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August 30-31, Teton Canyon: Two Great Rides

My friend Marj Weathers recently remarked on email that Pete and I are living the dream. I now must concede that she’s right. How lucky we are to have access to some of the absolute best trail riding on the western side of the Rockies. Of course, yes, I would prefer to be tolting the divide in a more linear fashion, but doing it in a non-linear fashion is the next best thing.

We wanted to check out Teton Canyon, so this is where we headed – to get here we had to first drive a considerable ways on a teeth rattling gravel washboard road – this lead to a forest service campground with a horse corral. Everything has a price, and the price here was that the pen needed to be

cleaned. I am not talking a few piles of manure; but rather, a few layers. Just another instance in which people have not taken the time to clean up after their animals.

Yesterday morning we rode the North Teton Canyon trail and today we rode the South Teton trail. Both were challenging but do-able rides – the terrain somewhat rocky and somewhat steep.

Met up with hikers on today’s ride. They weren’t as friendly as they were in other places. This may be because we are being accompanied by a boney and very lively puppy. Ryder thinks that everyone is her friend, and it’s hard to dissuade her otherwise. I apologized profusely to all we met, explaining that we’ve had her less than a week. If there’s an upside to this, it’s that she’s figured out now that she belongs to us, and so after saying her hellos, she bounded off to catch up with us.

Thankfully, Rainbow is now a model dog. There is one of two reasons for this. The first may be that we now have a basis for comparison and are seeing just how good she is. And the second may be that finally, she really is an obedient trail companion.

We ate lunch on a large granite outcropping. Pete checked out the canyon with my monocular and I took photos. Then I checked out the canyon with my monocular and he took photos. The horses, who’d been tied to trees, waited quietly for us to return.

After lunch the going got increasingly more rocky. I finally said that I was getting nervous, so we headed back down trail. The way down required that the horses pick their way down a rock strewn trail. Both Raudi and Signy did really well. I am pleased that Raudi is becoming more adept at this. At times it seems like we are just floating along, which is always the case with Signy.

Thunder and lightening and rain as we were coming back through the meadow. This energized the horses; however, they remained calm and walked quickly. We passed a hiker and his pack goat who were hanging out under a tree.

I find that I am still missing Siggi. We saw some scree as we were eating lunch, and the memory of his passing came back to mind. I now know this is going to happen now and then. But at the same time I am grateful to be in the presence of Pete and as well my canine and equine traveling companions. All bring me great joy, and this is what I need to continue to focus on as we continue with our adventure.

Next: 164: 8/31/13: The Life of a Ranch Hand