July 21, 2008

Circumnavigation of Current Creek Peak

On Sunday morning, we were resusitated enough to think about a ride, but we agreed we weren’t up for another 20 miler. Since we were camped at the base of Current Creek Peak, we decided to scout out a trail that would circle around it. A couple of weeks ago when we rode up to the peak from the Strawberry River side, we weren’t able to find a good trail and ended up crashing through a spruce forest to get where we needed to be. This time, we found an easy elk trail through the woods, no problem. We rode up a rounded mountain southeast of Current Creek Peak to take in the spectacular view and to examine the yellow flowers that seemed, from a distance to paint upper third of the hill. The flowers turned out to be lanceleaf stonecrop, with tiny, yellow blossoms shaped much like asters.
Starting back, we saw deer in the distance and a lone golden eagle sailing on the wind.
With our circle almost complete, we again heard close gunshots. As we were passing close to the shooters, we saw two people on horseback approaching us. The man and woman were having trouble controlling their wild-eyed mounts. Their long-legged horses looked hyped up and ready to run. The man was jerking on his mount, and the woman was barely hanging on. The horses had spooked at the shots, and then spooked almost as much when they spotted us. The day wasn’t looking too promising for the hapless couple. We hope they made their ride without injury.
I must admit, Mischief was a nervous about the gunshots, too. When they were close, he jumped every time. Oh, well. I jumped, too. I guess it wasn’t all bad that the shooters kept shooting. After awhile, Mischief got used to the noise and realized nothing terrible was happening. Boss, on the other hand, didn’t seem to mind the shots from the beginning.
The circumnavigation was 5 miles, 1000 feet elevation gain, accomplished in 2 hours. We felt like we’d cheated with such a short ride, so we didn’t unsaddle. Gluttons for punishment, I guess, we had to have more.

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