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Trip Dispatch #47: Monday, July 4: Cache Creek to Interlaken: Averting Disaster: Part 2

Today we had what Pete called a wreck. It was early afternoon. We were headed to Twin Lakes, going downhill on a somewhat steep trail with sections of deadfall. I was on Raudi, out in front, when I first heard a ripping sound, then the thundering of hooves. Raudi, hearing the same, bolted. I stopped her by giving her a firm hard nudge with my left foot, and gently pulling her head to one side. Raudi’s butt then faced the slope. I dismounted and looked back up-trail. I first noticed that gear was strewn on the trail, and then I noticed that Signy was approximately 20 yards off trail down the hill. Siggi stood calmly beside Pete. He explained to me that Signy’s pack had snagged on the point of a down tree that protruded slightly into the trail. When it caught the pack, Signy panicked, and continued on down-hill. “I should have let go and maybe she would have stopped,” Pete said.

I held Siggi, and Pete lead Signy back up onto the trail. She was okay, but our right-side pannier was shredded and the leather straps were ripped. In addition, our top bag was badly torn. Pete and I tied up the horses, and then over lunch came up with a plan. He’d mend the canvas pannier, and I’d mend the top bag. I gathered up the objects that were on the trail and put them in a pile, and Pete pulled the whipping thread and needle from one of our two, small plastic containers.

We sat companionably at the trail’s edge, sewing our gear. Rainbow stretched out on the trail, and the horses dozed. As I sewed, I got to thinking—we hadn’t done much sitting around on this trip. Thus, I let this be a lesson in observation. It was buggy. Every so often, a horse snorted. A woodpecker pecked away. Three mountain bicyclists zipped past, obviously in a hurry to get from point A to point B. A hiker appeared. He chatted with us for a bit and then moved on.

Three hours later, and we were again ready to take to the trail. Pete had sewn the bag, which had ripped front to back as well as where the leather front patch is sewn to the canvas. Using nylon cord, he fashioned new bag hangers. He proudly held it up, and I took his photo.

We repacked and continued on down to the historic Interlaken Resort, which was located on the shore of Twin Lakes. The resort (which is only accessible by foot, horseback, boat, or bicycle) consisted of a large, two-story main building, a stable, a dance hall, and an octagonal outhouse. It had all been built in the 1880s by Charles Dexter, a well-to-do miner in Leadville. The buildings, all of which are in excellent condition, have been restored by members of numerous organizations.

It was getting late, so we kept going. We soon stumbled upon one of our best campsite by far. We pitched the tent on a bluff that had, to the right, a view of one of the two adjoining Lakes. There was, down below us, plenty of green grass for the horses. Pete and I were both relieved to have the horses and Rainbow a good distance from Fourth of July fireworks.

Next: Trip Dispatch #48: Marital Bliss

Pete with ripped panier
Pete with ripped panier


Signy at the Mt. Massive Trailhead
Siggy at Mt. Massive Trailhead--note sewn panier


Pete Repairing panier
Pete repairing panier


Rainbow crashed
Rainbow crashed on trail