The morning, with its attendant ups, downs, and switchbacks was fairly uneventful. I wish that I could say the same about the afternoon and evening. We found ourselves back in so-called civilization after lunch. We came to Clear Creek, which because of the high amount of rainfall, could also be considered a river. We quickly determined that it was unsafe to ride across. We had, it seemed, just one option, which was to cross the creek/river by walking across a footbridge. I was dubious, since it was narrow. Too, there were dozens of children on and below this bridge. Pete was confident about our getting across, just so long as we first removed Signy’s packs. There were steps on the near side, which I said to Pete, meant that there were steps on the far side. I, who feared our getting stuck if say a horse refused to go down the stairs, went to check this out.
I bounced across the planking, and Rainbow, who’d waded into the creek, lost her footing and began floating downstream. “Dog!” Pete yelled. I ran to the far shoreline and yelled her name. The brush was thick, so I lost sight of her. Thankfully, she popped out onto the shore and shook herself off. There was, I noted, a small waterfall 100-or-so yards from where Pete and I were standing. Rainbow would have been pummeled to death by the current’s hydraulics if she’d gone over the edge.
We decided to ride downtrail and seek an easier way across the creek. This appeared to be impossible, so we elected to do the bridge crossing. Pete and I tied up the horses and Rainbow, and then removed Signy’s pack. I first lead Siggi across and tied him to a tree. Pete attempted to lead Raudi across, but of course, she balked. I fed her a handful of grass, which relaxed her some, then slapped her on the butt. She skittered across the bridge, nearly knocking Pete over. Lastly, Pete led Signy across.
After all three horses were safely across, two guys appeared and helped us carry the packs to the far side of the bridge. Then two hikers joined in on the post-bridge crossing conversation. The hikers suggested that rather than travel on the nearby, heavily-trafficked road, which our map showed as the route, that we instead take the nearby ridge trail. I was dubious about this, since it appeared from below as though there we’d be riding on a narrow ledge. However, I went along with Pete’s suggestion that we check it out because I wasn’t up for the alternative, which was to ride alongside the heavily-trafficked road. And so, there we embarked on yet another long, steep climb. We called it a day 6 p.m., stopping at what I called the Power line Trail.
I contended that this campsite had bad ju ju. It was also sodden, brushy, and had considerable deadfall. I’d just hobbled Siggi and Signy when it happened—there was a loud thrashing noise on the side of the trail, followed for someone yelling “Apollo!” Although hobbled, Raudi immediately took flight. Pete and I ran after her, and on the way down trail we spotted a man on the right-hand side of the trail. He was holding a snarling white mastiff by its collar. Raudi, after running a half of mile or so, turned and came back to us. The man, who was still at the trail’s edge, said something about having lost a horse. We didn’t say anything, but rather, returned to our campsite. We never found out what was up with the dog owner, or if he found his horse.
Bridge over Clear Creek
Crossing Clear Creek
Climb above Clear Creek