July 26, 2008

Berries Galore

This morning, Steve and I rode from the Paradise Park Rd. forest service boundary, up to Gull Lake, then down to Bear Wallow Spring on the trail leading toward Massey Ranch. That trail had been blocked by blowdown in June, but someone has been in there with a chain saw, clearing things out. We saw cows hanging out in the aspens near Gull Lake and sign of cows all the way down to Bear Springs. At the spring, Daisy had fun getting filthy in the mud, and Boss tried his best to roll in a cow wallow. Fortunately, Steve stopped him in time.
On the way out, we met the same older man from the LaPoint area we’d met near Gull Lake a year ago last spring. He rides one horse and brings along another so as to exercise both at once. Last time we noted that he was “packing”. Couldn’t tell for sure this time.

All along the creek on the way down, we saw lots and lots of berries coming on: chokecherry, serviceberry, wax currant. Every bush was loaded. Besides the lupine I’d seen on the ride with Denise, I noticed harebells, penstemon, and purple asters.
We made the entire ride barefoot. The horses did great, although they were a little slower than usual on the downhill. Back at the trailhead, there were a total of five trailers. One old cowboy stopped to chat, asking how our “little ride” went. He said he’d been checking troughs on the “other side” and wondered who was around checking troughs on this side. Steve said all of our troughs and cows looked fine. Don’t know what the old man made of that. The cowboy had no front teeth to speak of, and had an Australian shepherd with him that he called “Brown Dog”. Simple and descriptive.
We returned to the trailer about 1:30PM. Thunderstorms were predicted for the afternoon, but so far the sky didn’t look too bad. By the time we returned home, dark clouds were building. We were glad our ride didn't get drowned out, but we are hoping for a little rain around Roosevelt.
Today’s ride: 8 miles, 1900 feet elevation gain, done in about 2 hours, 45 minutes.

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