A young man takes a summer job with a horse packer in the Sierra Nevada mountains—and receives a valuable education in the art of living—in a modern-day parable filled with love for horses, nature, and the majesty of the Sierras, based on the author’s real-life experience of 40 years horse packing in the John Muir Wilderness.
Pablo is 18, a young man bound for college and a promising future, but also directionless and drifting toward the gang life. Pablo’s mother, remembering his childhood love of horses back home in Mexico, arranges a summer job for him with podiatrist and commercial horse packer Dr. Clyde. Pablo finds himself far from the distractions of the city, leading pack horse trains through the stunning natural beauty of the John Muir Wilderness.
Along the way, Pablo receives a remarkable series of life lessons based on Dr. Clyde’s 40 years’ experience leading riders and hikers through the mountains. The guests that Clyde and Pablo encounter present many different models of how to live, both positive and negative, from arrogant know-it-all tourists to experienced and respectful outdoorsmen. As Dr. Clyde says, “You’ll find in this world, Pablo, that some people make very poor decisions. Sometimes it adversely affects others and sometimes it negatively affects themselves big-time.” Pablo and the reader learn that self-reliance, preparedness, and taking responsibility for one’s own safety help develop a confident and responsible adult.
With lyrical descriptions of the natural splendor of the mountains and charming line drawings of horses and scenery, Life Lessons on the Sierra Trail is a celebration of the outdoor life and how it builds character.