Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer Days Turn into Fall

Wait a second. Where did summer go? I can't believe that summer has basically come and gone... It doesn't help that the weather up here at the lodge has been acting like fall. This morning it was only 40 degrees outside and it's been raining nearly afternoon, but I hope it warms up soon because I'm not ready for fall yet. Plus I've got a big women's group coming in this week and I want the weather to be great for them.

Seems like I have a lot to do around this place and it doesn't help that I've been pretty stressed. Not to mention I'm dealing with a cold. We've had some employee issues and things just haven't been getting done, so it looks like I'll have to spend some time doing all the little things that aren't getting done. Which is fine. It's all part of being a manager.

I'm excited for this women's group to come up, mainly because my good friend Jane will be coming also. (It's always good when she's around!) Plus, it will be a good change of pace from doing day rides and pack trips.

Yesterday my friends Shannon and Dawn came up to the lodge to come ride. It was really nice to have some friends around, but I felt super bad because I was sick and probably complained a lot on the ride. Plus it was raining. More like hailing. And I was cold because I have a cold.  Geez. Can you tell I'm sick by the way I'm writing and the way this blog post is jumping all around? Hopefully it clears up because I'm going to run out of Kleenex's here shortly and we all know how far it is to the nearest town...

Tomorrow we have a big group for dinner and then a short break Wednesday before the busy weekend. For now though I'm going to head outside and put out some salt blocks for the horses. I do love those horses.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Nostalgic Horse Photos

Throw back Thursday... I'm getting all nostalgic over here. (And I'm sick therefore I'm digging through old photo albums and felt like posting them on my blog.)

Golden Nik Nugget... What a sweetheart he was.

Love of my life... Sir Lancelot.

Love this guy.

This gem is from my first jumping show ever. I was excited. I think.


4-H Camp with Nik.

Horse Love.

Trail class with Lance. Union County Fair.



Some more Lance love...

Blackie. (My first horse.)

Oregon State Fair. Love riding those gaited horses....

Zion National Park... Blueberry!
(At least that's what the back of the photo says.)

Nik... Showmanship.


Lance. He was a fantastic horse. I miss him dearly.
Now & Then. Other than the horse not much has changed.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Scout and his Stick

This is Scout. And the stick he was caring around all day today. Silly pup!

Mule Peak Lookout

Yesterday I traveled over to the South Fork of Catherine Creek Trailhead and packed some gear into the Mule Peak Lookout for the USFS. It was a longer day than it needed to be (for various reasons) but the view at the end was worth all of the effort.

Because I Can

Because this is my blog and I'm allowed to vent and be angry if I want to.

That being said, this post is going to be about the care of my horses and the horses we use here at the lodge and pack station.  First thing first... I want EVERYONE to know that I take great pride in the care and well-being of my animals.  Second thing, my horses have the best job in the world. They are legged up in May and June, ridden fairly hard between July-Septemeber in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, then to get to sit and eat until the following May. Doesn't sound too bad does it? Three months of work and nine months of getting to eat and relax.  Thirdly, you must understand that my horses are trained for this environment. They wouldn't do well in an arena. Heck, half the time they aren't even sure what flat ground is.

When you own as many horses as I do, some are always bound to get hurt. Please understand that if I have an injured horse I will do everything in my power to take care of that animal. I spend part of my day, every day, doctoring each little boo boo they get. I love them. They are all my babies. I know every quirk, every fault, and every aspect of each horse I own. And yes. They get bit by other horses. A lot. It happens in a herd environment. I would love to have a stall for every horse or let each horse have their own separate turnouts, but until I win the lottery that isn't happening.

Lastly, if you don't like my horses or my operation then don't bother coming back. I'm not forcing you to ride my horses or enjoy the beauty of the Eagle Caps.

So, to those nay-sayers that would like me to quit, I'm sorry to inform you that won't be happening. I love my horses (and mules!) and I do take pride in each of them. They are all amazing at what they do.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pine Lakes - Drop Camp

The other day I took a drop camp into Pine Lakes. The ride was absolutely gorgeous and the packing went off without a hitch. I hope that the group I took into Pine Lakes enjoyed the ride and that they decide to come back and go in with us again.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Neglected Blog

My poor neglected blog. I have not forgot about you! I've just been extremely busy.

Since July 1st, my last post, summer has been in full swing. Wilderness Horse Camp has been busy and filled with young girls who are thrilled to be riding horses in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.  On July 4th I participated in the Haines Rodeo doing the cowhide race with a young guy that works for us. It was a crazy event and although we had fun, we didn't win. The darn cowhide broke!

