Bowl of Fire on horse

Joe Herbst
Joe Herbst with Sassy & Ellie

On the day after Christmas, Joe Herbst and I did our annual (more or less) horse ride out in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. This year we rode in the Bowl of Fire, off the North Shore Road. Driving up Callville Wash, which was not possible last year with the washed our road and deep mud, we parked the trailer and unloaded Sassy, Ellie, and Ruby. We then headed further up the wash and over a nearly invisible saddle to the back side of the Bowl of Fire, then headed west behind the bluffs, and wound down through a narrow wash and back to the truck. The weather was perfect, a brilliant blue sky of the sort I never see in Sacramento where I now live.

Joe and I have been friends for 48 years or so, starting out hiking, backpacking and climbing with Howard Booth. We lost touch for a while as we both went off to do different things, but have reconnected for about the last 10 years, and immensely enjoy our time together. Our biggest adventure was a 2007 week-long series of rides in the Escalante Canyons of Utah, but we’ve been doing at least one trip a year (last year, in the same area).

After the ride, we went out to dinner with Joe’s wife Pam, which was the first time I’d gotten to spend much time with Pam.

Photos on Picasa at

With my irregular posting, I miss a lot of things, which I often think I’ll go back and pick up later, but don’t. Recently, my life included seeing friends Ann Pitchford, Jeff vanEe, Howard Booth and Ursula Wilson, Mike Pearson, Mark Vranesh, and Norma Biggar, all long-standing Las Vegas area friends. I spent Christmas with my mom, sister, nieces, and grandniece. Earlier in December I attended the Gaskell Ball and one day of the Dickens Fair, and spent time with Michael Charnofsky. I saw several movies over the month, out at theaters which is rare for me. By far my favorite was Hugo.

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