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Wagon Train to come through South Shore

Tribune staff report
Davey "Doc" Wiser, seen here, will ride in a wagon train from Zephyr Cove to Placerville starting June 1.
Tom Lotshaw / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Davey “Doc” Wiser is a big fan of the old west.

He watched Rough Riders’ Round-up with Roy Rogers as a boy, grew up to work for the Southern Pacific Railroad, and has been a participant in the California Highway 50 Association’s Wagon Train every year for the past 37 years.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said of the approximately 64-mile trek via horse and wagon. “It’s like living your childhood dream.”

The Wagon Train, now in it 65th year, is an annual event in which people ride in real horse- and mule-powered wagons from Zephyr Cove to Placerville.

At least 30 costumed riders in 15 wagons will make the journey this year. Wagons leave Sunday, passing through South Lake Tahoe that day, and arrive in Placerville June 7.

“We’ll be (in Placerville) Saturday and leave Sunday,” Wiser said. “Come on over.”

Registration for the Wagon Train will take place Saturday with a kickoff barbeque in Zephyr Cove.

The group’s first overnight stop will be at the Amacker Ranch in Meyers, followed by another stop at the Tamarack Pines Cutoff on June 2, Kyburz on June 3, Fresh Pond on June 4, High Hill Ranch in Camino on June 6 and Placerville on June 7.

“Open Mike” cowboy poetry will take place June 6 at High Hill Ranch, followed by a barbeque rib cookoff, live entertainment and dancing in downtown Placerville June 7. The public is welcome to participate in both events.

Then, on June 11, the National Pony Express Association will hold its annual Re-Ride of the Pony Express Trail from Sacramento to St. Joseph, Missouri.

This event will feature more than 600 riders and horses traveling 24 hours per day for 10 days straight.

“We do it in 10 days, just like they did in 1860,” Wiser said, who will ride from Diamond Springs to Placerville. The route follows U.S. 50 to Meyers, and riders will then go over Luther Pass to Hope Valley enroute to Carson City and points east.

According to xphomestation.com, where people can track the express’s progress, the event “commemorates the 1860-1861 Central Overland and California Pikes Peak Express Company, which carried letters and telegrams for 19 months to prove the Central Route through Salt Lake passable year round.”


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