July 23, 2017
This morning was very cold! There was frost on the ground, and it probably did not help that I had to put on wet socks and shoes. The hail storm we got caught in the day before left everything soaked!
To stay warm, you keep moving. So we quickly packed up camp, saddled up our horses, and started down the trail. I was very cold in the wet shoes. I ended up walking for most of the morning just to keep my feet from feeling painfully numb.
The first thing we saw this morning was a bull moose! We stopped so I could take some pictures. Though, I was a little sad that it was still quite dark in the morning, so the pictures did not do the animal justice. He was huge and beautiful, but we definitely gave him all the space he wanted.
Our goal today was to finish Segment 23. Devan’s father was going to attempt to meet us at the end of the segment. These last segments to Durango, Colorado are a lot more secluded, so trailer access isn’t easily accessible or even available at some of the trailheads. Devan’s father was driving a 4WD vehicle to be able to meet us at some of the chosen locations.
Colorado Trail: Segment 23
Yesterday, we only rode one maybe two miles into Segment 23 to find a place to camp for the night.
Segment 23 of the Colorado Trail is 15.9 miles long. The whole trail stays above 12,000 ft in elevation and drops in and out of saddles and ridges. It is beautiful, yet rugged and very remote.
Devan’s father met us at the end of the segment at Stony Pass Trailhead. The drive to the trailhead took some time, but he still managed to get there AND bring us pizza! Day made.
There wasn’t really a good place to set up camp right by the trailhead, so we took some time searching for a place nearby. We eventually found a spot with enough trees to tie the horses to at night.
Across the road from us, there was a whole herd of sheep grazing. I am talking about hundreds and hundreds of sheep. The whole side of the mountain looked like a white moving cloud. Except, this cloud was screaming nonstop, and Makani was not having any of it. She would not settle down. She was so nervous that I could not leave her loose to graze because she looked like she was about to take off running. I tried my best to hand graze her, but it was a struggle. A rainstorm rolled in resulting in the sheep scattering around. The herder that was camped nearby took his dogs and horse up there to gather the sheep back up. It was pretty cool to watch, but Makani was still not amused.
Unfortunately, I believe this night with my horse being nervous about the sheep played a role for what was to come in the next few days. She barely ate anything that night even though I tried to hand graze her in different places.