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June 1, 2019: CCC trail, 673, Nez Pierce Forest

We woke up early, got up early because Raudi and Tyra were mixing it up—both were in the confined space of the electric fence and Raudi was hungry and saw Tyra as competing with her for the limited food source. Pete and I agreed that this wasn’t a very safe area and so we got up and put all three horses on the trailer, each with their own hay bag.

Pete looked at the map that we got yesterday from the National Forest Service office, and it showed the above-mentioned trail. It wasn’t a topo map, so it didn’t show elevation. It did indicate that there were several switchbacks and a lookout area so we rightly presumed that there would be some elevation gain. We saddled up and set off. Again, Pete rode Raudi and ponied Hrimmi and I rode Tyra.

Pete and Tyra clear the trail

At 9:00 a.m. we came to the first trail obstacle of the day, a muddy creek. This didn’t seem to bother Ryder, Tyra, or Raudi, but it seemed like it was the edge of the world to Hrimmi. No, no, no, she said, I am not crossing it. It is dangerous. Then I realized that my stirrups were too long – Cynthia, who had long legs, had last ridden Tyra.

Pete went ahead on Raudi, and finally Hrimmi, fearing she might be left behind, jumped the creek and headed (on lead) up trail. Up, up, up we went, along switchbacks that were obscured by dense brush. This, navigating switchbacks, was a first for Hrimmi and Tyra. Not Raudi, who took on the turns like she’d been doing them her whole life.

This was truly trial by fire for our young horses. I eventually dismounted Tyra and began walking her. For us both, this was yet another horsey homeschooling lesson. The leap, from being on our known trails, to unknown trails that were both steep and overgrown was a bit much for Tyra. So on the ground, we went back to kindergarten and worked on whoa, stand, walk. And Tyra of course arose to the occasion.

She is going to need to learn to pace herself. She did take off fast, and by the ride’s end she was moving more slowly. Raudi, the now reliable steady eddy horse, maintained a good pace and made sure that Hrimmi did the same.

There were numerous downed logs on this trail. Pete (once an Eagle Scout, always and Eagle Scout) moved some and sawed passageways through others. I held the horses while he worked. When three horses were too much, we tied Hrimmi to trees. We hit an impasse, two downed logs in a v shape at 11:30, and could go no farther. But, for our efforts we had access to a small clearing and an incredible view of the Nez Pierce National Forest. There were tall pines as far as the eye could see, in some places the trees, close and at the distance, were charred from a fire that occurred years ago.

The Civilian Conservation Core was an incredible and successful venture. New trails were established and old ones were fixed up. Bridges were put in and people were, of course employed.

Sad to say that this program fell to the wayside because of so much anti-socialist sentiment. I really felt bad about this when I was riding this trail.

The horses are now tied to a tree and the dog is resting underneath. Pete went to the Forest Service Ranger Station in hopes of finding out about more available trails.

Next: 151. 6/2/19: Moose Creek Trail, Selway River

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