Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Riding the Sawtooth Wilderness

Wow! What a week. What I thought was going to be several days of "trail riding", turned out to be the adventure of a lifetime! A friendly hiker took this picture of the 3 of us near the Snowyside Peak Divide on our 4th day of riding.
We first camped at Grand Jean and rode 3 days out of there, taking the Elk Lake trail, Baron Creek Trail, as well as portions of the South Fork Payette and the Trail Creek Lakes Trail. Some of the streams were quite high and swift plus they have logs and holes amid the rocks. Crossing them was quite treacherous. When we had to cross North Fork the second time, we said a couple hail Mary's and yeehawed across the raging water with Thunder in the lead, jumping the log and onto the bank! We left a very confused backpacker sitting on the bank wondering "What the ????"
The deadfall from old burns made for some slow travel if we couldn't simply jump the logs, but the views were gorgeous! Rock slides on talus slopes stopped us from actually reaching Baron Lake unfortunately. Too have continued on the talus slope with little or no trail would have been disastrous with a horse. Very little work has been done on these trails, they work the backpackers but the horses couldn't fit under those logs. :-)
We went on to Stanley for supplies and camped at Tin Cup. We headed out mid afternoon for a ride from Pettit Lake up around Toxaway, over Snowyside Divide, down through the middle of the sawtooths past Twin Lakes, Alice Lake, El Capitan and back to Pettit Lake and made it back to camp by dusk! This was an outrageous ride, not for the faint hearted. We had some wild riding and high adrenaline moments, beautiful views, great days of weather and no I am not really glad to be back home but here I am. :-) Here is a link to pics. http://picasaweb.google.com/zap6000

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