Trek 1



June 1976 Trek was based at Camp Talega and disassociating from the Base Finals Rodeo, the Trek was delayed one day, arriving on Thursday and breaking camp on Sunday in order to minimize time off from work. Leo Prelip was the cook. After breaking camp the riders trailered to the Rancho Mission Viejo cow camp for team roping and a gymkhana. A post ride party was held near the cow camp to use up leftover supplies and to acquaint the wives and riders. Due to the excellent response, members voted to continue the Annual Trek. Further, they decided to limit active membership to 40 (originally it was 100) and to limit each member to one sponsored guest. This is considered to have been the Charter Ride for the present organization.




Original Riders










Jack Barnes                  Ace Bowen                  Keith Card                   Herschel Crouse



Cap Crowl                   Bud Curtis                    Ernie Eckhoff                Bill Ewing



Fidel Cardiel                 Hal Finney                    Frank Forbes               Gerald Good   



Del Goodwin                John Hays                    Dean Hunsdorfer          Sandy Hunt



Delane Kendall Ed Lewis                      Jesse Longacre John Lundell



Cecil Martinez              Ken Meyers                 Charlie Miller                Dave Nath



C.J. Pilkerton               Leo Prelip                    Gordon Rinehart           Don Rohrabacher



Kerby Snell                  Bob Strathearn Tom Terry                    Denny Vopat



Hal Waddell                 Bill White





Trek 2



June 1977 ride at Simi Valley was hosted by Bob Strathearn. A highlight of the Trek was member participation in a small roundup, cutting and branding. The first Las Tortugas silver buckle was presented to Cecil Martinez. Cecil was also the first rider to be designated an Honorary Member. The post ride party was hosted by Keith Card at his ranch in Santa Canyon. Guests from the Trek were hereafter required to attend two consecutive Treks to be eligible for consideration for active membership.




Trek 3



1978 Trek was at Lake Pulgas . Major General Hoffman hosted. On Friday, riders were treated to close air support bombing in one area and parachute jumping in another while routine training was in progress. Saturday featured a ride to Aliso Beach . Bill Ewing presented cigarette lighters to all riders. The post ride party was held at Keith Card's ranch. For exceptional service to the club, President Ace Bowen was awarded the second Las Tortugas silver buckle, with the Camp Pendleton Mounted Color Guard participating in the ceremony.




Trek 4



1979 Trek was hosted by Rancho Mission Viejo at their Christianities Creek camp and included one ride on the ranch and another through Camp Pendleton to the beach and return. CAP Crowl introduced his famous cannon on this ride. Cap presented mini flashlights to all riders. CAP Crowl was presented the third Las Tortugas silver buckle. The post ride party was held at Keith Card's ranch.




Trek 5



1980 Trek camped at the Rancho Consultants Equestrian Center at La Cresta. Delane Kendall was presented the fourth Las Tortugas silver buckle. Bill Ewing presented riders with a monogrammed boot jack. Tony McDowell introduced “Instant Winners" at this Trek. The post ride party was held at Rancho Mission Viejo "Amantes Camp". This was the last Trek attended by President Ace Bowen who had been instrumental in planning every ride, and the only member to attend each ride back to 1959. Ace died in February 1981. CAP Crowl was elected President.




Trek 6



1981 Trek was hosted by Major General Robinson and camped at Ysidora Flats. It included two inland rides and one beach ride. This was the first Trek to use the large cargo parachute for a tent. Heretofore two small parachutes had been used. This marked the beginning of club purchased Trek gifts. A Pendleton Mills monogrammed lap robe with seat cushion and carrying case was presented to each participant. John Hays received the fifth Las Tortugas silver buckle. The post Trek party was held at Keith Card's ranch. In September the Bylaws were changed to require guests to attend three consecutive Annual Treks to be eligible for membership consideration.




Trek 7



1982 Trek near Lake Pulgas at the head of Canyon Piedra de Lumbres was hosted by Major General Robinson .Lt Col Dick Trapp, Officer in Charge, Training Facilities, provided support from his office in Camp Pulgas , including, at President Crowls instigation, a horse manure drop by helicopter over the riders on the trail. A frog jumping contest provided entertainment and kitty funds. The Trek gift was a three cell engraved MAG LITE. Keith Card and Tom Terry were awarded the sixth and seventh Las Tortugas silver buckles. The post ride party was a combination of a day at Del Mar races followed by refreshments at Keith Card's ranch...




At the Base Finals Rodeo in June, 1982, The Rodeo Grounds were dedicated to Colonel A.C. (Ace) Bowen. Las Tortugas provided a mounted color guard and other riders for the ceremony and hosted a reception under the big parachute near the arena. The base Commanding General sent out invitations in the name of Mrs. Bowen (Ginger).