Sometime after the fourth Jane and her husband arrived to spend a few quite days at the lodge before we hosted a 40 Something Cowgirl ride. It was a crazy, fun, maddening, hectic, enjoyable weekend. My favorite part was getting to spend time with Jane while she was here from California.

After the 40 SC's left, Jane and I went to Wallowa and I bought my very own mule team! I am so excited and thrilled to have a team. They are fabulous and have been perfect so far. I've renamed them Kit and Kat. Like the candy bar, KitKat.

I've also had the chance to ride with Darice and also go over to her place to practice with Kit and Kat.

I'll try to do a better job at blogging and posting photos!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Clearing Trail and Setting up Camp

Yesterday, my goal was to clear some trail with my fabulous friend Darice (who has been teaching me to drive mules).  But, before I even got the day started, I determined that if I was going to head all the way up East Fork I might as well take the camp up and get it set up too.

The morning started out by saddling six mules and rushing around to put together a backcountry camp. We finally got all the mules packed and loaded and started up the trail, although it was far later than I had anticipated.

There was a lot of sawing and moving of trees, but also a good share of laughter. I am so thankful that Darice was willing to come up and help me clear trail and set up the camp. (Even if I did manage to suck up a piece of bailing twine with the chainsaw and cause it to malfunction.)  East Fork camp is basically setup, but I'll have to go up again and cut some new tent poles. The snow this last winter was incredibly heavy and not only broke off numerous tree tops, but also demolished my second tent frame pecker poles.  The joys of winter continue into summer.

The long day ended with hamburgers at the lodge and Darice heading off the mountain. I might have a few blisters, but I'm certainly glad I can (semi) cross one thing off my list. Again, thank you to Darice. I appreciate your help immensely!

For now it's a warm shower and then off to bed.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Days Fly By

Sometimes the days fly by so fast I can hardly keep track of them. June 12th I headed down to Sacramento to set up the Cornucopia Lodge booth for the Western States Horse Expo.  The first thing I noticed was the weather... its 's warm in California! I loved it.  I did get "slightly" lost getting to the actual expo center, but other than that hiccup setup went well.

Mount Shasta

Jane and I had a good show, although at times it was rather slow.  I did enjoy walking around and meeting different people. Plus I got the chance to watch some of the draft horse driving. It was amazing!
Jane working the booth.

Cal crush wagon

I love staying at Jane's house and she's such a wonderful person! Plus one of my favorite things is waking up in the morning to a brilliant cup of hot chocolate from her.  Simply divine.  I was a little sad to go back to the lodge and back to "real life," but I'll never get tired of riding my horses.  One day I'll just have to go down and take a vacation to Jane's. (If she'll have me!)

After the expo, I jumped right into summer business. The first major event was supplying the horses for the Baker County Mounted Youth Posse Ride.  It's always a little hectic but nothing went terribly wrong and my horses performed beautifully.  I sure do have a good group of horses.

Getting everyone mounted up for the Baker County Youth Posse Ride.

The first week of Wilderness Horse Camp started last Sunday and it's been a long week. The counselors are learning the ropes and the weather has been a little spastic. (Sun then thunderstorms.)  There's still a fairly long to-do list at Horse Camp, but I'm confident I can get it done before the next camp starts... which is this Sunday.

Somewhere in the middle of all this Darice and her hubby came up with their son Eli and we went riding up to the Union Companion Mine.  It was a little rainy but still a really enjoyable ride!

Oh yes. Last but not least, did I blog about the annual Panhandle Snowmobile Club Poker Dinner? Because I cooked  an amazing chicken cordon bleu for over 50 people.  It was glorious chaos.


Now I'm off to try and complete more items on my massive todo list. I'm a little stressed with all that has to be done, but that is life.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Crater Lake

Wizard Island

I can finally cross this one of my bucket list! Today I got the chance to visit Crater Lake, in southern Oregon. Currently, I'm headed to the Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento California (to set up a booth and advertise the lodge and horse camp). Rather than do the drive through Nevada in one day, I decided to take two days and go through southern Oregon, thus allowing me to make a slight detour to Crater Lake.

Crater Lake - So Blue!

There is still snow in some places around Crater Lake but it is so beautiful! And much larger than I had imagined. I was surprised how busy it was, but I guess it's a huge tourist attraction so that is to be expected.

For those of you who don't know, Crater Lake is a 2,148 deep caldera that was formed by the collapse of the Mount Mazama volcano. Crater lake is the deepest lake in America and has two island, Wizard Island and Phantom Ship. Fun fact, if you have an Oregon vehicle you can select Crater Lake as your license plate rather than the standard tree.

Beautiful Crater Lake, Oregon

Tonight I'm staying in Klamath falls and perhaps tomorrow I'll finish listening to the audio book I've been indulging in (A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson).