Monday morning started out clear, barely a cloud in the sky.
While we were saddling for a ride along Reader Creek, Boss became nervous, calling our attention to a man with 6 belled goats who was walking in a nearby meadow. Boss became so nervous, in fact, that he panicked, broke a tie ring on the trailer, and ran off. Daisy followed him over a hillock. Steve followed them both. After a few minutes, both Boss and Daisy came trotting back. We assume Boss realized running off was no good. He was probably imaging the scary Bigfoot Goats chasing him into the woods. Maybe Daisy calmed him down and gave him the confidence to return.
After that mishap, we decided to lead the horses over to the goats and introduce them. The goats’ owner, who uses them as pack animals, was very accommodating. He held one of the goats while the horses tentatively sniffed it. Mischief wasn’t too impressed. Boss very tentatively put his nose down, as if afraid the big bad goat would get him at any moment. I wonder if he still associates goats with bears, since he smelled bear once and then saw some mountain goats. At any rate, he seemed to accept them after he put his nose on them, and all became good with him and goats. We stayed and talked to the goat man for awhile, an interesting fellow who had been all over the state with his unusual pack animals.
We finished saddling, more successfully this time, and started out at about 10. We rode upstream on Reader Creek, following a cairned trail to the pass above Taylor Lake. We saw harebells (above right), bog gentian, cinquefoil, and more grey-leaf willow, some of these with seed pods.
A helicopter was flying up and down reader creek area during the time we were riding. There must be a search going on, but we haven’t heard who was missing.
We achieved the pass by noon. The views were lovely.
On the way down, we stopped at one of Reader Creek’s cascades. Daisy fetched sticks and we enjoyed a moment's rest. She looks like she's about to try out her own slippy-slide here:By 1PM, the sky was cloudy. We reached the trailer a little before 2, having ridden close to 10 miles, with 1200 feet elevation gain.
Just as we loaded the horses, we heard the first clap of thunder. Our ride had much better timing on this second day out.