Trek 8



1983 Trek was at PamoValley and hosted by Spike Alford. A chicken futurity was introduced with enlivened entertainment. The Trek gift was a monogrammed, yellow quilted jacket. The raffle grand prize was a set of hand-tooled saddle bags, won by Jim Woodring and a hand tooled breast collar won by Tony McDowell. The post ride party was at CAP Crowls ranch in San Juan Capistrano .




Trek 9



1984 Trek was at French Valley on Palomar Mountain and hosted by Wog Berman. Spike Alford provided trail guide assistance and arranged for a tour through the Hale Observatory. The second annual chicken futurity was a success. Raffle prizes increased in value and number. The grand prize was a Winchester , commemorative, engraved and medallioned M94 rifle won by George Rach. Bill Ewing was awarded the eighth Las Tortugas silver buckle. The post ride party was held at Del Goodwin's ranch in San Juan Capistrano .




Trek 10



1985 Trek was at Case Springs and hosted by Major General Haebel. Prime support was provided by Colonel James Sniffen; Commanding Officer, 1st FSSG. Charlie Miller was awarded the ninth Las Tortugas silver buckle. Raffle grand prizes were medallioned Model 94 Winchester rifle and medallioned model 1300 Winchester shot gun won by Paul Berger and Jim Woodring. A new tradition began with the award of silver inlaid spurs with hand-tooled straps to riders who have completed ten consecutive Treks. Ten year spurs were awarded to Keith Card, CAP Crowl, Hal Finney, Del Goodwin, John Hays, Ed Lewis, Dave Nath and Tom Terry. Leo Prelip , the camp chef for ten years, was presented a limited edition Russell print, framed and mounted with a brass commemorative plaque. The Trek gift was a steel framed collapsible chair. The post ride party was at Del Goodwin's ranch.




In September the Tortugans hosted a surprise party at Capistrano Depot in honor of Del Goodwin’s 80th birthday. Del was made an Honorary Member and awarded the tenth Las Tortugas silver buckle.




Trek 11



1986 Trek was at the La Cresta Equestrian Center hosted by Tom Liever. Keith Card arranged for team penning on Saturday. The Trek gift was a custom designed silver Las Tortugas money clip. Hand engraved, medallioned and customized rifle and shotgun were the principal raffle prizes. Paul Berger drew his own name for the rifle and Jim Danner won the shotgun. Les Card, Ray Jones and Tony McDowell were awarded ten year spurs. The duck race went to the "Hollywood Syndicate" which donated their winnings to our selected charity. Protests that the win was unfair since their entry was a battery-powered machine in a ducks cover may have influenced their decision. The futurity chicken winners then felt enough pressure to donate their winnings to our same charity. Tom Carter, Dave Nath and Joel Hartman won the team penning event and were presented silver "World Champion" buckles at the post ride party at Keith Card's La Cresta ranch. The party raffle grand prize was won by Tom Carter; a trip for two to the Bahamas .




In September the Bylaws were changed to increase active membership from 50 to 60.




Trek 12



1987 Trek was at Piedra de Lumbre Canyon near Lake Pulgas , hosted by Major General Haebel. On Friday riders were bussed to the entrance to the Chapel and the Ranch House for dedication ceremonies. CAP Crowl donated his grandfather’s ranch wagon to Camp Pendleton and the Tortugans sponsored a bronze plague thanking the Base for preserving the western heritage and permitting us to ride on the Base since 1959. A panoramic camera recorded the dedication and the horseback formation at the beginning of the Trek. The Tortuga Downs chicken auction highlighted the night. Saturday included lunch and a gymkhana at the beach and the Tortuga Downs back at camp. Marc Kennedy and Tony McDowell were awarded the 11th and 12th Las Tortugas silver buckles. The post ride party was at Keith Card's ranch.




Trek 13



1988 Trek was at Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, hosted by Brigadier General Sniffen. Friday's ride was on the Calico Mountain and the ghost town. Saturday’s activities were modified in deference to a storm with 80 MPH winds which closed highways in the area. Chef Leo Prelip , despite blown down/away tents fed the riders, and the bar survived, in the stables, since it was guarded. Dave Nath procured our turtle sign at some personal expense in Barstow . The post ride party was at Rancho Mission Viejo cow camp.




In September CAP Crowl stepped down. Keith Card was elected President.




