Friday, October 25, 2019

Hooked on the High Country

The sierra is a special place. This is my third time riding through here and every time I fall just a little bit more in love with these mountains.” Gillian Larsen

In 2017 I introduced you to this incredible young woman who is so hooked on the beauty of the High Country she has clocked up 10,000 miles on horseback riding the Pacific Crest Trail. 

  Since beginning her through rides  in 2014 on PCT she has learned many lessons from her horses. She says they were hard earned miles in backcountry that was sometimes too hot, too cold and too wet.

When she hits a damaged section in the trail she the finds a way to back track so she doesn’t miss any of the beautiful scenery along the way. She marches forward in a rythemic stride on trails hugging sheer canyon walls that leave no room for error. If you happen to run into a hiker or another horse pack group you can’t turn around. In forested areas, she has run into downed trees across the trail that she has had to saw through to clear the path. Snow drifts at these high elevations can also be an impassable hazard that calls for long strenuous detours.

I find Gillian to be inspiration for the novel that has been on the back burner for me for about ten years. Isabella Bird rode solo in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in 1873.  Her feet froze to her stirrups as she climbed steadily higher in the ethereal back country. Mesmerized by the beauty of lofty crags framing jade snow-fed lakes she ventured on. Gillian is showing me how she has become addicted to the serenity and being immersed in the mountain grandeur.

Gillian says “It's all worth it though for the mind blowing amount of beauty that is out there." 

In The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon I take you from the Grand Prix jumping circuit to the eastern Sierra's. Think Wild on Horseback.  

Linda Ballou, shares a host of articles and information about her travel books on her site  You will find information about her novels and media offerings at

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