Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Loney Meadow too!

After the fun first full-day adventure, we scouted on the map a possible new trail: Sawmill lake. Some of the trail was repeat from the day before (but not the death-march road!) We headed out again, lunches and leadropes packed.

Heading out: ears and mules ears

Culbertson lake, standing weird (what is with my posture?!)

small meadow filled with tiny white flowers

and...more rocks...

views forever
Sawmille lake, NOT an accessible mile away!
The trail was great, some of it had been recently cleared, and there were flags marking the trail. We found the access to Sawmill lake, and thought another mile down to a nice picnic spot along the shore.

We were wrong. There are not many photos of this because it got seriously nasty. We were following ribbons, but no trail. picking through rocks and brush. Finally, we gave up when the trail became a boulder steambed with trees fallen across it. We had already asked our horses to do a lot of work. This was dangerous with loose boulders and no end in sight. We turned around and headed back up the hill to a nice picnic spot.

then the trail became this, we decided not to risk it

another lunch break, Major trying to guilt me into sharing sandwich

a refreshing break at Rock Lake

huge aspen on the meadow edge

fallen tree to ride under

snow bent "angel's wing" tree
We headed back, the horses were glad to be going home. But they were tired. I think picking their footing and really thinking about trail is tiring, for horse and human! Back in the meadow we did see what we had hoped to avoid all trip: not bears or cougars, but cows! Luckily they were in the distance, having just been brought to their summer pasture. We could hear the cow bells, and the horses were a bit on edge. But we were glad it would be another trip that we could teach them about wandering cows.

the hard life, with mash

cool lichen
Lovely creek, a bit shallow for swimming, but it felt great
It was a great adventure. I did not remember from hiking how hard the trails were. The shale footing and slopes was harder on hooves than hiking boots. We got our photos taken by Japanese tourists, who had never seen a horse. We both got asked about the horses hoof boots (which we explained as hiking boots). The horses both were very smart and drank at every chance, delicious mountain water. Major and Friday (and me and C) are good companions, not annoying each other too much, compatible riding buddies. And both horses walked over than nasty footing, did what we asked, stood around nicely too, seriously awesome horses.

Both horses did get a bit buddy sour, Friday worse than Major. They also made a great game of tromping all their poo into the dirt, making us pick up poo, dirt and rocks with every shovel. The dirt was reduced to a fine dust that got absolutely everywhere. I was never clean, but that is what camping is for.

For all the lovely views, I'm not sure if I would take the horse for a multi-night here again. But the first loop we did, now that was worth it all.

raven conversation "When are the interlopers leaving?"



  1. Beautiful area. Did you highline the horses for your overnight? And by buddy sour, do you mean they didn't want to be away from each other or they didn't want to be around each other again. The pic of the lake was magnificent.

    Some day I will camp with my horse . . .

    1. Yes, we highlined the horses for the three nights. Both horses are good on the line, though you need to know the knots and tie it correctly.

      By buddy sour they were in LOVE with each other. Dumb Friday would act ridiculous when he couldn't see Major, very silly. I could imagine Friday getting pretty tired of Major though!

      Camping is great fun. But not that relaxing, since you're watching the horses, picking up after them, cleaning, etc. You should certainly try it!

  2. Oh, that's just lovely! So jealous - what a fun low-stress trip. I guess it's been a year since I went camping with D, but my husband isn't going to Defcon so I have no excuse to run away this weekend. ;)