Eastern Mojave Scenic XP


February 7-10, 2019 – 4 days & 200 miles + 4 days of 25’s each day!

10 to 15 mile Intro/Duck Rides each day

The Duck family and friends welcome you to the Eastern Mojave National Preserve and the tenth annual ride in the Eastern Mojave National Preserve. We hope that you will take the weekend to relax and enjoy the unique and varied scenery of the Eastern Mojave. Please inform yourselves about the event.

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

OLD Pre Ride Information (not yet revised for 2017)

Please take the time to read the information in this document. If you are unfamiliar with XP Rides, look over the veterinary information at http://www.xprides.com/VeterinaryPre-RideInformation.html the XP Rider oath http://www.xprides.com/RLD.html , and the discussion on Riding vs. Racing http://www.xprides.com/RidingandRacing.html This information is available in printed form at the sign up table. All this will give you an opportunity to decide if this is really the kind of event and the kind of people that you want to be involved with. We welcome you and your guests but WE INSIST THAT YOU AND YOUR GUESTS SIGN THE RELEASE AND WAIVER and JOIN THE XP RIDERS. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE. We even make our own family members sign in. Any persons in camp who have not signed the release and waiver are trespassing. You, as rider, are responsible to see that your guests are properly registered. Ride fees are $110.00 per day and include lunches. Dinners are not included in ride fees. Members are welcome to join the family for dinners on ride days but donations are expected to cover the cost of food. All riders and guests are required to read the conditions of our permit. You must make sure you understand the rules of the park and abide by them. These are printed out and can be read on the wall of the checkin trailer.


Dr. Alina Vale and Dr. Nicholson will be the acting Control Judges for the event.  Neither of us are prepared to extensively treat horses on site. Severe and or time consuming veterinary emergencies will be sent to the facility of your choice in Las Vegas or the place of your choosing. Ride management will assist you in making a contact with the facility of your choice. I did find a treatment vet but she wants $750.00 per day to be on site. I did not retain her services for financial reasons. If you would like to contract with her I will give you her phone number. If you are a new member of the XP Riders, you should familiarize yourself with the veterinary procedures and make sure you understand that you are the only person ultimately responsible for your horse’s welfare. Even the most novice rider has an insight on their horse’s condition that can exceed that of the finest veterinarian. Riders should learn to develop the skills necessary to keep in tune with the true condition of their mount. While we have the means to offer standard emergency therapy to sick and injured horses, we are a long ways from significant medical help. If you feel that you must depend on the control judges to get you through a ride, you should not attempt to start. If you do start and fail, that burden rests solely on you, not ride management, or the control judges. Veterinarians act as AERC control judges only. They are not diagnosticians or treatment vets. IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ACCEPT COMPLETE AND UNEQUIVOCAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR HORSES WELFARE, YOU ARE NOT WELCOME AND YOU SHOULD LEAVE THIS RIDE AND THIS SPORT.


This ride is an understaffed backyard amateurish event. We generally have at least a dozen infractions of AERC, Federal and State regulations although I can’t think of any at the present time. If this bothers you go away. I am not now, nor ever have been politically correct. If this bothers you go away. I really am tired of the whining and nit picking world wide. Years ago, the PS director Terry Wooley Howe said “The Duck dances to a different drummer. Hell, the whole damn band is weird” That pretty well sums it up. I feel better now that we are all on the same page and will assume anyone staying here is looking to have a good time and take full responsibility for whatever misfortune befalls them or their animals.


