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May 19, 2019: Tok

Luck and circumstance have prevailed again. Pete met a woman, Natasha, who attended the BCHA packing clinic and she told him that we could put the ponies up at her  place when we passed through town. We took her up on her offer last night, arriving at their place in Tok at 6 p.m.

Natasha’s husband Mike and her father were building their house. They’d acquired the land from a fellow who only wanted the pushed aside/piled up deadfall – they wanted the land and so all struck a deal.

Natasha and company cleared the land, and put in a building site, round pen, and large enclosure for Natasha’s two horses, an older gelding and a younger mare.

Horses in pen in Tok

We checked out the larger, cleared area. It was surrounded by welded wire fencing, was huge, safe, and nearly grass free. Our horses cannot yet be on pasture for very long because they are not yet acclimated to it. We released the gang of three into their temporary environs and they immediately raced around, bucking and kicking and running. They don’t have this at home so this was a real treat for them.

I tied up their Hay Chex feed bags and water buckets and so they were set. There was no shelter but it was warm, with a bit of a cloud cover. It did get cold last night – we again spent the night in the back of Big Red, our truck, because we were too lazy to set up our tent.

We went out for dinner, got pizza at Fast Eddy’s, something I’d been dreaming about for months. After, we went to the gas station, and there we met a former student, Todd, who was leaving the state with his family of six. They were pulling a trailer with two Norwegian Fiord horses, a dog, a snake, and a lizard. Pete shared route information with them.

We returned to base camp and took a walk on the nearby trail that Natasha told us about – we were scoping it out for today’s ride. We also wanted to give Ryder some exercise.

This morning, after eating and doing morning chores, we saddled up the three redheads and went for a ride on what’s called the Pump House Trail. It’s a wide, flat, ATV trail, bordered by a thick spruce forest on one side and thinner stand of spruce and vegetation on the other.

This ride could have been boring but it was not. Tyra started out at a good clip, Pete on Raudi, ponying Hrimmi, followed close behind. The sights include the remains of a moose from last fall, an animal skull, a refrigerator and a stove carcass, the latter few items brought to mind a name for this trail. I called it “Appliance Corridor.” No ride in AK is complete without appliances – also came upon another common Alaska sight, the ubiquitous blue tarp.

Ryder had a wonderful time, chased rabbits and squirrels. We saw a hawk, but no other signs of wildlife.

Such a good ride – sorry to have to turn around as were the horses. But otherwise, we would not have gotten off to our usual 11 a.m. start.

Next: 138. 5/20/19: Congdon Creek Campground, Yukon Territory

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