Not all of my "mule" riding is done on the TW. Last week, I went with the dad-in-law (John) on a ride using the slower, but sure footed 4 leggers in the Charters Mtn area south of Garden Valley/Crouch, Idaho. Set this ride up to occupy Kid 6, but she got sick and had to stay home. We also took his dog Jessie, and of course George, though she had to "hoof" it on her own as there is no "cyclerack" for her to ride on.
Dog Story #1. I mentioned the dogs cause I found bringing the dogs along can have some interesting moments! Being "stock dogs", Jessie and George were relegated to riding in the back of the truck. On a logging road on the way to the trailhead, a big deer jumps out and runs right in front of us left to right. We're going slow already so no braking involved to avoid contact with the deer, but.....after proceeding a few feet further down the road, I look back and notice "no George". Did she jump out of the back of the truck and chase the deer we ask ourselves? "Naw, George wouldn't do that I say". When was the last time we looked back to see if the dogs were safe?...a while.
I jump out of the truck and start calling for George, just in case she did jump out. No George. Boy, she dumb if she did that! Then I start getting a sick feeling, what if she fell out somewhere else along the way. If on this road she would probably be running behind us, but what about the highway? What if she's hurt. I decide to start walking back down the road calling for George as John goes to turn the truck and horse trailer around. As I'm walking down the road calling for George I hear this loud crashing noise coming from the brush to my left. Crap, A BEAR, I say to myself as I'm about ready to "mess my pants". Then out comes George. She did jump out and chase the deer. All good now and we proceed to the trailhead with a funny story to tell when we get back.
But wait, there's more!!
Dog Story #2. We're a couple miles from the truck on top of the ridge riding the mules, when in the far distance we hear a low rumble. Must be thunder. T-stroms were forcasted and we sure are glad we brought our rain jackets. John shows me a view of the valley and then we head south back up the mountain. After about another mile, I start to notice...no Jessie! I ask John if he's seen Jessie recently. We start calling out for Jessie, and again no luck. John say's she's afraid of thunder and guns shots and perhaps she's hiding some place. "She better have run back to the truck", John says and we proceed on our ride. So, after four more hours of riding we get back to the truck and low and behold, there's Jessie hiding under the truck. "She ain't "effing" coming along again" John says. Now we have two dog stories to tell when we get back.
So, here's the rest of the non-dog story ride.
Willie and Toby, our "alternate mules"
Along the trail on top of Charters Ridge. This use to be a logging road, but a quad or motorcycle would have a hard time getting here now.
View of part of Garden Valley. Hard to tell, but the airstrip is in the center way down yonder
Headed back south now. Zoomed in view of Hawley Mtn lookout. I've been there many times
Time for lunch at an old miners cabin and corral
Cabin has all the comforts of home
Corral near cabin
Looks like a peaceful day out. Your horse seems very alert, its ears are checking out all the forest noises. Is that normal?
We're in 'Bat Country' now....
Quite normal. Watching those ears becomes an extension of your own senses. Horses and mules "triangulate" input by using their ears and noses. You'll see things you'd never notice on your own, be they motionless or camoflaged wildlife or impending doom
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.