Saturday, July 20, 2013

Montini's Cabin and Sugar Loaf

Our second day from Diamond Basin and Blue says is it time to go home yet?
We headed up to Milk Springs.
This time we tried a little different trail out of camp which was a nifty motorcycle trail that went up and over the hill and dropped down to a dry creek with trees and green. 

Wild Yarrow

The trough at Milk Springs provided the horses with plenty of water/

Our favorite place! Montini's Cabin, owned and maintained by Joyce Ranch.

Blue patiently waiting outside the outhouse :)

We unsaddled Blue and Indy and put them in the round pen which has a huge Juniper tree in the middle that is hundreds of years old. They got a nice break while we had a picnic.

A mystery berry on a bush near the old loading ramp and corral. 

History of Ernesto Montini 

After lunch we headed up a trail that the map showed as going over Little Sugar Loaf. The trail forked with no numbers or signage. Hmmmm. Turn left and the trail goes up and up! 

Wild lily

The views were spectacular as we climbed up and could see for miles! And the trail dead ended on the mountain side. So then we had to go back down and track back to the fork, and this time go the other way. You could say "wrong again!" but we were exploring. :)

It was a great trail up through the Junipers and Bitter Brush. Not too steep but gradual uphill. But as we got higher and higher, it suddenly started getting steep and then we were in these big huge Fir trees!

The Firs were gorgeous and the trail was shady, but Indy was getting tired. He's still pretty unconditioned and only 6 yrs old, so Trish stayed back and i went on up the hill for about 5 minutes. It continued UP and I was pretty sure it would eventually meet up with road 400 and swing us around but not today. So I went back to Trish and Indy so we could head on back to camp about 2 hours ride away. 

We'd had a great day of exploring and planning more rides. A person couldn't ask for more! Camp was a good two hours back depending on our pace. We watered horses again at Sinker Creek and Milk Springs and rode on to camp. It was time for barbecued hot dogs and then drive home. What a great weekend! 

Diamond Basin

The area between Murphy and Silver City, Idaho that is known as Diamond Basin is a magical place. It is located just off the road to Silver City and I like to go up and camp and ride when I can.

There is a great corral for the horses to stay in and no one to really bother you. It's very quiet and peaceful.

A bit of history from the sign by the road.

My friend, Trish Frahm, and I went up on a Saturday afternoon and planned on an evening ride. Which was beautiful and we went through many intriguing rock formations. 

The area reminded us a lot of City of Rocks.

Our trail climbed and climbed up to around 5600 feet if we look at the contour lines of the map. Our camp was at 4000 feet. 

The view of the rocks with the valley below was spectacular. The area is so vast you feel like a tiny speck! 

Our evening ended up being about 8 miles. After which we barbecued steaks and zucchini and topped it off with banana cream pie! :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Riding to the Owyhee River

Twice this summer I have ridden from Adrian, over the hills and through the sagebrush, to reach the beautiful Owyhee River. The spot that I come down through the rimrock to meet the river is near Rock Springs. An area where basically the farmland ends and the astonishing tall canyon walls and cliffs begin.

It makes for a fairly long ride, around 20 miles round trip. When I went in June I rode out with my friend Pat Murray and it was fairly cool and really beautiful that day. I found a deer antler not far from where we started and once over by the river we saw a few deer.

Pat Murray and Bailey in June ride to Owyhee River

Today I rode out with my friend Trish Frahm. It was supposed to get hot so we left about 9, mid day temps were forecast to be mid to high 80's. I was riding Thunder and Trish had her mare, Sahra, and we trotted out to the area where the fire had raged only a few days before. Black Jack Butte, Little Black Jack and many miles of land heading south and west were all blackened by the fire. Fortunately it only nicked part of the area we were riding through, burning right up to the fire breaks here and stopping. However farther west in the canyon it had jumped the river in three different places and then they had fire on both sides of the road leading to the Owyhee Reservoir and Dam. 

We rode around the little edge of burn and picked up a cow trail as we trotted on towards the river. A few more hills and the canal came into sight. We turned at the diversion dam and followed the smaller lateral alongside a large meadow, adorned by wild rose bushes along the edge. A true oasis in the desert yet I never see any cows or deer eating in there. Perhaps in the evening. 

After traveling across the arid hills and plateaus the Owyhee River is such a welcome sight!

Sahra and Trish Frahm July 7, 2013

We had to splash about and just take in all the beauty and as I looked around I was shocked to see a Bald Eagle in the tree! 

Just sitting up there on his branch, ignoring our talking and the horses splashing. He was so beautiful and probably wished that we'd leave so he could continue his fishing.

Thunder and I playing in the Owyhee River

Time for a snack before heading back towards Adrian and the horse trailers again.

We followed the canal around for a couple three miles before getting back in our "usual" area of hills and trotting on home. It was a really great day for a good ride.