Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Will this day never end?
So we left Preston, after a restful stay with the Coburn family, Bruce, Beth and Bo. Bo, their daughter, cut my hair for me, and did a wonderful job, so the girls were not so embarrassed to be seen with me anymore. We had a long day ahead of us and were on the road at 7 am. After about 12 miles on the pavement we finally reached the dirt roads that would take us up and over the last high pass in the Rockies. We stopped for a soda and some conversation with the owner of the Cub River Resort and got underway.
Riding on the dirt roads is wonderful, we can trot, well I think its wonderful, Mystic and Delightful would be more happy wandering around eating constantly. We covered the distance to German Dugway Rd fairly quickly, trotting for 15 min. then walking for the same and back to the trot. It was beautiful there, we saw cranes, hawks and even some vultures, all of which flew up right near the road and Mystic didn't even flick an ear at them. Apparently it is only murderous ducks that she spooks at.
We passed the scout camp and reached the start of our serious climb just as another pack train came off a different trail and dropped in behind us. This road that was so terrifying in the truck, was almost a pleasant ride, it is rocky in parts and steep, so I had to keep a careful eye on the footing and let the girls catch their breath every half mile. It took about 90 minutes to reach the top and when we did I hopped off and walked for about 2 miles to give Mystic a break.
The scenery there was gorgeous, almost so that you didn't notice the mosquitoes, almost. We rode on alternating between walking and trotting til we reached the Ice Cave where I stopped and tied the horses and hiked in for a look see. It is a bit odd to be in a cave on a 90 degree day and have it below freezing and a big pile of ice in the middle of it. After pausing to snap a picture of the guys climbing from the ice mound, it was back up on the horses and heading for our destination and some of the worst mosquitoes I have ever experienced. We were mobbed, we were forced to trot constantly, because if we walked we were covered. The horses were going crazy with them and I was alternating between swatting them off the three of us. By the time I found a camp to hail and beg some bug spray from (bless them) we were all dotted with bites. Securing some temporary relief we headed down to the road, racing the setting sun. I contacted our next person in Montpelier and arranged to meet her in Ovid, where she followed behind us in her car, hazards flashing to alert traffic to our presence. Darkness came and Delene and Keene Rigby followed behind us in the car until Keene took the girls for a stretch so I could run ahead to their home to use the bathroom (I know TMI) and Delene found a neighbor willing to get up at 11:45 to come and pick us up in his trailer and take us the last few miles. Thank you Paul, you are a life saver.
This day was long and tiring and Mystic needs a few off til her whithers recover from the saddle sitting on them and I am back in my jumper saddle until a new one that fits her can be procured.
So I am now in the last town before Wyoming and stuck again for a few days. I feel lately like I am driving a truck in the mud, we get going and are doing well, then stop and get stuck. I hope soon to have my saddle issues resolved and a steady pace heading across the country again and mostly I hope to avoid any dangerous duck issues.