Trek 14



1989 Trek was hosted by Jack Van Berg, Ole Cagle and Bill Betterly at their Las Flores ranch below Silverwood Lake . Brian Leahy was awarded the 13th Las Tortugas silver buckle. The raffle grand prize was won by John Gaal. The post ride party was at Rancho Mission Viejo cow camp.




Keith Card conducted a Sweethearts Day couple’s ride at his ranch.




In September Keith Card stepped down. Richard Zodnick was elected President;




Trek 15



1990 Trek at Pamo Valley was hosted by Spike Alford. Marc Kennedy won the rifle grand prize. The post ride party was held at Rancho Mission Viejo cow camp.




In September Richard Zodnick stepped down. Marc Kennedy was elected President.




Trek 16



1991 Trek was at the Dyche Valley Ranch on Palomar Mountain , hosted by Wog Bergman. Tortuga Downs auction, poultry judging and cowboy competition continued. Bud Hinman won the raffle grand prize rifle and presented it to Denny Vopat. The post ride party was cancelled.




Trek 17



1992 Trek was at Lake Pulgas hosted by the Commanding General, settling into the accustomed format of Thursday formal kickoff, Friday ride to the beach for lunch and Saturday morning ride with lunch in camp followed by contesting in the afternoon. The 14th Las Tortugas silver- buckle was awarded to Don Jacobs. The commemorative rifle was won by Keith Warren. The post ride party was at Rancho Mission Viejo cow camp.




In September Marc Kennedy stepped down. Keith Card was elected President.




Trek 18



1993 Trek was at the Bradford Ranch near Aguanga, and hosted by Mrs. Bradford. John Holman was awarded the 15th Las Tortugas silver buckle. John Berg won the commemorative rifle. The post ride party was at Keith Card's ranch. This was the year we had our first drive through chow line because of all the lighting and thunder.





Trek 19



1994 Trek was at the new La Cresta Equestrian Center hosted by Dan Stevenson. The commemorative rifle was won by Greg Wahl. The post ride party was at Keith Card’s ranch.




In September Keith Card stepped down. John Holman was elected President.



Bylaws were changed so that the membership elected board members at large, and the board elected the President, who then appointed board members to their positions. Term limits restricted the President to two consecutive years.




Trek 20



1995 Trek was at Case Springs. Hosted by Major General Reinke. The Trek gift for the 20th anniversary was a silver belt buckle. The specially engraved rifle was won by Russ Martin. A panoramic picture of the mounted riders was made. The post ride party was at Rancho Mission Viejo cow camp.




Trek 21



1996 Trek was at Eagle Peak , hosted by Elliot Levenson. Team sorting buckles went to Tony Gregory, Cliff Geddis and Monty Clifton. The commemorative rifle was won by Dan Seely. The Trek gift was a silver tie slide and PJSR neckerchief. A hand tooled saddle was included in the raffle.




In September John Holman stepped down. Jim Woodring was elected President




Trek 22



1997 Trek was at Mesa Verde, hosted by Spike Alford. The Trek gift was a Tortuga watch. Coy Love won the commemorative rifle and the head stall. Team sorting buckles went to Jim Lohrman, Bob Rohe and Pat Flynn. Dave Nath and Jim Woodring were awarded the 16th and 17th Las Tortugas silver buckles.




In September Jim Woodring stepped down. Sam Allevato was elected President.





Trek 23



1998 Trek was at Red Beach , hosted by Major General Reinke. The Trek gift was monogrammed horse blankets. Marty Scalzo won the commemorative rifle and presented it to his sponsor, John Holman. Sorting buckles went to Monty Clifton, J. D. Burns and Bill Diebold. The martini taste off went to Tony Gregory and company.




Trek 24



1999 Trek was at Eagle Peak , hosted by Elliot Levenson.  The Trek gift was a monogrammed steel backed folding chair. Dave Tierney won the commemorative rifle. Sam Allevato, Jim Eldridge and Don Garrison took sorting buckles. The great martini taste off went to Dick Paulsen, Bob Rohe and Marc Kennedy. The 1991 (Trek 16) commemorative rifle won by Bud Hinman and immediately given to Denny Vopat again changed hands. Denny formally presented the rifle to Tyler Terry in memory of his father, Tom Terry.




In September Sam Allevato stepped down. Jim Woodring was elected President.




Trek 25



2000 Trek was at La Cresta hosted by Keith Card. The Trek gift were monogrammed Jackets. Coy Love won the commemorative rifle. This was a hard ride with Mickey Wienenga horse going off side of mountain luckily no one was hurt. Leo Prelip was presented with Spurs for all his culinary efforts. John Hinman won the team penning and sorting buckle. Keith Warren won the saddle.  




In September Jim Woodring stepped down. Coy Love was elected President.





