September 4, 2010

Back to the Future

We rode back down Gilbert Basin to the previous night's camp site, where we slept very well.  The horses were so still that their bells rarely rang.  Even Coco was tired enough to stand still. 
The next day, we got an early start and retraced our steps back to the trailhead.  Things had gone smoothly up to that point, but we did have a little problem when we loosened Boss's girth to switch Eric's stirrups, which had been on backward for two days.  (Inexperienced as he was, he didn't know to complain.)  Unfortunately, no one remembered to tighten the girth after the fix.  Somehow Eric remounted without noticing the girth was loose, but a few hundred yards down the trail, the problem became obvious.  Luckily, he bailed off unscathed before the saddle went completely sideways, causing Boss to go into rodeo mode. 
Oh, well, there were bound to be a few glitches.  We calmed Boss down, straightened the saddle, TIGHTENED the girth this time, and started out again.  No harm, no foul.  I'm not sure it's better to be lucky than smart, but it's useful, anyway. 
Eric and Steve had a spirited discussion over lunch:
They were talking about why the windward side of the mountains receives more rain. You can read the explanation here, on Eric's blog.  It's nice to have an engineer/physicist in the family to give us the final word on how stuff works.
We climbed the rocky pass again, walking through the worst of it to give the horses a break.  They followed each other in a line when we let them go:
Later, we passed lovely wetlands create by a beaver complex:
and saw a distant moose wading in Cleveland Lake.
(if we'd remembered to bring the newer 10X zoom camera, we would have had a better shot.  The old 4X zoom just wasn't enough.)
Below is a photo of Fox Lake.  When we downloaded the pics after the trip, we did a double take.  Was that the Lochness monster out there in the water? 
Okay, maybe it's just a rock.  But the effect is interesting, anyway.
We had lots of water crossings: 
Boss and Mischief are old hands at that, but Coco is still learning. He's gaining more confidence with every crossing.  One crossing was stirrup deep.  The horses handled it well, but we didn't take photos because we were too busy watching where we were going and trying not to get wet.
Daisy, of course, loves to get wet.  Here she is, shaking off after a dip:
On the way out, we noticed a couple of low bridges that had nails sticking out of them.  This could be hazardous to hoof health:
Steve and Eric moved the dangerous parts off the trail so future riders would not be at risk.
We reached the trailhead about 6PM and made the drive home before dark.  Another "successful" trip! (Everyone arrived home without injury.)  We saw great sights, made good memories, learned a few things, and had fun.  What more could a person ask?


  1. Simply breathtaking!

    Happy weekend.

  2. Nice write up. Looks like fun and it's good that you were able to get some sleep with the horse bells not ringing all night.

  3. A great trip, Janie! I liked seeing the far-away moose, the "monster" and that beautiful green wetlands.

  4. What a great ride Janie, couldn't think of a better way to spend time with your family. Fantastic!
    An English Girl Rambles

  5. What an adventure. It was fun reading your son's blog about the same trip and it was interesting reading about why the water on windward side and not downwind. That's a physicist. I would say that the air encounters adiabatic expansion as its pressure lowers. (same thing as he said basically).

    That cinch strap being loose is a killer. (As if I know what I'm writing about)

  6. It looks like you all had a good time making wonderful memories on this magnificent journey, Janie.
    Your photos tell a beautiful tale of riding the trails.

  7. This was a great ride. Well except for poor Eric and Boss's little incident. Glad none were hurt.

  8. Oh My Heart... I'm in such AWE of you all... Fabulous trip for sure --and thanks for virtually taking us along.

    Question from a dummy: Do horses sleep standing up???


  9. That's a good deed, and good Karma too!

  10. I could ask to be included in more trips like this. I'm glad no one was hurt in the loose girth incident.
    You got a marvelous picture of Fox Lake, complete with monster. But then, all of your pictures are wonderful.

  11. It was a nice way to begin my day with this pleasant reading.I found myself smiling when imagining Boss going into rodeo mode.

    Your photos are amazing, as always. The reflection in Fox lake is amazing even without the Lochness monster.

    You are right, there is nothing more to ask from life but such an amazing way to live like you and your family do.
    Have a great weekend, where ever you are riding just now.

  12. sounds perfect. I like how daisy got right in line with the horses. glad everyone got home safe and sound.

  13. Your views are amazing! It's become a dream of mine, since discovering your blog, to go for a ride in your beautiful landscape! I'm glad no one was hurt and the girth tightened again. Here in Niger, we have a problem with the horses sweating well and having to tighten the girth from time to time, as the horses decrease in volume. But we are rarely packed heavy, which I think must have increased the chances of the saddle swinging sideways...

    Warm greetings from West Africa!

  14. Another beautiful post. I love the contrast between the rocky trail and then the soft beauty of the wetlands and Cleveland Lake. The moose was the icing on the cake, wasn't it? And a very nice video, too...thanks for including it.

  15. Janie, just a beautiful view no matter which direction you show us.
    I suppose Boss going into 'rodeo mode' would not be a good thing.

  16. your family has such great adventures....thank you for sharing them with us.....

  17. Good trip, GREAT horses. Must be nice to have calm veterans to break in the newbie.

  18. EcoRover just pointed me to your blog. love it! what a great trip! i used to pack a little for the forest service near Bridgeport California. Your area is gorgeous - I'll be on your doorstep tomorrow! ; )
    - The Equestrian Vagabond



Blog Widget by LinkWithin