Monday, November 12, 2012

Canyons, Caves and so much more

Just when you think Steph Teeter has had you on every trail in their neck of the Owyhees, she finds something new.
This year for the first day of the 5 day multi-day ride she was able to take us out some new trail above Browns Creek and out to the one of the areas oldest homesteads, the Spivey Ranch. The big 50 mile loop gave us our hour vet check/lunch in style as we all went up to the house for lunch and a tour. Then we followed Castle Creek out near the Crazy Woman mine and headed back to camp via the Jackass Trail then if you weren't attacked by the Jack you continued along a different stretch of Browns Creek. Great trail, lots of scenery but it was rocky and a bit slow.
The slow part may have been good because I hoped to ride Thunder all 5 days. We took almost 8 hours for day 1. We lucked out as Jack just watched as we opened the gate and went through, the two bachelors trotted off and we made it through their territory without any problem.
The second day was the Hart Creek trails, two 25 mile loops from camp.One loop takes us into the Birds of Prey Conservation area with lots of rolling hills and fun trails.
The Hart Creek loop takes us through a great old homestead site with pieces of old farm equipment and a very cool dugout, then up the long climb away from Hart Creek and up Knife Ridge where one can see forever. A great day for us as we finished 9th in just under 7 hours.
Day 3 we rode to the historic Joyce Ranch along Sinker creek. We went along the edge a dry reservoir that feeds water into the ranch all summer, then entered Sinker Canyon. The Canyon walls are adorned with Eagle's nests and there is lots to look at while we have trees branches to dodge and a beaver pond to splash through. A fun day in just a bit over 6 1/2 hours with Thunder still looking like a champ!
The 4th day took us across the highway, through Birds of Prey, down the sandy arroyo
and around Wild Horse Butte. The Snake River was gorgeous and quiet as we trotted along it's banks. Thunder got in another 9th place in a bit over 6 hours. Four days down and one to go.
The last day of a multi-day is always a nail biter because now is not the time to make mistakes. There had been several same-same rider teams drop out after day 4 and I had no idea exactly who was left, but I did know who I needed to beat. :) The route headed back out to Joyce Ranch via a different trail than day 3. Sometime I'd like to go down to the ranch and really look through the old buildings because they fascinate me.
We traveled through several miles of Sinker Creek canyon looking at awesome canyon walls and spires and letting the horses drink the crystal clear water. We had some touch and go moments as Thunder had some rocks in an easyboot that made him a bit off but once cleaned out he was OK. Whew! We finished the days ride in roughly 6 1/2 hours.
The week simply flew by and Thunder had completed his 3000 AERC miles and his third complete Owyhee Canyonlands multi-day. Thunder was the five day winner by nearly 3 hours and was awarded a beautiful bridle for being the Best Condition multi-day horse.
Multi-day rides are such a great time with all my friends and the Teeters do such a great job. I am always in awe of my red Thunder who loves to go and keeps trotting mile after mile!

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