Thursday, February 9, 2012

All Thacher students have ridden a horse over the ridge (the Nordhoff Ridge that is) and camped in the Sespe at some point during their Thacher career. This past weekend we did a variation of this excursion, also riding, but under full human power – on mountain bikes!

Adam Silberberg (CdeP ’15) joined my twin brother (Kevin Pidduck), Bruce Rogers (brother to Karleanne Rogers) and I for an 11 AM departure from the Sisar Canyon Trailhead in Upper Ojai. Together we climbed up and over the ridge and descended the Lion Trail (passing faculty member William Okin with several freshmen on their horseback ride back to Thacher after a night at Patton’s Cabin) to the Sespe River and our home away from home – Patton’s Cabin. The cabin is a remarkable refuge for trail weary travelers, whether on foot, hoof or by bike wheel. It is rustic yet comfortable, spartan yet remarkably functional. What a superb backcountry cabin!

The next morning we were met by Bo and Julie Manson, Bonnie LaForge and Bob St. George (faculty at Thacher) as well as sophomores Grant Ellman and Jamie Rush (CdeP '14). Bo, Julie and Bonnie graciously carried our gear back out to the trailhead for us while we mounted our chromoly and carbon fiber steeds for an ascent back up the ridge via Henry Canyon. After admiring the view of the Channel Islands from the ridge top, we zipped down Gridley Canyon and were back at Thacher by 1:30 PM. It was a fantastic tour of the backcountry and a wonderful opportunity to share in the delights of bikes and trails with students and faculty. All of us can’t wait until the next mountain bike adventure we can cook up. It is remarkable to consider the potential for mountain adventures immediately out our back door at Thacher.

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