Trek 26



2001 Trek was at Vail Lake hosted by Jim Conter. The Trek gift was monogrammed candle bags. It was quickly pointed out that the monogrammed was upside down depending on how you look at them. Jim Roberts was awarded his 10 year spurs. Mark Geiser won the commemorative rifle and donated it to his dad Ken Geiser. Team sorting buckles went to Tom Ostensen, Bart Moore



Sam Allevato and Coy Love were awarded the 18th and 19th Las Tortugas silver buckles. First year riders found woody. Dave Nath was made an honorary member. The Tortugas were saddened to hear of the death of a long time trail partner and friend John Hays passed away. This ride was dedicated to him




In September Coy Love was elected President. Coy stepped down and Monty Clifton became President.






Trek 27



2002 Trek was at San Jacinto Garner Valley our host was the Hemet Water District. The Trek gift was a monogrammed Vest. Scott Crawford was awarded his 10 year spurs. Monty Clifton and Bobby Adams were awarded 20 year certificates and Bill Ewing was awarded his 25 year plaque. Mike Sokol won the commemorative rifle.  Team sorting buckles 1st place went to John Holman, Steve Sellwood and Jim Roberts. Second place went to Lyle Ostensen, Bart Moore and Guy Stroschein. Tony McDowell introduced the riders to the latest in electric vehicles. Tom Coughlin was awarded the 20th Las Tortugas silver buckle. Bob Wellott after arriving late shook hands with a few friends and found a horse to ride, thirty minutes later he was on his way to the hospital via ambulance. He survived to ride again, however, it was noted this was the shortest rodeo ever on our ride. Just after our 26 Trek the Tortugas received word that one of their founding fathers, long time friend, past President and Honorary member Cap Crowl passed away at his home in Montana . This year’s ride was dedicated to him.




Trek 28



2003 Trek was at Bishop California our host was Mike Morgan. With all the construction going on in Southern California the Board opted to try something new and move the ride from Southern California . It was a success everyone seemed to have a great time. The Trek gift was a western scarf and leather riding gloves. Twenty year certificate was presented to Tony McDowell. Tim Kiernan broke his foot on the very first morning of the ride. Anthony Schrade won the commemorative rifle and presented it to his dad Jurgen Schrade. Jim Conter was awarded the 21st Las Tortugas silver buckle.




In September Monty Clifton stepped down. Don Garrison was elected President





Trek 29



2004 Trek was at Rancho Oso in Santa Barbara our host was Bill Krzyston, Ranch Manager. The Trek gift was a dress shirt monogrammed and a horn bag. Jim Easley and Linc Eramo were awarded his 10 year spurs. Sam Allevato, Joel Hartman, Rik Matthews and Dave Tierney were awarded 20 year certificates. Ken Geiser, Marc Kennedy, Matt Nolan and Mickey Wienenga were awarded his 25 year spurs.   Monty Clifton was awarded the 22nd Las Tortugas silver buckle.   Ken Barker won the commemorative rifle. Steve Julian broke his leg. The Ortega Equestrian Center (John & Kathy Holman) donated flags for Arizona , Nevada , Texas and Nebraska to represent members and riders from those states. We were once again saddened to hear of the death of one of our long time friends and riders Ramiro Lujan the “La Bamba” singer passed away. This ride was dedicated to his memory. His two sons Nick and Christopher rode with us this year. It was also a great year for fatherson riders over 22 fathersons rode together on this ride.






Trek 30



2005 Trek was at Las Pulgas, Camp Pendleton Ca. The board of directors made a decision to return the ride to our roots. The ride was held at Las Pulgas at Camp Pendleton our host was Brigadier General Michael R. Lehnert Commanding General MCB Camp Pendleton. We presented Keith Card & Dave Nath who have attended every ride with a silver bit. Leo Prelip our faithful chef who also has attended every ride was awarded a shotgun. Peter Mullins his assistant chef was awarded a Tortuga knife for his 27 years on the ride. The ride was dedicated to Mickey Wienenga a friend and fellow Tortugan who passed away earlier this year.  We had a drink in his honor in a special “bucket glass”.  The Trek gift was a monogrammed jacket, insulated saddle bags and each member and guest was presented with a silver belt buckle to commerate the 30th anniversary of the ride.  Don Garrison and Russ Martin were awarded the 23rd and 24th Las Tortugas silver belt buckles. Jeff Kermode won a special “Henry” rifle; Dave Nath won a hand tooled Tortuga saddle. Wayne Copeland won the silver horse halter; Brian Leahy and Jim Conter donated a bronze Remington in remembrance of Mickey Wienenga this was won by Jim Danner



