Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Friday, October 3, 2014

Another Fall on the Whitehorse~

At Darrington
Finally - the highway to Darrington is back open.  The last time I rode this end of the trail was Oct.18th, of last year.  Today, I was to pick Ben up for a weekend visit - so I again had an excuse, not that I needed one!  :-)
About 1:30 p.m.
 This trail is beautiful right from the start & the day itself was as perfect as a fall day can be!  It's not far until you make the turn & head west toward Arlington.
Once you do - your next view is of the iconic mountain that looms over the small town.  With it's cap of snow at a seasonal low - there's a craggy look about it.
Trail repair

At the bend in the river, the bank had been severely eroded last time I was here.  It had only gotten worse through the winter months.  With the work source crews deployed by Fema after the slide, this section was cut further back - from what was left of the crumbling bank.
The Stillaquamish
The river was again very low, the couple of days of rain we've received haven't done much to add to the flow yet.  This trail, unlike the others, has the peaceful feel that comes from the quiet - being far enough away from the highway. Places where you don't hear traffic whizzing by - just the sound of the river & on this day, the birds.
Typical Bridge
There are three bridges on the way to Fortson, two with wood decking & the last with concrete, all well built & sturdy.  Nice & wide with beautiful creeks flowing under.
Mirror perfect~
 With this six-miles open - it's only a taste of what will come once the remaining 14 bridges are decked & this trail gets to open in it's entirely. 
Getting closer to the mill~
We were making good time, but I had to keep stopping for photos.  When we reached the Bluegrass Festival grounds, two people were working on the grounds, trail & surrounding camping area.  They asked what I thought of the work on the trail - I told them it was amazing.  They've cut all the shrubbery way back from what it has been.  Their hours of hard work will be appreciated & enjoyed by everyone who loves this trail.
The pond at Fortson~
Beautiful, quiet & full of fish :-)  There were a couple people fishing when we arrived, Farah saw them before I did!
Where we're stopped
At Fortson, the bridge decking is too far apart for a horse to cross, just enough space between the planks that a hoof could easily slip through.  So - at about 6.5 miles - we turn back.
Wetland & Whitehorse
Of course, going back is just as beautiful as it was coming down.  I'm sure over the next few weeks, the colors will only intensify & I might have to come back ;-)
Close up~
Farah stood still long enough that I could zoom in on the mountain & I was surprised at how good this turned out.  Our pace on the way back usually increases by a couple miles an hour :-)  So we made good time.

Once back at the trail-head, I let Farah graze, telling her that we were waiting for Ben.  When Jentry pulled in Ben jumped out of the car, he walked over & threw his arms around Farah's neck!  I swear - if a horse can smile - she did!  :-)

Rumor has it, that with luck, ALL the bridges will be decked by the end of this year & the trail may actually open for it's entire length!  27-miles - connecting Arlington & Darrington!  I hope too - that Farah & I will be the first to ride it point-to-point!

1 comment:

Always Welcome~