Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2013 > Daily Dispatch #171

September 7, 8, Antelope and Salmon River, Idaho: Two Days on the Trail

Friday we rode up in the direction of where Pete said he once ran with the antelope – a bowl-like area that was covered in sage. It was overcast, which energized the horses.

I decided that I now like trail riding more than road riding. It used to be the other way around. I enjoy (for instance) varied terrain, and as well, winding around the sage patches. I also like varied footing. And sometimes we come across strange stuff, like today, a cow boneyard. All the pieces were there – an anatomy student could have had a good time at this site. I know that Raudi also now likes trail better than road riding. Now when on the road, she plods along like the ride is something to endure.

We got back from this ride rather late, so we took off late. We decided to take a side road, one that took us past the Challis earthquake site. Minimal interpretive information complemented information in our Roadside of Idaho Geology book. In 1983, there was an earthquake in this area – we could see where a scarp was formed – the ground in places seemed to fall six feet, creating a bank. I wish that we had a geologist traveling with us because there were so many differing types of rock and outcroppings. I would of course like to know more because then I would feel more one with the area.

Rather than following the gravel road back to Route 93, we followed a gravel road 20 miles over to the Pashamori Valley. The road finally opened up to farmland and rolling hills. I sometimes get nervous wondering where we will camp, especially when evening approaches. However, we always find something, maybe because our needs are minimal. And once again, at 8 p.m. – dusk-- we found what we were looking for – a clean campsite in a designated area with trees for highlining, an outhouse, and a flat grassy spot upon which to pitch a tent. An added plus – we could hear the Salmon River rolling along to our right.

There were two stock trailers parked nearby. I went and looked inside one of them. The sight will always stay in mind. In one, about 20 heifers, all crowded together like sardines. I got the look – it was, please let us out. Made me feel bad. There must be better ways of dealing with livestock. Of course, there probably aren’t regulations for short term haulers. Just those driving the double decker death wagons.

We have done so much truck/trailer camping that we are quite efficient. This comes in handy at the times in which we go to set camp late. Pete did what he does – set up the highline, and get dinner going. And I did what I do, set up the tent, set out the bedding, take the dogs for a walk. We both feed the horses and put them on the line. After dinner, we turned off our headlights, and observed the stars.

We woke to slightly overcast skies and decided to ride up canyon to a nearby ranch. It was warm by the time we set out. We were obviously in desert county, and also had a climb. Had from higher up road, a nice view of the Salmon River and surrounding countryside. Saw a few dead snakes, and a live one. Ryder entranced by a lizard. Both dogs adept at hanging out in the shade, the shadow of the horses. At one point there was just one rock nearby. Ryder laid down in its shadow.

We continued to climb. I went to ride in the sage, but went back to the road when I saw cacti. Horses were sluggish on the ride up, but more energetic on the ride down. Raudi did quite well going downhill, me too. I no longer hold on tight with my legs fearing that she’s going to buck; but rather, I focus my energies on maintaining my center of balance.

Once back at camp, we sponged down the horses, ate lunch, packed up our remaining gear, and headed out. The trail wasn’t that much to my liking, but I liked the campsite. I would gladly have stayed another night, but having made the decision to head to Butte, Montana, moved on.

Next: 172: 9/9/13: Butte Montana, Vigilante Rodeo Grounds