Don & Jo Garrison donated a Remington western sculpture that will be used as a perpetual trophy for our thirty year riders, the first names added were Keith Card & Dave Nath. Our first official meal on the ride was Steak & Lobster and it only got better after that. The following awards were given: Ten years spurs; Ken Barker, Tom Geisz, Elliott Levenson , Mike Looney, Marty Scalzo Sr., Dan Seely. Twenty year certificates; Jurgen Schrahe, Joey Alacon, Jim Lohrman . Twenty five year straps; Brian Leahy , Bob Hays, Russ Martin. The sorting was again a big success and the following Tortugans and guest were awarded silver belt buckles: Ray Bishoff, Dick Paulsen and Wayne Copeland.  Sam Allevato won the Remington shot gun donated back to the ride from Jane Wienenga for a member. We brought back the chicken future which hadn’t been run in many years this was also a big success, Because of the Martini party we are still not certain of who won what. Wayne Copeland & Jim Lohrman won the horseshoe contest. 




This was the largest ride in Tortuga history with over 160 riders. On Friday ride took us to the beach. We entered back into the base through the Las Pulgas gate flying our colors there were 115 riders in the saddle. Traffic was shut down for 1 mile in all directions




We were honored this year to have U. S. Marines join us who had recently served in the war in Iraq , 1st Lt Chris Julian, and SSgt Harry Hitchings; we received a phone call from LtCol Mitch Hanscom who is serving his second tour in the war. He is Commanding officer of a unit flying close air support for all ground forces in Afghanistan and Iraq . He called to tell us that he was presenting to the ride an American flag flow in Afghanistan for freedom. While he was on the phone from Afghanistan his father-in-law Ray Bishoff presented the flag to our president who accepted on behalf of all Padre Junipero Serra Riders.




The following riders from the first Tortuga ride joined us to celebrate our 30th ride.



Keith Card                   Bill Ewing                     Fidel Cardiel                 Hal Finney



Dean Hunsdorfer          Dave Nath                    Leo Prelip                    Denny Vopat




In September Don Garrison stepped down. Joel Vath was elected President




 Trek 31



2006 Trek was at San Jacinto Garner Valley our host was the Hemet Water District. The Trek gift was a monogrammed bag with, blanket, first aid kit, poncho and flashlight.




20 year certificates were awarded to Mark Gaiser, Randy Pyles.



30 year silver bits were awarded to Tony McDowell, Ray Jones, and John Holman.




Three man ranch sorting:

Non Pro division: Dan Seeley, Jim Verbeerst and Brent Chase. Pro division:  Jeff Montreal, Curt Insley and Jim Danner Sr.




Twenty-five teams competed in the, Don Manwill (D.A.M.) annual horseshoe tournament



1st Place Wayne
Copeland / Tony Schrahe,
2nd Place
 Curt Insley / Tony Van Vliet



3rd   Place Jim Lohrman / Jim Eldridge. Bob Wilks won the commemorative rifle.




There was a impromptu human race that mad pup (Ryan Nath) won

Within a few months after the ride we were informed that that long time friends and fellow rider Richard Martin passed away at his home in Ashland Oregon; a month later we were notified Jurgen Schrahe passed away while riding in the Big Bear Horse camp area.  




Trek 32




2007 Trek took us back to Rancho Oso in Santa Barbara our host was Bill Krzyston, Ranch Manager. The ride took us through the beautiful hills of Santa Barbara ; Two months later we were informed that the largest forest fire in California history burned 280,000 plus acres. The site we camped at was evacuated twice. The Trek gift was a Gerber type knife, a compass knife combination.  Paul VanderPutten won the commemorative rifle.




Ten years spurs: John Hindman, Bill Diebold, Josh Holman, and Don Meier



Twenty year certificates: Marty Hoyt, Jim Conter, Byron Wineke



Twenty-five year Spurs: Jim Woodring, Monty Clifton , Bob Wellott



Thirty Year Silver Bit:  Bill Ewing




Three man ranch sorting:  

Non Pro division: Josh Holman, Jerry Eldridge , and Mike Tierney,



Pro division: John Holman, Richard Johnson, Joel Vath



22 teams competed in the, Don Manwill (D.A.M.) annual horseshoe tournament



1st Place
 Jim Lohrman & Wayne Copeland





Within a few months after the ride we were informed that that long time friends and fellow riders passed away. Bill Ewing passed away at this home in Temecula Ca. A few months later we were informed one of our Riders from the early years Ken Meyers passed away.




In September Joel Vath stepped down and Pat Pearson was elected President.



