May 19, 2008

Where the Antelope Roam


We rode Little Mountain from the crested wheat grass meadow, which you can reach from a turnoff to the north from the LaPoint highway just east of the 27 mile marker. We drove up the dirt road through the huge flat meadow and stopped just before it started into a canyon. Just past that descent, rolling hills begin, leading to Little Mountain where a group of radio/cell phone towers for the Uinta Basin area reside.
We unloaded the horses from the trailer, and I let Mischief graze, unattended, as I often do. Meanwhile, I was checking my tack and brushing off my saddle blanket. Steve called out that Mischief was wandering a little far, so I hurried around the trailer to see what was up. He was standing there, staring out into the distance, and I saw the shapes of maybe a dozen animals. As I approached, and they approached us, I realized they were antelopes. When I drew close to Mischief, he turned to face me. The antelope must have noticed me at the same time. They spooked and ran toward the trailer and Steve. One of them went within 50 feet of him before bucking to a halt, circling, and taking off another direction.
After that little adventure, we went ahead with our ride. About 16 miles, 4 hours, 2600 feet. We reached the top, where we found a small pool of water in a road rut. We had noted the pool, maybe a foot deep, the last time we were up there. We also stopped at a nice spring along the way, giving the horses and Daisy ample opportunities for water. Weather was windy, probably about 50. Sunny and pleasantly warm.

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