Over forty seven years ago, while working at Valley Wells Ranch, headquartered just north of the rest area, I had the opportunity to see the desert in a different and more appreciative light. I hope that you will take the time to notice the great variation in animal and plant life that exists in this harsh but beautiful high desert. While travelers on the Interstate fly through this “barren desert” and miss what it has to offer, you will have the opportunity to see more varied forms of plant life than what you have probably experienced on other rides, as you and your horse pass through at a more leisurely rate. On the first day our ride starts by visiting Tin Can Alley, an important culture site, where early California Rednecks, disposed of their unneeded cans. Dumping cans and trash in remote desert washes was an established practice of earlier desert dwellers and is one of those fast disappearing customs of the old west. Fortunately for us, previous Desert Rednecks thoughtfully left us something to remember them by and we hope you will take the time to look through the interesting old cans and bottles from yesteryear. As you head south, along the base of the Mescals, you will see abandoned mine sites that the miners hoped would lead to one of the tributaries of the River of Gold. You should pay attention to the trail as you pass through the Cactus Patch, making sure that your horse stays on the trail and out of the cacti. Some of you will undoubtedly discover why the southwestern cowboys always wore chaps and boots as you brush by some of the native plants. Wise desert travelers always carry a comb, pliers or Leatherman to remove the pesky spines from man and beast. The route around Cima Dome leads through unusual rock formations and a spectacular Joshua forest that has provided cover for some of the better grazing land in this part of the country. Views from the backside of Cima Dome reveal the New York Mountains, named for their skyscraper like silhouette, and the Mid Hills, through which, the Union Pacific RR and the famed Mojave Road passes. On the second day the trail goes past the Evening Star Mine on the way to lunch at the Valley View Ranch and the trail over the top of Cima Dome. From the top of the Dome, you can look to the SW and see the famous Kelso Dunes and the Devils Playground as well as the route of the Mojave Road. As you look in that direction you might imagine what it was like when Willy Boy was running from the law through that barren landscape. The third day stays in the lower country and will loop out towards the famous Mojave Phone Booth, where callers from all over the world tried to communicate with desert dwellers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojave_phone_booth It is reported that Sergeant Zeno, of the Pentagon, made calls to the famous booth, in the days before the NPS removed it. Those who have an interest in this unique desert attraction should do a search online for the Mojave Phone Booth. There is also a movie that can be found on Netflix. While marking trail a few years back, I ran into the nephew of the man who claims to have had the phone booth installed. After crossing the old phone line the trail comes back through Cow Cove and Charlie’s Place for lunch. After lunch, a loop past Keyhole Rock and Halloran summit takes you back to camp. The fourth day’s event used to be one of our family’s favorite trails. It wound through the Mescals via Lost Chinaman Canyon and past the Lost Chinaman Mine. We were forced to abandon the trail because the BLM “might” control a very small piece of the loop. We have salvaged part of that loop because the NPS has allowed us to use a burro trail leading over a low pass and into Burro Flats. Hopefully we will be able to find the rest of the trail that will lead all the way through the Mescals into Chevy Canyon. We will ride along the base of Kokoweef Mountain, site of the famed River of Gold. The new lunch stop will be in the New Era mining area near a spectacular overlook of Ivanpah Valley and the lower desert. After lunch at the restored Riley’s Camp, we will head back past the Evening Star and Copper King mines. If you are one of the first ten riders to get to the finish you will find the timer and finish line east of Cima Road. After ten or more horses pass this finish line the line will be moved to the trailer parked at the meeting area where you checked your horse in and registered. We may or may not adjust your finish time to compensate for the difference in length. It is your responsibility to find the person at the trailer to record your finish time and to locate the veterinarian.


The Mojave Desert, while sometimes harsh and forbidding, is a fragile and delicate ecosystem. You should learn to live with the desert and give thought to what you are doing during your visit here. Distances are deceptive and while the temperatures this time of year are forgiving, you will need to pay attention to where you are at all times. Stay on the established trails and keep the location of camp in mind. You are provided with accurate maps and directions as well as GPS tracks. If you keep track of where you are you will never have a serious problem. If you wait until you are lost it will be harder to figure out how to rectify your mistake. KEEP YOURSELF ORIENTED. When traveling through the desert remember to respect the fragile environment, by staying on the trail and leaving nothing but your footprints, to mark your passing. The NPS believes this is the time of year the desert tortoise is moving about and the young animals may possibly travel across your path. Should you observe one of these protected species, do not move it or touch it. You should also check the shaded area under your vehicles prior to moving them, as tortoises are sometimes found resting in the shade, only to be killed when the vehicles move.                                                                                   DO NOT DRIVE ACROSS FRAGILE PLANTS AND SOIL. The NPS, along with the BLM and Forest Service now requires all hay brought onto federal lands to be certified weed free. We will provide a small amount of weed free grass/alfalfa mixed hay and weed free timothy pellets at lunch if you promise to pick up every last crumb of it when you are done. Respect these requirements and make sure you don’t introduce non-native plants to the area with your horse feed. All traces of our passing must be removed, which means, among other things, that any hay or feed placed on the ground at lunch stops must be removed when you leave the area. You are responsible for the actions of your crews; make sure they live up to the spirit and letter of the law. Vehicles are restricted at lunch stops. No more than four vehicles are allowed at lunch stops. Due to the limited number of vehicles allowed, we will expect your crews to offer assistance to ride management and other riders, should they be permitted to travel to the control points. We make a real distinction between rides and races. This is definitely a ride, not a race. There are lots of other events that focus on racing and those looking for the thrill of victory will find them more to their liking. The focus of this ride is to visit the East Mojave and ride in harmony with your equine partner, not to rush through it so fast that you miss what desert has to offer. If your focus is racing, you will not have a good time. This is a place to train horses and relax as there is no glory in riding this trail as fast as possible. We expect you to slow down when encountering hikers or other park visitors. We expect you to ride in a manner that you can watch for and avoid tortoises and other desert life forms. By the time the sun sets on Sunday evening we hope you will have made new friends and found a new appreciation for this wild land. Our previous performances on this ride have left lasting and favorable impressions on the National Park Service. Lets make sure they stay positive.


