along with other charges that must be passed on to the riders. These hidden charges include fees to the various government entities such as the BLM, USFS and NPS as well as camping fees to state, country and private entities. They also include drug testing taxes levied upon the riders from the State of California and/or the AERC. In addition there are AERC rider fees which vary depending upon membership status. XP Rides and the XP Riders host a number of events, all of which have different financial conditions.  Not only do fees vary from ride to ride, they also vary within most rides. Our policy of not publishing fees comes from accusations of government officials going to the ride site, extrapolating information and applying it as they wish.  There will be a slight increase in fees on rides in the Peoples Republic of California due to increases in the charges for drug testing.  Cuyama is the only XP Ride that requires prepayment.  Most riders pay at the end of the ride on all the other rides.

 

Photos for Mt Carmel, Strawberry, Grand Canyon and Virgin Outlaw available at:

https://stevesphoto.smugmug.com
 You can learn more about each of our rides by going to XP Rides and Dates on the menu bar and scrolling down to the one you are interested in. 

XP Rides for 2020 Ride Season

(Subject to AERC & Landowner approval) 

We have been forced to move rides from our traditional dates in the PS region which has eliminated the Lost Padres ride.

Due to the elimination of Lost Padres we have turned Coso and Laurel Mt into 3 day events. 

Coso Junction ~ December 6-7-8, 2019

Death Valley Encounter ~ December 28-31, 2019

Laurel Mountain ~ January 31 ~ February 1-2, 2020

Annual Awards at MRER Convention ~ February 21-22, 2020

Eastern Mojave ~ March 12-13-14-15, 2020

 Cuyama Oaks ~ March 27-28-29, 2020

Cuyama Rain Date ~ April 3-4-5, 2020

Mt Carmel ~ April 26-27-28 Rest Day April 30-May 1-2, 2020

Lonesome Duck Distance Ride ~ June 2 – July 25, 2020

This is a WDRA sanctioned event.  Entries are by invitation only and ride is filled.

Strawberry Fields ~ July 31-August 2, 2020 *Special date this year only.

Grand Canyon ~ August 30-31 September 1 Rest Day September 3-4-5, 2020

Virgin Outlaw ~ September 20-21-22  Rest Day  24-25-26, 2020

Color Country ~ October 31-November 1, 2020 Tentative Date

This is a resurrection of one of the oldest AERC rides. Located in southern Utah and Northern Arizona.  

Sesenta Años ~ November 13-14-15, 2020 

 

XP SPONSOR

EasyCare, Inc. is proud to provide year-end awards to XP riders. EasyCare, Inc. has a full line of hoof boots and natural hoof care products that protect the hoof, allow horses to cover rough terrain, act as a spare tire in case of a lost shoe, and aid in the treatment of laminitis and other hoof problems. EasyCare’s hoof boot brands include the Easyboot, Boa Horse Boot, Old Mac’s and EasySoaker.  While the main focus at EasyCare is horse boot design, we proudly make other top quality products for trail riders and recreational horse owners such as Stowaway Saddle Packs, EZ Ride Stirrups, Comfort Pads, hoof boot accessories and natural hoof care products.

https://www.easycareinc.com

 

 

 

THE UNSOCIALIZED DUCK

Please don’t be offended if the Duck doesn’t add you as a friend or associate on Facebook,  LinkedIn,  or  any other type of social media.  He just simply does not participate in those things!

 

HAPPY TRAILS

Over the years our family has made a lot of great friends along the trail. We always look forward to the new ride year to renew those friendships and to make new ones. We hope you will be able to join us on the endurance trails this year. Come ride with us, you will be glad you did.