Saturday, September 13, 2014

12 Steps

I love this...

Long day in the Saddle

Yesterday was truly a long day in the saddle, roughly 28 miles and twelve hours in the saddle according to my GPS.  I went in to go get a 6x7 huge bull elk that one of our Blue Creek Bench guys downed past Fly Basin.  Although my back is now in a little bit of pain I got to ride one of my favorite trails, so that makes it worth it.  I think our hunters are feeling fairly successful and I hope that they are enjoying the weather and the hunting.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Packing Out Elk

Today I made the trek into Fly Basin again to get another elk from that archery camp. (They are killing it down there!) This time one of the guys downed a beautiful bull, so I imagine he's a happy camper. I love seeing happy hunters/customers.

Like usual I left early in the morning, but this time it never warmed up. In fact I had my jacket on for the entire ride, which ended up being ten hours in the saddle. 

Once I loaded up the elk at Fly I headed over to Blue Creek Bench to do a meat check and, sure enough, they had a cow down. Rather than make another long trip tomorrow I stacked hinds and fronts on the mules. Poor Jasmine was loaded down with a lot of meat! 

We made it out safe and sound from there. Now, the meat is all in town either being held or cut and wrapped.  I sure hope they continue to do well and I'm anxiously awaiting to hear from the Crater Crew... That's a long ass ride so I hope they down several at once to save me a trip. Wishful thinking? Perhaps. 

Now it's time for bed. All that riding then cooking dinner and doing dishes wore me out.  

Oh. Last but not least, I rode Quin and he didn't buck me off. Hooray! I'm sure that first hill took it out of him. Quincy learned today what it takes to be a guide horse, but mostly he just looked confused about the humans that blend in with camp.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Thoughts from the trail: Part One

It was just after the sun said it's final goodbye last night that I pulled into the packstation with a string of eleven mules and four horses. Talk about a train of animals! I had just made it back from Crater Lake, a ride that takes at least ten hours  by horse back if you're lucky. Thank goodness I have the best stock ever and they didn't so much as shift a load or get in a tangle. 

By eleven o'clock I was tucked away in bed ready to start the process all over again five hours later. Now it's seven thirty in the morning and I'm already making my way into the Eagle Cap Wilderness  to pick up an elk for one of our hunters. I only have two mules today so it's fast moving, but still a long ride. My whole for today is to get down to the Imnaha and back to East fork before making the group of hunters going in today with Jeff (a new hire). I don't want to pass them on a narrow side hill!

There are several benefits to riding this early in the morning. The first is that you see wildlife left and right. Elk, deer, hawks and eagles to name a few I've seen so far. The day also goes by faster when you start earlier. Don't ask me the logic behind that one, but it's true. I also love that you get to watch the sun slowly creep up over the granite peaks. 

Hunting season always provides the packer with long hours in the saddle but I'm thankful for ridges and modern technology that allows me to blog from the saddle. That's all for now and here is your morning view from the ridge top.


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!