Footing in the valleys is generally good, while footing in the Mescals tends to be rocky in spots. The rocky sections however, are usually on a soft base so that most horses do fine without pads, if ridden with care. As with any ride however, we recommend some sort of hoof protection. Easyboots over a pair of shoes is cheap insurance. Perhaps the best aid for keeping horses from becoming sore footed is simply to look where you are going. While the trail is usually flagged down the easiest route, there is often another path to the side of the marked trail that will offer a better place for your horse to place its feet. Prudent riders will look for these alternatives. None of the natural obstacles in the trail have been marked, so you are expected to pay attention to what your horse is doing. There are rocks and holes that can severely injure a horse. In addition to all of the normal trail hazards, almost everything growing in the desert has thorns for protection. These thorns will cause painful wounds that will hurt you and your horse. The trails are marked with different colored ribbons tied to clothespins. We use pink, orange and red ribbon and place these markings on both sides of the trail so you will not get confused trying to remember what color ribbons you are supposed to follow, nor will you have to pay attention to what side of the trail they are on. In places where the LD trail turns off we mark the LD trail with plain blue, or blue and white ribbons. There may also be flour marking important turns, if we get around to it. Maps and written directions, with GPS coordinates and tracks are provided as aids to those who can read. Should Sergeant Zeno, or members of his vandal gang remove or alter the ribbons, your maps and directions will keep you on course. Remember this is just a ride and that you are doing it for fun. Your happiness and rewards should depend upon spending time in the outdoors with your equine and human friends. We will try to have water available at strategic places on the trail, providing nothing happens to the water truck or its drivers. There are many things to go wrong during the management of a ride and the failure of a water truck is perhaps the most serious. Fortunately horses can go 50 miles without water, and prudent riders will always ride with enough reserve to do just that, should all else fail. Should you come upon an empty water tank that appears to have a mud hole around it, you can assume that some inconsiderate rider, or riders, in front of you have chosen to sponge their horses instead of leaving the water for your horse to drink. You should make note of who those villains were and take care of them at a later date. If you ARE one of those villains and have been inconsiderate in the past, you should repent now, while you have the chance. Water does not come out of a faucet. It comes from fragile wells and is hauled at great expense. Desert travelers depend on it for survival and those who waste it are looked upon with disdain. While we intend to do our best to provide you with the essentials, the ultimate desert survivors are those who always keep enough in reserve that they will overcome any unforeseen difficulties. Depend only on yourself and you will never have to play the blame game.


You are camping at what used to be Al and Nanette Young’s place, however they have sold the property to the owner of the store. The future of the ride depends on how you treat them and this land. Al dedicated a huge portion of his personal land to the use of our riders and has graded and paved roads for your camps throughout this land. Hopefully the new owners will continue to allow us to base our ride from here. Do not go inside the chain link fenced area. The proper way to leave your camp is to smooth out any holes that your horse has made and to spread the manure so that it will dry. Cover the disturbed area with a LIGHT covering of hay or straw. This does not mean you leave a huge pile of hay and manure for poor Annie to pick up. We have placed two outhouses in camp.