 Trek 33




2008 brought us to the Bar B Ranch in Paicines; Ca our host was Curt Insley who made the arrangements. The gift that year was a handmade leather key chain & beer holder; this was accompanied by a horse’s head trailer hitch cover & shirt with PJS brand.  The Commemorative rifle was won by Rik Matthews. 




The ranch was spectacular located in the Coalinga Mountain foot hills. The Ranch had been owned by the same family for over 100 years.




Non-Pro Division Teamsorting Penning 1st place Tom Geisz, Robert Fisher & Jim Eldridge Jr.; 2nd place Jeff Nath, Jerry Eldridge & Jeff Eldridge.




Pro Division 1st place Randy Pyles, John Hindman & Jerry Garza.2nd Place Marty Scalzo, Chris Schaller& Jim Danner, 3rd place Brent Chase, Monty Clifton & Collin Vath.




The Tortuga belt Buckle was awarded to Paul VanderPutten.




Within a few months after the ride we were informed that that long time friends and fellow riders Hal Finney and Ray Bishoff had all passed away




Our President was Pat Pearson




 Trek 34




2009 brought us to the beautiful hills in the Tehachapi Mountains of California. Our host was Jeff Kermode & Dal Bunn Ranch Manager. The gift this year was a silver PJS hat band. 




10 year spurs, Jim Verbeerst



20 year certificates were awarded to Fred Garcia & Dick Paulsen. 



25 year spur straps were awarded to Sam Allevato, Roger Grable, Joel Hartman, Rik Matthews & David Tierney.



30 Year bit were awarded to Marc Kennedy & Ken Gaiser.




The Commemorative Rifle was won by Paul VanderPutten who awarded it to his friend and 1st sponsor Dave Nath. 




Non Pro Division TeamSorting Penning 1st Place Paul VanderPutten, Jim Verbeerst, Don Meir; 2nd Place Jeff Kermode, Robert Fisher & Tim Kiernan; 3rd Place Cameron Looney, Tom Geisz, Doug Slavin.




Pro Division 1st Place  Link Eramo, Marty Scalzo & Pat Pearson, 2nd Place Jim Danner Sr., Marty Hoyt & Jeff Montreuil 3rd Place Izzy Paskowitz, Brent Chase & John Marshall.




Later that year we learned that Ray Jones had passed away he 1st rode with us in 1977 only missing the 1st ride.




Steve Sellwood who lost track of all his years was awarded the 1st ever and last 8year spur straps which Joel Vath found lying around his trailer.




In June we were notified that that long time friend and fellow rider Ken Gaiser passed away at his home. Shortly after the ride we were notified that one of our friends, founding member Fidel Cardiel passed away.




In September Pat Pearson stepped down and Tony McDowell became our President




 Trek 35




2010 brought us back to the Loop Ranch our host was again were Jeff Kermode Member & Dal Bunn Ranch Manager. Our Trek gift was a PJS monogrammed floor mat.




The Ride kicked off at 10 A.M. the D.A.M. Horseshoe Tournament:




1st Place           Wayne Copeland &



2nd Place          Curt Insley &




Three PM check-in started after our members signed the Ranch waiver they were given their TREK gifts of a monogrammed pull over and floor mat with our location and 35th anniversary noted. . At the same time the Tortuga store (operated by Roger France) had a grand opening with a number of great buys of PJS gifts and gadget. In the evening after a fantastic steak & crab leg dinner awards were given to our members




1st Year riders



Brian Connolly  Steve Wisneski Ron Pflugrath                    Mark Carroll           

Brian Pearson               Grant Margulieux            Jeff Kelley         


New Members



Efren Malagon  Jerry Eldridge







10 year spurs



Dave Daneshmand, Jeff Kermode, Bart Moore, Ed Newman and Marty Scalzo Jr. 




20 year plaques



Don Garrison, Pat Wood and Roger France.




25 year spur straps



Jim Lorhman.




30 year bit and name on Remington



Brian Leahy, Robert Hayes and Russ Martin.



Friday morning and our opening ceremony and start of the ride began in a fashion we never want to repeat again. During the opening ceremony Jim Roberts’s horse put on a Rodeo and threw him. Without missing a beat our 4 EMT’s/firefighters (Cliff Geddis, Ed Angler, Fred Garcia and Robert Fisher) were at his side taking immediate action to stabilize Jim. It was decided by Cliff our trail Boss and head EMT that Jim should be transported to the hospital. This was coordinated through the local ambulance service and the Kern County fire Department. Because of the possible injuries the Fire Dept decided that Jim should be flown out. One of our members being flown out has never happened to us at any ride we have ever been on. Happily, by the time we got back from the ride Jim was back in camp. He was a little worse for wear and very sore. Later it was noted there was a for sale sign on his horse.




