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

Friday, October 16, 2015

Les Hilde / Harry Osborn State Forest - Day One~

We head out on a simply beautiful afternoon~
We were pretty excited!  Linda was ready for a shakedown trip with her new Arctic Fox camper!  We'd planned a three-day weekend of riding at the Les Hilde Trailhead.  It had been over a year since my last visit & many more since either of us had ridden this area on any kind of regular basis.  Butch had a busy week & was happy to have an excuse to get away.  With the opening of rifle hunting season on the same day - we were warned to stay on the lower trails & not venture too high on the mountain.  It was a Very Warm afternoon, more like summertime than Fall! 
Along the trail~
Linda used to know all these trails well, so she was our leader as we set out to see what of the trails we remembered were still there.  In 1995 I'd ridden my third fifty-mile ride here on Jasrada.  The Bully Wully is still remembered by those of us who've ridden it - as one of the toughest ever.  In the early years before the GPS, with the first ride manager, the course was thought to be short.  In 1998, with Dory as the RM, she made certain that 50-miles was indeed 50-miles & the complaints abounded - that it was too tough to do within the time limit.  Karma & I had made a couple errors in our ride plan & ended up hardly making it back in time for completion!  It was crazy tough that year!
Lots of leaves down!
We found our way from trail to trail - one of the prettiest Fern Gully.
Linda & Count
Count was in the lead, really moving out in his fast trot when I saw something!  I'd done some research on mushrooms & fungi a couple years ago, after finding a beautiful specimen on Whidbey Is.  I recognized this one, called out to Linda & pulled Farah up!
Sparassis Mushroom!
We both dismounted on the narrow trail & I had to get photos!  Neither of us had any bag with us & I'm usually all about leaving the wild untouched as possible - I took my photos & we continued on our way.
Out to a road~
Soon, we were quite a way far to the south of camp.  It was getting later in the afternoon & sunset is coming earlier!  Linda thought we could find old trails on the far side of the Crown Pacific Mainline, so we tried.  We did a stunning loop - ending up back where we'd started :-)   We tried again, the trail Linda remembered being here - was lost in a clear-cut.  We did some road work, then found the next trail - again looping around, but not getting much further toward camp.  Back to the road again & finally back on trails!
Back to camp!
Butch was waiting for us, hoping to see us before sunset :-)  It was getting chilly & both horses were covered in sweat.  The most sweat I've had on Farah since Mt. Adams.  These trails are technical, lots of up/down & up again.  We'd covered over 12-miles in just over 3.5 hours & climbed 1,450 feet.
The Stonewall saddle performed perfectly on both the steep assents where I had to grab mane & the downhill slides to the creek beds.
Our route~
We had a super time!  Both horses enjoyed seeing new trails so much!  We had dinner, then sat out with a fire burning & admired the stars on a perfectly clear night!

1 comment:

  1. I still love riding up there and still camp a few times a year.


Always Welcome~