Wake up. It’s cold. Well, colder than a Texas summer.
Stumble around the tent to find your clothes.
Stuff sleeping bag and pad.
Pack up backpack and saddlebags.
Find the bear bag in the dark.
Feed Makani. Eat oatmeal.
Saddle up, help pack up camp, and help others get ready as well.
That’s the morning routine for the next 28 days.
It’s day 2! Today’s goal was to finish up the 10.5 miles of segment 2 and dive into segment 3 to mile 7.0 camping near Buffalo Creek. Total mileage: 17.5
The number one thing I am looking forward to is camping by water!
I hated starting the day knowing we had 3-4 hours of riding before we could water our horses. I know everyone felt the same about the situation. I even felt guilty knowing I had water to drink while we asked our horses to work. But all the horses looked great and felt great! All perked up and no dehydration amongst anyone.
Now, too much surprise – segment 2 was actually one of my favorites! The way the lighting hit all of the rocks, casting our shadows a long way that morning as the sun rose. It was beautiful! I don’t think many people think that, though. Knowing it’s the segment that was taken by fire in 1996. It has been left pretty bare. Yet, to me, it was still extremely beautiful morning.
Riding was pretty uneventful for the day. Makani felt good leading out again. It started off nice and cool, but warmed up very fast especially since there were no trees to offer any shade.
In the middle of Segment 2, we came across a mother and son hiking. Unfortunately, they had not planned accordingly to hike the dry section and made a simple, yet common, mistake of not carrying enough water. They simply just did not realize how much they would need and were worried about making it to the beginning of the segment. Without hesitation, our whole group pitched in to share the water we had left. We were very glad to have extra water, and I was very happy to think that me hiking back down to the river the day before had greater meaning than supplying us with extra water. A simple deed, and we were enthusiastic to help.
When we finally saw the fire station in the distance, we were all very relieved! We took full advantage of the water spigot and want to give a MILLION thanks to the fire station! What a life saving stop. Our horses thank you dearly, and our riders were so very much relieved.
After a nice break, we started off to finish the segment and start the next.
This segment was a hotspot for mountain bikers! Makani was getting used to seeing so many and having them pass by. 99% of the mountain bikers were very kind and respectful!
The terrain was very nice, and we were thankful (well.. at least I was!) for a tiny rain shower to cool us off in the afternoon. We found a nice place to set up camp. Also, found out which horses to keep a closer eye on as Zeus ran spooked from a backpacker up the side of mountain with Dazzle. Yes, horses can still run up mountains with hobbles on.
I took Makani out to a quiet spot with some nice, yummy grass to hand graze. Two deer walked up on us while in this small meadow. Beautiful sight to see!
It was quite typical for us to range per mile 15-20 miles a day and be finished and have camp set up by 2:00pm just in time for any afternoon thunderstorms to come rolling in. We would let the horses graze, relax, fix tack mishaps. Talk. All the simple things. Sleep. The next day we will repeat.