Our day began with a long, rocky downhill stretch that took us to Gold Creek Road. “Gnarly” best describes this portion of our route. We then took a right and headed up Gold Creek Road. We met two bicyclists on the dirt road. They thought that even though Shaw Ridge was north facing, that we’d be able to ride over it.
We ate lunch at the Gold Creek Campground. The sign across the road read “No horses in campground.” Two friendly hikers hung a coat over the sign, and gave us drinking water.
Raudi mowed a pathway through the dandelions. After lunch we continued on—the trail was at first navigable, but later rocky and uneven. We made our way around downed trees, occasionally getting off and moving those that were impassable. We also picked our way over numerous creeks, Siggi leading the way.
Pete and I agreed that it would be rough going if we had to backtrack. He went on ahead to see if the trail ahead was passable, and I stayed with the horses. Pete soon returned, and said that it was yet another no-go, there being too much snow ahead. “Ptooey!” I says.
We set up camp adjacent to the trail. The horses had access to grass and water. Rainbow, now better, chased marmots. We’re still taping up her front paws (all but two of her dog booties are now history) as a protective measure.
The area feels desolate, perhaps because of the lack of people, the cold, and the overcast sky. I got the sense that Pete