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July 3, 2015: More Horses, More Riders

Although my ribs were bruised, I decided to go on the BCHA pack trip. I repeatedly told myself that change is good, and that I needed to be flexible. For, if the truth be known, I was happy with their being just six of us in camp. It was a good number, and we all got along quite well. We’d made a nice camp, and had nifty tent and grazing areas.

The others went riding, so I was the designated campground host. Susan Dent and her daughter Colleen Fisk arrived first with two riding and one pack horse. I showed them the tent and highline area. Deb Moore’ posse came in next. This group consisted of nine riders and eleven horses. This bunch was pissy, I later learned because it was a tough ride in. And they were, at the end of this ride, annoyed when I told them they’d have to camp in a nearby area because there was not enough room on hand for all them and their horses.

Jessica and Bryan and their six and three year old next came rolling in – they had three horses. Next came Kathleen and Tony, who had two riding horses and one pack horse. I told them all what I told Susan and Colleen, which was to set up their camp on the far side of the central camp. These two groups were fine with this.

The others soon returned, so I was spared having to tell Dick, Dave, and Jonathan (who came with five horses) that they too would have to set up their camp on the far side of the central camp.

Two hours later, everyone was situated in their supposedly designated camping areas. What I then realized was that the more people and horses you have in a given area, the greater the need for some form of governance. And at the same time, you have to have a leader, which is someone who tells people what to do and where to do it. (In this case the “it” was a porta potty set-up. Kathleen, who has had leave no trace training, suggested this to Cathy, who located an old pit toilet and put it over an area that had previously been dug out for this purpose. Bottom line, no governance, no leadership, tempers are then more likely to flare.

A few years back, both Kathleen and I had leave no trace training. We went in separate years to the Missoula, Montana Nine Mile Ranger station and were taught the importance of leave no trace practices, and how to implement them.

And so, in the evening, Kathleen and I gave a talk to all present about this particular subject matter. We tried to impress upon the campers the importance of planning, beforehand and during one’s visit, the value of site management. Our combined talk was lengthy and general. I had a hard time being persuasive because my now tired back was again achy. I did the best I could, and then left it at that.

I am learning a great deal about camp sighting. If I was a rider coming in, I would have had a differing take on things.

Horses are neighing. Kids are yelling. Dogs are barking. People are laughing. We’ve become a small city-like community of sort. Now we must learn to live together – and at the same time strive to keep things here as they are. Indeed, a very tall order.

Next: 171. July 4, 2015: Experiential Knowledge

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