Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Foxhunters love to travel! If you have a good travel story, share it with FHL. Click on How to Submit.

The Road Warriors: Day Twelve

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John makes a sign for the truck window: East Coast or Bust

Photojournalist Betsy Parker, her friend Beth Rera, and Beth’s seven-year-old son John embarked some days ago on a cross-country horse-hauling odyssey—Virginia to California—to include a West Coast summer vacation tour. Since Betsy can be counted on for compelling copy and excellent photography, FHL decided to go along for the ride. Betsy’s earlier reports may be found under the Horse and Hound drop-down menu/Travel.

Beth was the one who first noticed.

Since Utah on the way out, we’ve been in high desert sierra or rocky mountain morraine. It is beautiful out west, but verdant and lush it isn’t.

Yesterday we stopped over at a horse hotel just west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. We’ve grown accustomed to the western horse-keeping style: outdoor covered stall attached to a twelve-by-twelve-square-foot paddock. And that’s all. No communal pastures, not a blade of grass, no group turnout. It’s not wrong or bad, just different.

The Road Warriors: Day Eleven

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Betsy Parker

Photojournalist Betsy Parker, her friend Beth Rera, and Beth’s seven-year-old son John embarked some days ago on a cross-country horse-hauling odyssey—Virginia to California—to include a West Coast summer vacation tour. Since summer vacation appealed to us as well, and since Betsy can be counted on for compelling copy, FHL decided to go along for the virtual ride. Betsy’s earlier reports may be found under the Horse and Hound drop-down menu/Travel

I anticipated that today’s adventure at Universal Studios in Hollywood would be so...o...o different, and far less real than last week’s adventure in breathtaking Yosemite National Park. After all, how antipodean....

Yosemite: Natural splendor—one million-plus acres of untrammeled grandeur, the very definition of real.

Universal: Unnaturally gaudy—less than 100 acres, a crush of humanity, miles of pavement, cartoonish reality at the heart of a Hollywood facade.

Still, after you take a good, hard look, you end up with—surprisingly—plenty of the same thing. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

The Road Warriors: Days Eight, Nine and Ten

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Glacier Point, nearly 7,500 feet, rises from the 4,000-foot valley floor. The trail, long and arduous, snakes along its face, but the view from the top is grand.

Photojournalist Betsy Parker, her friend Beth Rera, and Beth’s seven-year-old son John embarked some days ago on a cross-country horse-hauling odyssey—Virginia to California—to include a West Coast summer vacation tour. Since Betsy can be counted on for compelling copy and excellent photography, FHL went along for the ride. Betsy’s earlier reports may be found under the Horse and Hound drop-down menu/Travel.

I will compress the last three-and-a-half days of epic tourism into tidy note form. Any of these subjects is deserving of its own report, if not chapter, and in some cases a volume, but I’ll keep to the strictest of pyramid-style reporting.

 Left Merced hotel midmorning Tuesday to get to Crane Flat in Yosemite—the only walk-in campground within the Yosemite National Park with any chance of getting a site without twelve-month advance reservations. Pretty drive in, through California farmland. We left the valley about forty miles out from the park and began rising steadily, through changing elevation/topography/flora and, I’m sure, fauna. It got downright breathtaking, with valley views and granite outcroppings after we entered the park proper (Yosemite National Park is surrounded by a million acres of National Forest.)

The Road Warriors: Day Seven

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John and Beth at the south edge of the 270-degree views from Nepenthe

They told me it was worth it. To go to the hassle of dropping my trailer in L.A. To go to the trouble of wiggling east, then back west to find Highway 1. To suck up a whole tank of fuel just for a hundred miles of roadway.

And they were right.

The legendary Pacific Coast Highway earned top marks from our intrepid traveling band for beauty, raw power, force of nature, and inspiration, and not necessarily in that order. I read somewhere that lots of people fly into San Francisco, rent a convertible, and drive the route north to south (the preferred direction). I agree. This was fun enough in a diesel truck, but how much more so in, oh, say, a ’97 Esprit Turbo. Highway 1 is built for sin.