Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2019 >Daily Dispatch #165

June 16, 2019: One Month

We are now one month into our trip and we have yet to do an overnight pack trip. Yesterday, at the day’s end, we situated ourselves in the Encampment BLM campground. It had everything we needed, including tall grass for the horses, a place to highline, water across the way (the Encampment River) and – a picnic table. The site is in a canyon – our first pack trip will take us over the nearby ridge. The outhouse was a quarter mile from our campsite – some might see it being close as a priority – location is a lower priority for us than the above.

I have been hearing cows although I have not yet seen any.

Today, in preparation for our first pack trip we did a reconnaissance ride, or pre-trip shakedown cruise.

We rode 12 miles or so along the Encampment River trail. We first had to cross the river bridge, a massive structure with hollow sounding planking. I walked Tyra across simply because I didn’t know how she’d handle this. No problem, she followed the other two like she was boarding the ark, with Raudi and Hrimmi both moving self-assuredly at a good pace. I suspect that Pete would have walked, but as he said later, he had no choice. It’s far easier and perhaps safer to ride Raudi and pony Hrimmi.

Encampment River House
Encampment River House

Pete and horsesi look down on Encampment River dude ranch
Looking down on Encampment River dude ranch

Near the bridge, on the far side, early on, the houses of the well-to-do lined the bank. One had a tree growing through its center. The properties are owned by the I.O.O.F., the Odd Fellows. I would have liked to have ridden that road because as I said in a previous dispatch, I’m a bridle trail kind of gal.

We were pleased to discover that the trail has been well maintained and is frequented by numerous hikers; therefore, we didn’t have to saw up any logs. It was narrow in places, and there were drop-offs down to the river. This made me nervous. I dealt by doing as I did when we rode along the river in the Selway area – I simply looked at the wall when I began feeling anxious. Every so often I glanced at the river, which was wide and running fast. It was high because of the spring runoff.

We rode to the Medicine Bowl National Forest / BLM boundary. This boundary was marked by a silver metal gate that was falling apart. We came to three more gates before turning back – by then it was getting late.

Tyra isn’t yet at the point where I can open gates while riding her. So, because Pete had his hands full with Raudi and Hrimmi, I dismounted and did the honors.

We ate lunch at a sandy campsite along the river. I figured this would be a far better choice than, say, eating in the grass because this is where ticks linger. Nevertheless, upon arriving back in camp, I did a tick check on the horses and picked several off each one. Some had already burrowed through their hair and embedded themselves in their skin. Horses, I pointed out to Pete, can get Lyme’s Disease, adding that this is a good reason for remaining in Alaska.

Next: 166. 6/17/19: Hrimmi’s Injury

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles