The Mid Valley Unit had a fine time camping out at Don and Laurel Rumsey's
Mother Lode Ranch in the spring of 2010.
Photos on this page courtesy of Kathy Zumbrunn.
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Joan Wilkinson giving pointers on "camp and trail" etiquette.
Doug Dollarhide giving instruction on how to rope a dummy steer.
Adam Barnett explaining the workings of the GPS.
Cathy Dollarhide giving instructions to the kids for the Scavenger Hunt.
They're off and running to find the goodies!
Now where is that purple flower?
The 'scavengers' descend upon the camp looking for those paper plates and plastic spoons!
New member Gazel Bulotti, helping with the packing demonstration given by Dave Moser and Dennis Serpa.
Don Rumsey, owner of the Mother Lode Ranch
Kids just love creeks! Oh! Oh! The clothes have escaped!
Nikki Prine and Alan Gilkison
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WOW!! If you missed the Spring Camp-Out at Don and Laurel Rumsey's Mother Lode Ranch in Sonora this past April 16-18, you missed one heck of a good time! The whole weekend was perfect with warm, sunny weather, rolling hills, green grass and gurgling creeks to ride through, laughing children, smiling faces, and yes, 2 long tables full of mouth watering Dutch oven dishes on Saturday evening! What would a Mid Valley get together be without our wonderful Dutch oven cooks? I think everyone outdid themselves this time.
Thanks to all of the wonderful people that pitched-in to help. It would take an entire page to list them all, but let me at least recognize the activities that were taking place throughout the weekend. Friday night started off with a "Welcome" presentation and history of the BCHC by Mid Valley Unit president Michael King and secretary C.J. Hargreaves. After that we sat around enjoying the campfire and listening to the fine music of our very own Julie Perry playing her guitar. Occasionally Debra Mason and Sharon Powers would pitch in or sing their own solo.
Bright and early Saturday morning Alan Gilkison, Nancy Gross and the rest of the cooking crew got everyone's day off to a good start with delicious hot coffee ready before sun-up. Then came a spectacular country breakfast of which there were ample portions. Following breakfast, Kathy Zumbrunn, Jerrie Thomas, Vicki Morales and Vicki Whisler stationed themselves at the registration table where they were busy most of the day checking people in.
The first post-breakfast activity was a talk by Joan Wilkinson on "Camp Etiquette" which was not only informative, but humorous as well. Joan has a way with telling you things that can get the point across and make you laugh too! Karen Lopes followed up with a talk on Trail Safety and Etiquette. Adam Barnett, Wilderness Supervisor from the Stanislaus National Forest, came down to teach a basic training session on using GPS units.
At this point there were many, many riders ready to hit the trail, so Lloyd and the rest of the trail bosses took them out in small groups to enjoy the beautiful ranch. Concurrently, Dave Moser, aided by Dennis Serpa, put on a very detailed Packing Clinic where participants learned everything from selecting a pack animal to choosing a pack-saddle, balancing loads and tying hitches.
In the meantime, Doug and Cathy Dollarhide, Vicki Morales and Jerrie Thomas were busy keeping our younger participants engaged in some super fun activities! We had approximately 10 children there, and Karen had some special activities for them. First they were taught how to rope a dummy steer. It was fun watching all the small-fries trying to wrangle that huge loop, most of the time catching themselves! A few managed to catch that sly dummy steer too! This was followed by a scavenger hunt that sent all 10 of the kids scrambling hither and yon in search of things such as a handful of alfalfa hay, a paper plate, and a purple flower! It was fun to hear the kids' laughter throughout the day. It is such a pleasing sound. They also found the creek and that kept them entertained for hours on end.
At around 4:00 pm the Dutch oven group, lead by Debra Mason, started preparing and cooking the evening meal. At exactly 6:30 p.m. it was served and we had the best spread ever tasted! Dutch ovens and other dishes filled two long, large tables! (Karen echoed her grandpa who says: "I was full clear to the top!", while Kathy was heard to say something about "I can't believe I ate the whole thing") After dinner, Dave, Lloyd and Karen gave their very informative "Gentle Use" presentation, which had lots of audience participation and input ... it is so great to share these ideas!
We also had two very nice surprises Saturday evening. New member Jeff McNiel hand forged a beautiful barbeque steak fork right there in camp and donated it to Mid Valley to auction. Then, a few minutes later, Dianne Stearns (also a new member!) presented us with a gorgeous, matted print of the painting she had created for the Mother Lode Rodeo poster. What a surprise, and what a wonderful gesture! Each item generated vigorous bidding. Rich Kirchner (read Sandy) decided early on that he was going to have that fork and persisted until he was successful. Terri Arington also had her eye on that print, so with the same determination, she succeeded in winning that bid. All told, these two items brought in $140 for the Mid Valley treasury. Thank you Jeff and Dianne for your very generous gifts! Also, thanks to the spirited bidders.
Sunday morning a few people needed to go and packed up to head home. There were still activities to complete, however, and while Dave Moser concluded his pack clinic, we had several groups hitting the trails once again. Finally afternoon came and it was time to wrap it up and head for home. Thank-you to everyone.your camp areas were left in great condition. And thanks to the "stay `til the enders", we can always count on you for your help cleaning up!
We want to extend a great big thank you to Don and Laurel Rumsey for sharing their Mother Lode Ranch with us. It is such a beautiful place and we sincerely appreciate having a chance to enjoy their "little piece of heaven". Don and Laurel were very pleased with our group, how we conducted ourselves, and especially, how we treated their ranch with care. Please, if you get the chance, tell them thanks! We did have a couple of people that parted ways with their equine mounts, and you know that is never high on anyone's to-do list, but we'll let them tell you the details. Karen would also like to thank Katherine Reeves for the advertising she did prior to the event. We had a lot of phone calls from people who saw our information in the newspaper! Happy Trails Everyone!
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