October 23, 2009

No Wonder the Cow Was Sick

When riding in the Indian Canyon area, we plan our route according to springs.  Water is a scarce commodity. 
This time our goal was exploring the country on the south side of Grayhead Peak. We dropped off a two-track into the trailless canyon wilderness. 
A branch of Avintaquin creek is in the bottom of the canyon.  It runs only a trickle this time of year, just enough for Daisy to cool off and lap a little drink.
We continued across that canyon and up the other side.  We were checking out each spring on the map, seeing which of them could be counted on for future rides.
In spite of the lack of water, or perhaps because there isn't enough to support many cattle, the area hasn't been badly overgrazed. Native grass covers the shaly hillsides.
This was Sick Cow Spring.  Hmm. Not surprising that the spring's namesake didn't fare too well. Steve dug out a hole to collect water. Daisy soon learned the trick and became an able assistant until she had a puddle big enough to lie in.

Big Draw Spring was better.  It doesn't look like much, but horses and dog had a satisfying drink.
All went pretty well until, on the return, we came to a cliff 500 feet above our desired path.  Oops. 
Sorry the photo is blurry.  Mischief and I were both shaking in our boots, which didn't make for a steady camera.
Fortunately, we located an alternate route.
We made our way back to the trailer (barely) before sunset.

The next day, Steve was already at his computer, studying his Topo! program and planning where we'll go next. 


  1. Beautiful country! BIG cliff! Like the hunter orange decorations, especially Daisy's. She doesn't look like a deer, but hunters have been known to confuse big black and white cows for wild game.

  2. Great title - and I'm not surprised you were shaking, although at least you didn't have to abseil down!

  3. I'm glad daisy found a place to cool off--and how about that cliff getting in the way. Nice ride today.

  4. I love going on adventures with you..it is so much fun...Daisy is also a great guide

  5. Always an adventure with you guys!!! Great shots Janie. I suppose the creeks will be low/dry until springtime?
    Daisy was in need of a bath after her mud nap. :)

  6. Wow, water is a great deal in many areas of the west.

    Even here in northeast Oklahoma where there is lots of water. Springs were very important. Much of the river water was/is too salty to drink.

  7. I love the pictures of the horses and the dog in the creek!!! Looks like a beautiful day for an adventure!! Thanks for visiting my skywatch =) Happy weekend!

  8. Beautiful trail!!I'm glad to here of your trail posting.

  9. I'd have been shaking too! Beautiful shot with Steve, Boss and Daisy.

  10. At least you found some water, not enought for Daisy to swim. But she's a smart girl following Steve's lead and digging for moisture. Must still be hunting season, I see you're all wearing the orange. Which is a close match for the beautiful fall colors. Nice ride. Will be interesting to see where Steve comes up with next.

  11. Nice skies, thanks for sharing

  12. I enjoy drinking up you wonderful journeys, Janie. They just take me away to where ever you are, I have not a care in the world.
    Color me a happy hitch-hiker :D

  13. How fun. You have so many places to ride near you. Wonderful.

  14. I'm glad no one got sick at Sick Cow Springs and that you were able to work your away around that cliff. It looks like you had a great day for a ride.

  15. Two days in a row I've heard about digging a hole to get water - your blog and a survival show on TV. :D

    I'd be shaking in my boots, too, at the sight of that cliff. Glad there was an escape route!

    Guys and their topo maps...my hubby LOVES to read maps and plan his hikes. He says half the fun is the preparation.



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