Thursday, August 5, 2010

Into the Mountains

A few updates:
Here's a photo from last week on the Parke Creek ride, that Pat had taken on our way up. It's nice to have one with both Mike and Kate, and Maddie and I in it. Thanks, Pat!
After that ride, Mike wasn't sure he wanted to go on any more "adventures" with Pat, but I convinced him to give it another try. His caveat: no going up or down any "big" hills.

So last weekend we joined the KVTR for a trip around Joe Watt Canyon (site of Kate's very first poker ride, two years ago). It promised to be a fairly short ride, because of the heat, and I told him none of the hills were too bad... I didn't know, however, exactly where the trail boss would take us.
Well, right out of the trailhead, Walt decided to go "backwards" from previous rides, and we crossed the creek first thing! Being later in the season, it was lower than I remember it, but still flowing more than the previous two pond-ish crossings Maddie had done. But she went right across! I think we might have this water thing conquered.
Then we climbed a fairly pleasant hill. Mike got himself oriented, and right at the end when there was one short, steep, rocky section, he and Kate just scrambled right on up. He did make Walt promised that we wouldn't be coming back down that way.

We wound through the woods for awhile, and slowly started our descent. Well, everyone else was moving nice and slow. Maddie had started up her jigging again, though not as hard or as constant as at Green Canyon, but still irritating.

We came down one rather steep incline, and when one other rider opted to get off and walk her horse down, so did Mike, though Pat ponied Kate down so he didn't risk getting stepped on. Then we took a little break in this meadow.

We have been seeing these little "mariposa lilies" in the hills a lot lately, but I hadn't had a chance to catch a photo until this stop (when I was firmly planted on the ground).
Then, continuing back down to the valley below.
Out of the trees, with one last ridge to climb.
Maddie had settled pretty well by now (two hours into the ride), but got really strong descending the last hill, as there was no set trail, and some folks went straight down, and others side-hilled and did switchbacks to ease the incline. Maddie wanted to go straight down, but I wanted to let Mike and Kate take the easier route, and so Maddie and I had a little bug-tussle where she wasn't paying attention to either me or where she was going. But we all made it down in one piece and across the creek again to the trailers.
Lunch under the "big tree."
Mike taking responsibility for his mount:
I particularly like this shot of him offering her water.******
On another front,
Jackson and Frodo had a totally uneventful hour and a half trailer ride to their forever home with D on Thursday. I totally forgot to take a camera, but they have a nice little sloped acre of grass, a dry lot with run-in shed, and D's dad had helped her level a spot for her new round pen. Frodo was upset that they couldn't go directly to eating all that grass, and started bossing poor Jackson around, who just wanted to buddy up with him. Otherwise they had settled in fine by Friday. There was no calling or carrying on by Jackson (though a neighbor horse got all excited) and he seemed to recognize and respect the property boundaries.
After two weeks of hard work building fences and hard fun riding in the mountains, Al and I ran Mike back home to Spokane yesterday afternoon.
It seems just a little emptier (but considerably quieter) around here today.


  1. Awesome looking ride. Beautiful country! Mike did a great job. You must be proud of him. I'm sure he's proud of himself, too.


  2. Oh goodbye handsome Jackson...good thing you have Frodo with you...he is a sure bet for company!
    Very awesome riding there..nice times!
    Bet is darned take up!

  3. Beautiful, beautiful scenery! All of your horses are coming along SO well. You must be so proud!

    Glad Jackson and Frodo had the world's most boring move. ;)

  4. Hooray for new things that aren't very interesting! May all the changes in our lives be that boring.

    Ya know: you and I should really get together for a ride sometime. Maybe this fall we could meet up someplace?

  5. Pretty country, though I look at all that sagebrush and just think "hot". Glad to hear Jackson's move was uneventful, the very best kind.

  6. I have to agree with your other readers. Those scenery shots are magnificent! The very best to you, dear Jackson, in your new life. Stay in touch!

  7. That scenery and your ride look awesome.

  8. That looks like it must have been a lot of fun! And what a gorgeous landscape!