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September 19, 2013: A Very Full Day

We spent the morning riding. There was a trail just past where we were camping, so we figured that we’d go for a jaunt. It was a long, steep climb, and the horses moved slowly. It seemed to me that they were unenthused about continuing what they rightly regarded as a slog. Then too, I suspected that they’re tired and more than ready to head for home. Home, that’s where the hay is, and the water, and the somewhat spacious paddock. And that’s where the motorists who know you stop and feed you potato chips from their car window.

The ride downhill was pretty fast. I was pleased with how Raudi went in such a collected fashion. Took a full summer’s work to get her to be able to do this. . .

We left basecamp at 3 p.m. so – our next destination was my friend Rae’s place in Canada. We figured that it would take us four hours to get there. We figured wrong. By 7 p.m. we had only made it as far as Bonner’s Ferry Idaho, which is just a short ways past Sandpoint. It was getting late, so we opted to check out the rodeo grounds.

It turned out to be an unsuitable place to put the horses, and for a very odd reason. It wasn’t that the one available pen was muddy, although this was a contributing factor. Rather, it was that the area was heavily peopled. There were at least four soccer games going on, and a bunch of high schoolers were nearby working on a homecoming float. So I suggested that we move on, to which Pete reluctantly agreed.

The next stop was Canadian customs. The person in charge was a woman who looked to be in her mid-thirties. She asked to see our passports, then she told us to park the truck on the right, and come on in to the building. Of course, I feared the worst. Women customs agents seem to me be more bitchy than their male counterparts. This is because they are of the mind that they don’t want to be taken advantage of. But this woman actually looked and acted reasonable. She did go through our paperwork quite carefully. And she did question the fact that we didn’t have the original Coggins paperwork. As we explained, this was because the Butte veterinarian had to fax the federal veterinarian in Helena the corrected version. She must have determined that this was not going to be a problem, because moments later, she began stapling papers together. This, stapling, I have determined, is a good sign. What it means is that the customs person in question is wrapping things up and preparing to send us on our way.

I did break Pete and my agreement, which was not to offer any additional information, by asking her if she wanted to look in the trailer and see our horses. She smiled and said no, we were okay. It always mystifies me why most of the time they don’t look in the trailer. Heck, we could be smuggling Mexicans into the country.

It was then on to Cranbrook, where we were to stay with my good friend Rae. This was only the second time we’d ever gotten any place after dark. But, as I later told her, we had under-estimated our estimated time of arrival. Rae actually took our being late in good stead, and after assisting us in putting our horses in a corral, she made us grilled cheese sandwiches and tea.

Just the stories about this day were enough to fill an evening. I went to bed knowing that I had a great deal more to say.

Next: 181: 9/20-22/13: Visiting Rae MacFarlane – Grizzly Sighting