Home > Activities > Pack Clinic

BCHC Mid Valley Unit

Pack Clinic

We held a pack clinic at Modesto Junior College September 9, 2017, for beginners and experienced people alike. You can always learn something.
All photos courtesy of Stephanie Stott.

Adult cowboys with stick horses

01) Our opening ceremony


Horse eye

02) Brown-eyed beauty


People practicing packing hitches

03) Practicing what we learned


This is all of the of pictures. You may read the newsletter article, below, go to the main Activities page, or Home.



Pack Clinic

by Carl Perry

It looks like the need for a pack clinic was quite evident. The attendance of our members and the participation of the interested people was amazing. The participant numbers grew every day. We started with 6, then 12 and 18. Wow, I was getting excited! The last week calls were coming in every day. 24 to 30 to 40!! All I could think of was food and how we were going to feed all these people plus all of our staff and spectators.

I called Vicki Whisler and prepared her for the mob. She starting making calls and the response was overwhelming. Cooks started brushing off the dust from their other Dutch ovens that were sitting on the shelves, and made second and third dishes. We had plenty of food with some to spare. Speaking of spare, as in spare ribs, Dave Rumsey even cooked a 4th rack of ribs that was enjoyed by everyone. We were only going to have 8 cooks, but I think we ended up with 14 and 25-30 dishes including desserts. Thank you to all of our cooks. I know everyone is still talking about the great food.

We had 6 live mules from the Perry Hacienda and 2 iron mules for the people to practice on. Our trainers were Jerrie Ann Thomas, Dennis Serpa, Karen Lopes, Doug Dollarhide, Dave Moser, Julia Heller, and myself. On the first round we showed the participants how to tie a box hitch. There were intense moments as all the people were quiet and taking in everything we said seriously. I could see that they dying to get their hands on that rope. By the end of that round they were all tying the knots.

A Leave-No-Trace skit was played by Karen Lopes, Dennis Serpa, Lloyd Erlandson and enhanced by Dave Moser. It was well received and enjoyed by all.

A second demo of packing was done before lunch with loads tied on the mules. Now people got to wrap shovels, pipes, tubs, barrels and, of course, elk horns. It seems like everyone wants to tie horns on their mules. The horns were a big hit as on our last packing class Doug had everyone over at his station tying on those horns.

After lunch we had a short presentation. A high-line demo was presented by Dave Moser and I believe that many of them were enlightened on how easy it is to assemble a forest service accepted way to secure your animals in the wilderness.

It started getting warm and we took a short break again to eat dessert. Well, I think that finished off most of the packers. Their tummies were full, it was warm and time for a nap. We lost 2/3 but the diehards stayed until the end. They couldn't get enough. Perfecting the box hitch was on their agenda for the day.

One of our purposes was to recruit an Intercollegiate team for Bishop for next year. We may have accomplished that goal and much more. I want to thank everyone for their generous offering of their services. I know when this unit pulls together we can turn rocks over. We are one of the best in the nation. Thank you all!

You may now go to the main Activities page, or Home.