Cliff Geddis our trail boss was then back in the saddle and leading our members and guest on one of the most scenic and beautiful rides we have ever been on. On the trail through the coordination of Jeff Carter the beer stops were in locations where our members did not have to worry about going thirsty or missing a beat. David Tierney with the support of Bob Wellott, Joel Hartman, Mitch Hanscom Dave Daneshmand, Bill Hadley Jerry Eldridge and Tony McDowell made sure the “Chinga’s” were ready when needed.



Dave Daneshmand, Brian Leahy, Jimbo Conter and Tom Kinard made sure that our lunch on the trail was to perfection. We were joined by Dal Bunn his son (Ben) and wranglers of the Loop Ranch at our scenic location and lunch stop...




After returning back to camp we had the pleasure of feasting on one of Leo’s famous Prime rib Dinners.




After dinner Russ Martin got the ball rolling by setting up the Calcutta to purchase the sorting teams. Dal Bunn brought a friend of his Harvey to do the auctioning. It was also decided this year that the teams didn’t have to purchase half their teams back as in the past they can now purchase a percentage in ten percent increments up to 50 percent.  Nineteen teams were purchased represented by 3 syndicates and 4 individual purchases.




Saturday after a short ride in the morning everyone met at the sorting arena’s for our team sorting. Dal had set up a stage for the judges and his crew readied the pins. Joel Vath, Kurt Insley and John Marshall marked the cows.   Don Garrison did the announcing for competition and Dal Bunn did the color commentary. The competition was tough in both the Pro and Novice divisions.




Non-pro division




1st Place:          Paul Vanderputten, Ron Pflugrath, Ken Bowen  



2nd Place:  There was a tie:



                         Kevon Daneshmand, Phil Montgomery, Doug Slavin



 Tim Kiernan, Mitch Hanscom, Cameron Looney





Pro division



1st Place:          Lincoln Eramo, Jeff Montreuil, Monty Clifton



2nd Place:        Brent Chase, Efren Malagon and Richard Gomez



3rd place:         Jim Danner II, Frank Stubblefield, Roger Grable




Saturday evening our 1st margarita party sponsored by the Board was attended by all. Our 1st year riders were put through their right of passages. It was found one of the 1st year riders did not do what was asked of him so it was decided to hang him. After the hanging the band played on with fellowship for all.





Sunday after camp clean up we had the final instant winner prizes giveaway and rifle drawing. Paul Vander Putten after winning the rifle last year was asked to draw the winning ticket. He asked Dave Nath his long time friend and his original sponsor who he gave his rifle to last year to draw. John Marshall won the 2010 engraved rifle.  




Cliff Geddis received the “Tortuga Belt Buckle” for his dedication to our Ride




Our President was Tony McDowell





 Trek 36



2011 brought us to beautiful Hemet Ca to the Reed Valley Ranch. The ranch was spectacular and because we were so close to Orange County we were honored to have Rusty Richards (Original Sons of the Pioneers) attend and put on a one hour concert of old time cowboy songs. Our ride this year was dedicated to the memories of Keith Card & Bud Hinman who passed away last year. We were joined by Les Card, Keith Cards s son who shared some stories about his dad. Our TREK gift this year was a beautiful Vest. The convent Tortuga Silver Belt Buckle was awarded to Joel Vath & Roger France for their dedication to the ride.




The Ranch sorting was a great success there were 11 pro teams and 6 non pro teams.  Our host gave us an event never tried before by our members the “Extreme Cowboy” We had 45 riders sign up, this event. It took a full effort of not only a capable rider but a horse that would have to adapt to different obstacles that put both cowboy and horse to a test of skill and endurance. This event was won by John Marshall.




