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

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Les Hilde / Harry Osborn State Forest - Day Two~

Ready to leave!
We woke on Saturday morning to another sunshine day!  Only a couple trailers had come then gone since we'd been here.  There was some traffic going into Cowboy Campsites - a few heading out, but not much.  We decided to go that way & see if anyone we knew was there.
Start of the trail~
It was a little cooler this morning with a few clouds, but nothing that looked like the rain that had been forecast.  Both horses were ears forward & ready to be on our way!  We walked around the CC area - most of the RV's are now gone for the season.  It was a quiet morning - no one was around.
Mt. Josephine
With the mountain looming overhead, we both would have liked to go up there - but with gunfire coming from the quarry & having heard a scary story from another rider about bullets whizzing between his chin & his horses neck...  we decided no way.  I wished I had more orange, Butch brought vests - I hope Farah will have her new bright orange rump rug soon!
Cranberry Lake
A very nice lady had come by our camp last evening & asked if we were planning a ride to the Brewery?  Yes we were, hopeful that our mutual friends would come up on Sunday & guide us.  Neither of us could remember the route.  The lady told us to go to Cranberry Lake, then take all right turns - except one left etc.  We did - we tried - but soon knew we were circling back toward camp.
Devoid of leaves, but beautiful!
Since we knew that finding the Brewery route on our own was a no go, we started off exploring again.  Finding some beautiful, if overgrown trail.  The farther we rode from camp, we found that the trails were less used of course & more in need of some brush whacking.
Count & Farah
Farah was being very nice to Count & he appreciated it :-)  She decided that he is a friend & enjoyed his faster pace on fresh trails!  At least until he hit his turbo trot & she had to gallop to catch up!  :-)  It was so nice to see clear, fresh water running in the streams we crossed.
Big Leaf Maple leaf - floats downstream~
So beautiful, especially with all the golds, rusts & yellows.  More rust this season, less color, but still - colorful!  The incredible smell of the air was intoxicating!  I remembered a particular trail, asked Linda about it - & yes we were in the vicinity.  Things had changed, a road had replaced a trail & at the top of the climb was a new cell tower.
Linda & Count
It was amazing at how a clear-cut hillside years ago, is now growing with trees already over ten-feet tall.  We stopped for a lunch break on a grassy trail, where Count & Farah did some mowing.
Skagit Valley
The late afternoon sky was hazy, gray high clouds moving in.  Notice that the weather was going to change.  We turned onto a wooded trail that was so pretty in the gray light.
Between Farah's ears~
This one went on quite a way, with some nice areas for trotting.

When we came to this intersection, again it was so hard not to turn & head up to the lakes!  But, it was getting later in the day again.  Soon, we came to a sharp corner & looked down a very steep drop off.  The soil on this side is more sandy rather than slippery, both horses were ready for the drop.
Linda & Count about 1/2 way down
I asked Linda to stop here to get her photo, but it doesn't do the drop justice :-)  Farah loved it - I did too, she's as good on these downhill slides as she is going up the steep climbs.
The steep trail~
Once we'd gone down to the creek - crossed & climbed back to the top - we found this sign!  Being  challenged when it comes to direction - I had no idea how far we were from camp.  It came as a surprise when we came out of the forest right to the side of someone's camp - just across the road from the Cowboy Campsite location!
A beautiful loop around camp!
It was warm enough & still early enough that I put on my crocks & took Farah down to the creek.  She actually stood still & enjoyed having all that salty sweat washed away.  Back at camp, we toweled her off & once dry, put her waterproof sheet on.  Good thing - as while we were sitting around the fire after dinner, the rain started.  Light drizzle at first, it eventually drove us into our respective campers for the remainder of the evening.

I mentioned to Butch that I loved the sound of the rain on the roof & he said that I must finally be a true north-westerner :-)

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