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June 23, 2019: Back to the Encampment Campground

It just resumed raining. I’m sitting in the truck, keeping a close eye on the horses, who are on the highline, back in the same place they were six days previously. They trampled the tall grass, so I have been feeding them grass from the surrounding area. Hrimmi is in the middle, just in case Tyra gets it in her mind that she wants to start to badger Raudi. Pete’s in the rear of the trailer, making dinner.

We have resumed trailer camping, so I again have the option of putting rain blankets on the horses.

We woke up to rain and will be going to bed in rain. This weather is definitely putting a damper on our trip. We did not have a single rain free day on our first pack trip. We got up, only after realizing that the rain was not going to stop. It was again a nasty snow/rain mix. We let the horses graze while we ate an abbreviated breakfast of dried fruit and energy bars. No tea. As I said to Pete, it was good enough to fill the hole.

As usual, we packed carefully with Pete again doing a meticulous job loading up Hrimmi. He tied the tarp over the duffel bag, which was on top – I joked that this makes her look like a camel.

The sun was shining by the time we set out.

We took the same route back here as we did going out. Going the other way, it was like seeing the trail anew. It was not at

Hrimmi with her pack saddle
Hrimmi with her pack saddle

 Pete, Raudi, & Hrimmi
Pete, Raudi, & Hrimmi

all mundane or boring. The uphills were now downhill and the downhills were now uphills.

The road ride portion – we took in the distant rolling hills, which were dotted with aspens and pine trees. Ryder again had a wonderful time, looking for marmots.

We missed our turn back to the campground and rode a considerable ways past it. We eventually retraced our steps and found the now downhill trail. We ate lunch in the same place we ate lunch before, at the base of a canyon, in an aspen grove. Here we had a view of the steep hill we came down and would now be going up. Daunting. I decided that because it looked slippery, that I’d walk it.

Interesting – we are strong advocates of leave no trace practices. But I was reminded upon returning to this lunch spot that leaving no trace is near impossible. A tuft of Raudi’s tail hair clung to a branch, an orange peel lay next to the trail, and off to the side of the trail, was a pile of horse poop.

We climbed the hill, me on foot, only to discover that a huge herd of cows was on the far side. They were to the side of, and on the trail. It was by now fairly warm, and they had no intention of moving. Most were black – all had slobbery noses and manure caked to their rear ends. The babies, being babies, were cute – one in particular was particularly good looking. She had a white face with black patches around her eyes. It was not the first nor the last time that I remarked to Pete that I wished we had a larger trailer, so that I could take her home with us.

We came to the final rise – Pete breathed a sigh of relief in seeing our trailer. I latched and unlatched the final gate (all told I opened and closed five cattle guard gates today). The last one was the toughest. The wood gate was rotty and the barbwire strands were all tangled. You’d think that the BLM would check on the gates and repair them if necessary. I called what I was dealing with Third World Fencing.

We reclaimed our previous campsite, the one with the river landing across the way, and on unpacked.It felt like we were doing the same things we’d done previously, but this time, in reverse.

Next: 173. 6/24/19: Encampment Cows

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