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:
(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?
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: