Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2019 >Daily Dispatch #151

June 1, 2019: Moose Creek Trail, Selway River

Trial by Trail

Trial by fire, a proverbial expression, of course. I am going to change it to a term that is more suitable to our given situation. Trial by trail describes what a horse (and maybe a rider) learn, not in the classroom (in our case the Playground of Higher Knowledge) but rather out on the trail. For the truth be known, a horse can’t learn it all in the box; however, I think this does put the horse at a distinct advantage when they do get out on the trail.

Today was one of the best trail riding days ever. I had been wondering if the long drive was worth the time and effort in that I could have gotten two weeks of riding in in Alaska, on the home front.

riding along the Selway river
Riding along the Selway river

Yes, I decided, today’s trail ride was well worth the ride in the truck.

We rode 10 miles, round trip, on the Moose Creek Trail, which parallels the Selway River. This is a well maintained trail that’s used by the National Forest Service to stock their distant cabins. They take in pack animals and go about 26 miles or so. It is an easy trail in that it’s flat and the ground is soft. And
there are just a few rocky patches here and there.

The trail parallels the river – it has been cut into the side of a slope. And to me, this was somewhat unnerving. On the far side is a rugged rock outcropping. It is not a trail, but you can further envision what you are dealing with on the riding side.

We rode upriver on the way out and down river on the way back. We saw geese, deer, and many different kinds of flowers. This included wild roses, which were in peak bloom. It was brushy in places. The shade and breeze off the river were both welcome because it was yet another hot day.

We met up with two male hikers on the way out and two males and one female hiker on the Return trip. We saw that some were camping on the sandy riverbank. We came across another river bank and there ate lunch. Again, the horses did well – this is the trial by trails part of this dispatch. There were gentle ups and on the downhill sections, creeks running into the river. The descents were rocky and the creek areas somewhat muddy. Hrimmi did not hesitate today. Maybe she finally figures that resistance is futile. However, she will still avoid muddy areas when she can. I rode Tyra and stayed behind Raudi and Hrimmi. This was a good decision because Tyra is still a bit inexperienced in such matters. There was one creek crossing that had a really rocky descent both ways. I ended up getting off her and walking across, me on a bridge/log.

Three quarters of the way home I could tell that Tyra was tiring. She repeatedly grabbed for grass and tossed her head around, and speeded up and slowed down. We now have a beautiful campsite with all the amenities. There’s an outhouse, a creek that flows right next to our site, a convenient place to pitch the tent, no neighbors – and this is free.

Tomorrow, on to Montana, or at least Eastern Idaho. We are considering coming back here in July.

Next: 152. 6/3/19: Hardship Sells

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