After being inspired by ruck-sacking YouTubers and with the gift of a travel-friendly Lazy Monk hammock, along with a retired US Army Molle combat pack full of survival gear, Gebauer took up the sport. Spinetta soon joined, and they have begun trekking the 37 miles of the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail and the other Trails of the Pardee and Camanche Watersheds, located on EBMUD land. 

Our Mother-Rucker’s first trip along the Middle Bar/Rich Gulch Trail was an explorative one, investigating the terrain and trail accessibility, while the second included many mem-orable moments. Taking a different route, a supposed 4-mile loop, the duo first hiked multiple steep hills in the warm sun, before setting up the tree-friendly Lazy Monk hammocks and breaking out lunch, Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai. Looking at the map, the hike was about 1/4 completed, measured by the Calaveras County Gold Mining Cart. Clouds began to obscure the sunlight and before they knew it, they could see the telltale signs of rain: cumulonimbus, or thunder clouds. Halfway into their trip, the storm broke and Gebauer and Spinetta ended up in the pouring rain, thunder and lightning.

Luckily, Gebauer had planned for every scenario and packed two emergency rain ponchos, which saved the two from being drenched by the storm. Despite the sudden and unexpected inclement weather, they completed the hike successfully and noted many other historic landmarks and trails. 

A return to the Middle Bar/Rich Gulch Trail was going to be required, as weather cut the trip short, but not before our two Mother-rucker’s fell in love with the trails and the beauty of the area.

This past weekend Gebauer couldn’t wait another day so he coerced Pamela Stroude to join as his guest on the return to the Middle Bar/Rich Gulch Trail.

“This hike is perfect for beginners, novice hikers and up,” said Gebauer. “There are great stops along the trail and plenty to see and some really beautiful areas to take a little rest and appreciate nature.”

Stroude agreed.

“The hike was comfortable, and some good exercise. If you get a little tired or need a break, there are plenty of places to rest,” said Stroude. “The lunch spot and setting up the hammocks to commune with nature was just amazing. If you haven’t been on the trail, this is a great starting adventure. I highly recommend the Middle Bar/Rich Gulch Trail, and I believe Dave may have converted me into being the latest Mother-Rucker.”

Be sure to download the Interactive News app on your mobile device to watch this week’s Mother-Rucking Interactive News video featuring Dave Gebauer and Pamela Stroude hiking the Middle Bar/Rich Gulch Trail on the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail. Look for the next installment of Mother-Rucking to see what adventures we get into and up to.