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June 27, 2019: Corral Creek Campground

I’m sitting here, at a picnic table, doing as I now often do, and continuing to watch the clouds build up. The sky was bright blue and cloudless this morning. Now it is a pale blue and laden with thunderheads.

Being here in Wyoming and riding the trails is a humbling experience. I see so much and know so little about the flora and fauna. My idea of a dream riding vacation would be to have a geologist and a biologist follow along. This way, they could assist me in identifying the varied rock formations and flower types. Having an archeologist or paleontologist come along would be an added bonus – this way I’d better be able to identify the bone sources and learn some about the deceased animal’s structural anatomy.

Pete and Raudi ponying Tyra
Pete and Raudi ponying Tyra

Out on the trail today, we took note of boulders piled at odd angles, and of pancake rocks – flat rounded rocks piled on top of one another. We also came across cow plop rocks – rocks that looked like piles of loose cow manure.

We got up at 7 a.m. – it was quite cold out. The constant seems to be high temperatures during the day and cold temperatures at night. There is usually an hour between dusk and dark when the temperature, in the low 70s, just right. It rained last night – there was condensation on our Big Agnes tent. I don’t like this tent – though commodious, it is far too difficult to set up. I’d rather we use our smaller, but easier to set up Mountain Hardware tent. It is aptly called “Room with a View.”

The day’s ride began with our hopping off road and taking off up an unmarked trail, one that I suspect thousands of cows have followed before. On our right was a barbed wire fence and every 100 yards, No Trespassing signs.

We did a loop, going up and down gentle rises. The terrain was punctuated by red rock scree, which without boots would have been hard on the horses’ hooves. This way, the boots, rather than their hooves were torn up.

Ryder, now all dog, took the opportunity, several times, to roll in stinky dead animal remains.

We finished the loop, returned to the road, and then rode on the far side of the road. We continued up a steep hill, to a saddle notch, hoping that we’d be able to cut over to our camping area. We had no such luck. The top was boulder strewn, and beyond that was a steep drop off. I was disappointed because this meant that we’d have to go back downhill and ride along the dusty dirt road, a tedious proposition at best.

My disappointment was tempered by the fact that I was so proud of all the horses. They all moved in an energetic but calm fashion, up and down the rise – and after, had energy to spare. The thought, when we got to the base of the hill, was that perhaps our mainly doing day trips was a good idea because this has enabled them to get into good shape. I’d hate for them to labor heavily when on a pack trip.

Next: June 28, 2019: Dog is in the Details

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