Sunday, May 2, 2010


Once again there I was, driving off to a local endurance ride in a big windstorm. At least I had a tailwind most of the way to help me there. But setting up camp in the wind was a challenge. I didn't dare leave a trailer door open becayse I might lose it, or get knocked over by it. Ride camp was a big ranch located just off Murphy Flat Rd. near Murphy, ID.

On Friday morning I had a plan, take Blue down to the ride and do the 60. Or maybe just putt through the 75, heck it's only 15 more miles. I figured I'd take Thunder to Prineville the next weekend. That plan changed around 3 PM because Amanda Washington's horse had gotten scraped up escaping from her pen during the night. I had a message from her, "Wouldn't you rather ride Thunder this weekend?" So after some talking and a bit of planning, both horses were going to the ride and we'd do the 60 miler. Her friend, Elly Burnett, was doing her first long ride and we were going to keep her company at tourist pace.

Saturday morning the horses were saddled, Easyboot Gloves on all fours, the wind was calm. Looked like a good day! And it was a good day, with some wild Idaho weather added into it here and there. We had a bit of everything but for the most part, as long as you were riding and keeping warm it was OK.

The first loop out was 25 miles and this took us down into the Snake River Canyon near the Swan Falls dam. The views were spectacular, the rock formations awesome and the petroglyph rocks were fascinating. Thunder had to check them out! Thank you Steph and Regina for this great treat!! The river was smooth and mirrored the rocks sticking up in the middle. As we climbed up through the rocks to the top plateau, again the views were amazing. You could see for miles and miles!

Back to camp for an hour hold that was shortened to 45 min thanks to the cold wind and the hailstorm that we'd missed. Good timing! Loop 2 was 21 miles and we hit portions of the Oregon Trail and the horses had lots of grass to eat. Blue was just sure we were going to be out there forever and he was in a hurry to get going. Some places had nothing to tie marking ribbons to - and Steph hung ribbon from a cow skeleton - yeah that's Idaho! After another 45 minute hold we had a 15 mile loop. Great trail and beautiful views of the Owyhees. One snowy mountain top would have blue sky, and another would be covered in a storm. Then we could see camp - and we were done!! And it started to sleet just as we were trying to get horses vetted and unsaddled. The horses were buried in blankets to keep warm.

Regina had barbecued pulled pork sandwich fixings and cole slaw for everyone and the rancher's shop gave us a warm place for dinner!! What a great ride and fun day!! Then I loaded up the boys to get them out of the wind, and headed for home.

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