There’s no other place that I’d rather spend my birthday at than the Wild Burro Rescue and Preservation Project in Olancha, CA.
I arrived on Wednesday morning to a fresh dusting of snow.
I immediately went to go say hello to the Rescue’s newest edition, Angel. She was born at the Rescueless than 2 weeks ago after her pregnant mother was saved from a slaughter auction by another Rescue organization. Follow WBR on IG to follow her story.
Our volunteer cabins look amazing after recently being refreshed with new paint and flooring.
The following morning brought even more snow.
It was the most snow I’ve ever seen at the Rescue.
I caught Bessie enjoying a brief moment of sunshine on Friday morning.
The break in the weather allowed us to clean up the area where my vintage 1969 Frolic trailer will be delivered next month. We cleared lots of cement blocks, old wood and even trimmed the cottonwoods so my baby won’t get scratched when the wind storms come.
The majority of the day looked like this.
Which was perfect for hiking to a nearby area that includes a lot of springs.
This tree definitely stood out.
Thankfully my crew enjoys hiking just as much as I do.
The clouds rolled in and out throughout the afternoon.
We found a stand of old growth Joshua Trees that were pretty amazing.
We had a good old fashioned hoedown later that night.
We kept it simple…
…with yummy drinks and freshly cooked vegetarian meals served each night in the warmth of the Red Barn.
On Saturday we worked on removing all the crap we raked up the day before.
And just like we did on every other day we were there, we broke up the ice in the water troughs, cleaned them out and refilled them all with fresh water.
Amber was much more happier once the sun came out.
Later that afternoon we met up with our neighbor, artist Jael Hoffmann for a private tour of her home and art.
If you’ve driven through Olancha, you’ve probably seen her sculpture garden located west of Hwy 395.
If you’ve never pulled off the highway to take a closer look, make sure to do so on your next trip through the area.
Later that afternoon we set off on another back country adventure.
This time we ventured west of the property up into the Eastern Sierra game trails that overlook Owens Valley.
The Cosos were a lot less snowy by Saturday.
@GTinLPcaptured a great shot of me overlooking the “Deepest Valley.” The view was epic and so was the weekend.
Bunks & Burros and Camp Burro: Straynger Ranger Volunteer Events
When I first visited the rescue back in May of 2016, I instantly felt a connection to the land and the animals that have found sanctuary there. Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time helping out at the Rescue and have grown quite close to Diana and her dedicated team of volunteers who do an incredible job of providing care and love to all the animals but are often forced to place other projects on the back burner due to insufficient funding and/or limited resources. While the rescue has always been open to volunteers, the volunteer program itself hasn’t always been able to reach its full potential.
I created Bunks & Burros and Camp Burro to build upon the volunteer program that already existed at the rescue. These unique one of a kind programs offer volunteers the opportunity to bunk or camp alongside some of the last wild burros to be rescued out of Death Valley National Park. While the main objective of these events is caring for the animals living at the sanctuary, volunteers are also given the opportunity to hike along some of the sacred trails that the Owens Valley Paiute once roamed, experience incredible sunrises and sunsets of both Death Valley and the Sierra Nevada Range, explore incredible waterfalls that most people never get to see, encounter wildlife such as Golden Eagles, coyotes and herds of healthy Mule Dear, photograph some of the most beautiful scenery in Southern Owens Valley (including all the animals at the Rescue of course), and view the Milky Way like you’ve never seen it before.
Whether you’re an animal lover, photographer, hiker, travel blogger, bird watcher, stargazer, urban runaway, off grid wannabe, dreamer, or someone who just loves being one with nature, the Wild Burro Rescue and Preservation Project is open to anyone willing to help make a difference in an animals life. If you would like to join us on one of our upcoming volunteer events, please follow/like Straynger Ranger on FB where information regarding future events will be posted.