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81 Year Old Woman Embarks On 67-Mile Horseback Ride Through Ventura, Los Angeles Counties

Ruth Gerson, 81, and her horse, Crystal

A Conejo Valley woman embarks on a six-day horseback ride on Monday through the Santa Monica Mountains of Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

Ruth Gerson, who’s 81-years young and full of adventure, says she’s excited to ride the 67-mile Backbone Trail -- from Point Mugu State Park in Ventura County to Will Rogers State Historic Park in Los Angeles -- with four of her female friends.  

“This is not just for young people," she said. "This is for anyone who wants to do it.”

Gerson first rode the trail on horseback 25 years ago and is returning now that it has recently been completed and officially designated as a National Recreation Trail. The women will be camping each night and averaging 11 miles each day. But, it won’t be easy.

“Some of it is very steep terrain," she said. "There’s not a lot of shade. There are switchbacks on some of the trails."

Gerson says it’ll be a spectacular journey.

“I’m hoping others will take this as an inspiration to do things they want to do whether it’s the Backbone Trail or some other adventure," she said.

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