The legacy, spirit, and brotherhood of our ride was commemorated by the presentation of an American flag flown over 3d Battalion, 9th Marines headquarters in Marjeh, Afghanistan to Colonel W. J. (Jim) (Woody) Woodring (29 year rider), by Randy Pyles (25 yr) and John Hindman (14yr).  Woody and Randy served together in Vietnam, and later at Camp Pendleton (birthplace of our ride).  John's grandson “Sergeant Steven Culp” was inspired to join the Marine Corps by Randy and Anita (wife, and both retired Marines) and upon graduation from MC Boot Camp, had Woody as his special guest.  Woody also walked Anita down the aisle for her wedding to Randy 15 years ago.  This special bond culminated in John's grandson serving in Woody's battalion 45 years later, and the extraordinary honor of recognizing Woody as a past commander of the battalion by the current battalion commander in Afghanistan.  This presentation represents the special bond that is displayed annually between members of this historical ride.  It further represents the special relationship between the inimitable cowboy spirit, and the Marine Corps connection that makes this ride historically significant.  Jim Danner (28 yr) was also a member of 3d Battalion, 9th Marines in 1965.  For more on Woody's historical Marine past, see "Operation Buffalo" by Keith William Nolan or "Ambush Valley" by Eric Hammel. 
Circa 1987:  As mentioned earlier, the origin of the PJS riders came from the litigation between Camp Pendleton and Rancho California on the water rights of the base.  Ace Bowen came back on active duty to represent the Marine Corps during the mid-seventies.  The litigation never really died, but languished into the mid-eighties.  Another PJS Rider would reactivate the litigation by pushing Rancho California back into federal court over the water rights of Camp Pendleton.  Randy Pyles ( Tortuga 1987),newly retired from the Marine Corps, and selected as the Counsel, Western Bases, or the Commandant's business lawyer for the West Coast, coordinated the litigation against Rancho California and Fallbrook, for Camp Pendleton with the U. S. Attorney’s Office, Washington, D. C. and numerous other litigants.  Although Randy left Counsel's office in 1993, the litigation continues.




The D.A.M., horseshoe tournament started our ride on Thursday morning.




Horse Shoes



1st Place           Wayne Copeland, Hans Thallmayer



2nd Place          Jim Roberts, Joel Vath



3rd Place           Jay Neitzke, Jim Lorhman




Link Please add names



Five Year Plaques



Ten Year Spurs



Twenty Year Certificates



Twenty-five Year Spurs




Rifle:                 Steve Wisneski, donated to Brent Chase



Head Stall:        Cameron Looney




Non-Pro Division






1st Place Buckle                                    Tim Kiernan, Doug Slaivin, Ron Pflugrath




2nd Place                                              Hans Thallmayer, Tom Geitz, Jason Vanderputten




3rd Place                                               Ken Barker, Cameron Looney, Kevon Daneshmand




Pro Division



Team Sorting




1st Place Buckle                                    Randy Pyle, John Marshal, Brian Pearson




2nd Place                                              Russ Martin, John Hindman, Monty Clifton




3rd Place                                               Jeff Montrell, Brent Chase, Mark Gaiser




In September Tony McDowell stepped down and Lincoln Eramo became our President








The 2012 Trek brought our ride back to central California, to the V6 Ranch located in Parkfield Ca. Our host was the Varian family who had started the ranch over 50 years ago. Nestled in the Cholame Valley, the V6 Ranch envelops 20,000 acres of the most diverse and alluring country in the heart of central California. The ride this year was dedicated to the memory of Arnold Dunyon a long time member and friend of the ride.



This year the Board chose to recognize the years of service to the Club by Jim Conter and made him an Honorary member. They also recognized Cliff Geddis for his many years as our trail boss; he was awarded silver Conchos on a new head stall. Bob Wilks was recognized for his many years of Legal service for our ride he was awarded PJS Law Conchos for his saddle.  



For the first time ever our new trail boss Marc Hedgpeth created the “Cowboy challenge” there were 32 riders signed up for this event. It was grueling not only for those participating but those watching.



Brent Chase along with John Varian showed us the proper method for horse and rider to shower at the same time.



The D.A.M., horseshoe tournament started our ride on Thursday morning.



Horse Shoes



1st Place           Joel Hart, Jerry Garza



2nd Place          Ryan Nath, Kenny Bowen



3rd Place           Joel Vath, Hans Thallmayer





Ten Year Spurs:                       Dennis Miller, Robert Fisher, Ken Reynolds



Twenty Year Certificates:          Cliff Geddis



Twenty-five Year Spurs:           Jim Conter, Marty Hoyt, Byron Wineke




Rifle:                 Brian Leahy




Head Stall:        Cliff Geddis




Cowboy Challenge

1st   place           Colin Vath

2nd   place           Efren Malagon

3rd place            John Marshall


Non-Pro Division







1st Place Buckle                                    Jeff Kermode, Doug Slavin, Jerry Garza



2nd Place                                              Ryan Nath, Phil Montgomery, Allan Horn



3rd Place                                               Ken Barker, David Nath, Alex Verbeerst




Pro Division



Team Sorting




1st Place Buckle                                    Monty Clifton, Joel Vath, Rik Matthews



2nd Place                                               Mark Gaiser, Chris Schaller, Lincoln Eramo



3rd Place                                               Roger France, Colin Vath, Marty Hoyt





In September at our membership meeting   ______________became our President