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Conquering the Mountains!!
Great weather and super Horses make for a fantastic adventure!
First day is just a nice easy ride up past the Big Horn Falls into the meadow. Here is Vincent on Justice, and Jessica on SS Nevada Sergeant Montana (a smooth coated full Curly).
Jessicaís mom, Vicki, on Little Guy. (He did not come down this cliff, although Moose, Justice and Montana did)
Later that evening we take a stroll up the ravine to the base of the falls. It is beautiful along the river.
The falls are about 400í high. That is Vince half way up the cliff! Oh to be young again.
It was a very steep climb, but he made it almost to the falls. A picture of the four of us together. (Gary had to work and joined us the next morning)
The water is very, very cold, coming down from the mountain glaciers. Back at camp Vince heads over to feed the horses.
The horses being led to the Big Horn river for a drink. The only way to end a perfect day. Sit around the roaring fire and listen to the river babbling by. Beautiful star lit night and the horses rusting and talking to each other. Tell a story or two, then off to bed to dream about the next ride.
Day two we head out and discover a herd of 100 Elk! They were strung out for about a mile and although their sentinels were on full guard, they continued to graze and allow us to watch them. This appeared to be a herd of females. The babes should be born any time.
Heading up the mountain we took many breaks as the trail is exceptionally steep. The horses were very trusting and tried all we asked them to do.
It was very windy and cold on top. At some points the snow was to the horses bellies. We were not willing to go all the way to the top of the Chinamansís Hat mountain as everyone was pretty tired after our hike up the mountain. Coming down is always easier on the horses. We still led the horses down the steepest part. Never looks as steep in the pictures!
At the end of the second day Bear is ready for a snooze. First time we have taken him with us to the Ya Ha and he was a real trooper.
Stop and allow the horses to take in all the water they want. Weíre heading to Hidden Falls this morning. Pretty good hike up the inside of the valley.
When we reach the top of our climb we spot 4 huge Rocky Mountain Bighorn Rams along the cliff wall. How they run up the steep inclines is amazing.
Vickie Jessica, take in the scenery. It was a 300í foot drop off the bank with a little creek running to the foot of the mountain. You can see a lot of the valley from this vantage point.
Vince, Jess and I hiked to the bottom of the valley to see the Hidden Falls! They were mostly still frozen solid! Beautiful patterns in the ice where the flow of the water had melted it away. Itís a bit intimidating standing at the bottom as the walls spread out at the bottom and you feel like it is closing in on you.
Our ice age Bear! The next shot is looking up at the crevice.
Shear rock drop along the main part of the crevice. The river is still froze over at the bottom.
Another small water fall under the ice. The steep climb back up the wall. A couple of spots were a bit scary as the footing wasnít very solid.
Vince takes a rest after our adventure. The air is much thinner at the top of the mountain and you can really tell after you hike it! Bear accepts Jessís affection.
We walk up to the head of the falls and find the river that feeds it. Then itís time to head back down the mountain.
You can almost tell how steep the climb is in these pictures. Vince's horse was anxious to get home, but Vince did an excellent job riding him and staying quiet.
Back down the mountain in the valley. You can see the trails that have worn into the valley. Back at the river everyone gets a well deserved drink.
Charmer was, of course, the calmest of the horses as he had already been here last year. Plus heís a Curly! (did I say that!!)
One of my favorite shots. Heading across the Red Deer River. I was super impressed with every horse and rider crossing the river. No one hesitated or had any problems at all.
The scenery is worth coming here just for one day, if that was all you had. We are so fortunate to have had 4 days in Godís country!
Bear always gets excited when the chain saw is running. But doesnít take him long to crash! I think he was pretty played out by the end of his second mountain climb.
Have to leave by noon today, so we take a quick ride up to Eagle Lake. Hereís Vince on Justice. What a shot eh! Look at the color of that water.
We were told that the May long weekend would be super crowded and not a good time to go. But there was No one at the lake! It was so quiet and peaceful.
Another gorgeous shot of Vince and Justice. Next is Vicki on Little Guy.
Jess on Montana. The horses tied by the lake.
Vicki, Jess and I by the lake. Vince taking a stroll.
In the summer you can sit and listen to the loons, but we were a bit too early for them to be here. This is the boy I rode. Weíve called him "Moose!" I was super thrilled with him. Never been to the mountains before and he did absolutely everything I asked of him. Very steady. Always calling for his momma (even though he is 10 years old!!) but very responsive.
Heading home from the last adventure. Excellent trails, gorgeous views, perfect weather and on horse back. No one could ask for more.
Jess and Montana cross the creek. She found some bones she wanted to cart home.
The last trails down the mountain.
Across the meadow to the camp.
Back to the gate to the Ya Ha Tinda. The we head for home!
Thank you guys for pitching in and listening when you had to. You all did super!!