We have an entry box that will be available and open until 21:00 (9:00PM). You are required to put your AERC approved rider card in the entry box with your name, your AERC number, your horses name, your horses AERC number your weight division. We will carry your rider cards for you so that you will be free from that responsibility. If you would like to carrry your own card please let us know at checkin and we will make a duplicate for you. However you will still need to put a card in the box every night. If you only intend to ride part of the day, this is the place to make your intentions known. You are not entered in the ride until you have done this. If you change horses, you need to put a new card with the correct information in the entry box before the ride starts. Any changes after the ride starts must be in writing. Verbal changes yelled to us during the confusion of the start will no longer work. The Duck and Annie are getting old and we are having trouble remembering our names and why we are doing this, so we can no longer be expected to remember these last minute changes that people yell to us during the start of the ride. Your cooperation with this policy is mandatory. Starting in 2004, we no longer offered completion awards of any consequence. In fact, the completion awards will be an insult and the minuscule plaques for first place and best condition will be unworthy of any great effort. We do not offer top ten awards, or even first place in the divisions. We do offer T-shirts, plaques, coasters and coffee mugs for all of the participants, including those who ride less than the full mileage and are only interested in riding for club miles. Those who entered, but failed to show up and did not notify us, will have their mugs turned to the wall and their mugs will be used for target practice during the annual Duck Club Summer Fishing Party. We will keep track of member’s mileage for the placing of the XP Annual Awards, which are presented at the annual XP convention at the Cuyama XP Ride. We will post the results after reading them each night. The corrections will be noted and you can check them again before you leave the ride. We make mistakes and you need to help us present the correct data to AERC.


We constantly have people wonder how we do these rides “all by ourselves”. The sometimes not so obvious answer is that we have an enormous support group. We always have numerous XP Riders who pitch in at P&R stops, work on trail projects, as well as donating time, money and goods for the rides. Without this support we wouldn’t have a ride. This is especially true when weather and other factors create problems that no single person could handle. As usual, when we are about ready to give up in despair, people like Dana, Duane, Dwight, Hosebag, Joseph, Nipper, Sharon and the list goes on, drop what they are doing and step in to help us pull off another one. All rides depend on volunteers but the XP Riders are fortunate to have volunteers who go far beyond the sacrifices usually required at other events.   Remember these people who work so hard and have given so much to their fellow XP riders. We thank all of the above along with our regular sponsors.    



Have a great ride,


FW Duck, Annie and the Duck Gang

If you are unfamiliar with our rides, please look over the veterinary information, the XP Rider oath, and the discussion on Riding vs. Racing. This will give you an opportunity to decide if this is really the kind of event and the kind of people that you want to be involved with.

Certified Weed Free Hay: Is required.  If you need hay, contact otdumas@gmail.com  and let Crockett know.  He will bring a limited amount of hay to those that have made reservations.  

Directions: This is a very easy camp to find. It is located on the southwest corner of Interstate 15, also known as the Las Vegas/Los Angeles freeway and Cima Road. Everything at this intersection belongs to the Young family as is part of ride headquarters. You can get gas, diesel and snacks at the store.

Gorgeous desert scenery.  Photo by Steve Bradley.

Coming from the North: Continue on I 15 south of the California line. About 28 miles from the Nevada border you will be coming down a long straight hill. Take the Cima Road exit. Stop at the stop sign. Turn left and go over the top of the freeway. You can look to your right as you go across the bridge and see the camp on the south side of the freeway. Go just past the store and turn right on the first road. After a couple of hundred feet, turn right through the gate.  You are now in the camp.

Coming from the South: Continue northbound, past Baker, CA on I 15. About 26 miles past Baker, you will pass a rest area in the bottom of a long straight hill. Two miles past the rest area, turn off on Cima Road. As you are slowing to turn off you can look to your right and see the ride camp. Turn right at the end of the off ramp and go just past the store and turn right on the first road. After a couple of hundred feet, turn right through the gate.  You are now in the camp.

Ride Photographer: Steve Bradley will photograph this ride in 2017. 

Steve Bradley’s photos.