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Rocky Mountain High!!

8 Curly horses riding in the mountains.

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June 29th, 2007
Perfect long weekend in the mountains.
Debbie, Troy, Cindy, Daphne and I met Tracy, Jordy and Megan for an awesome weekend riding the Rocky Mountains in the Ya Ha Tinda area.
Deb rode Charmer the first day, Troy rode Diego (Troy had NEVER ridden before!), Cindy on Seleena, Daphne on Doc, Megan on Copper, Tracy on Wrangler, Jordy on Crockett (Doc's full brother!) and of course me on Pall.

We arrived on Friday night and set up camp. It is still pretty cold in the evenings in the mountains and there was a threat of rain. So we put up the huge tarp and during the night a big wind storm blows through, blows down the tarp and thankfully it is Seleena who is closest to the tarp and all is well.
Saturday morning we saddle up and head out to the mountains!! Our goal is to find the "Slide Falls". This is a place that Tracy and Jordy visited when they were here 3 years ago. Memories a bit hazy, but we'll find it!!

That's Jordy on Crockett, then Daphne on Doc. These two are full brothers and first time they have been together in years! Look at Doc, he loves being out on the trails. Never a problem crossing the rivers, which is awesome as this is his first time in the mountains.

Deb on trusty old Charmer, then Megan on Copper.

There was a flood here a week ago and there is still lots of water flowing. I have never seen water running down the trails like this. The Red Deer is way to high for us to cross.

Troy crossing Scalp Creek on Diego. Troy does awesome, never complains and Diego likes him. This is Troy's first time riding a horse! And we are in the mountains, and Diego really looked after him well. Megan poses on Copper for a picture.

Deb on Charmer and Jordy on Crock. Look at that back drop!! Just so beautiful.

Excellent shot of Tracy on Wrangler. Then we have our two girls from Quebec, Dapne and Cindy, on Doc and Seleena.

Daphne on Doc and then our two brothers get to touch noses. Do they remember each other??

Cindy and Seleena, then we head to the mountains!

I could ride here forever! It's so relaxing and rejuvenating!

Doc loves it. Settles right in and steps out nice.

Cindy is in her glory, loves the scenery and takes lots of pictures to take home.

We change direction after we decide that the falls are not by the Park Gate, but must be by the ranch gate. Stop for a rest and to get out of the wind for a bit. We don't complain about the wind, as it keeps the bugs at bay.

We cross many rivers on our way up to the ranch.

Doc is just so photogenic! I love this picture of him crossing the creek.

Seleena gets a drink and Jordy convinces Crock to cross.

Wrangle has no problem bringing Tracy across, and Diego know what to do.

Copper and Charmer bring up the rear.

Doc and Seleena cross with ease.

And we find the location for the falls! Not far from the ranch at all. And it's nice and cool in the trees. We give the horses a break and head to the river.

The water is very high and fast. Tracy says there is 10 times the water there was when they were here before.

They tell me you can climb in at the head of the rapids and actually slide all the way into this spot where the whirlpool is. But not this year!

It's quite a long slide and will be nice to see without the raging water.

Jordy really wanted to go down the slide, but settles for cooling off his feet.

Just after I took this group picture I was walking along the river and stopped to chat with Tracy. I was just standing there and the rocks were so slippery my feet went right out from under me and Tracy grabbed my sweater. For one split second I thought I was done for! Happened so fast I couldn't believe it.

Heading back for home, Diego has no problem leading the way. Steady as can be, just walking along. We pass the ravine along side the Ranch boundary.

We never let our horses race home, so we always have a nice easy ride back to camp.

And enjoy the finest views anywhere in the world!!

Back at camp, Doc takes a drink. All the horses have a nice fill after 6 hours under saddle.

Troy finds the wood seller and wins top load! $10 for as much as you can carry and Jordy says Troy only won because his arms are 6 inches longer!!

Deb and Troy master the art of putting smokies on the roasting skewers. Tipper is so spoiled on this trip he sits on the camper step waiting for the next hand out!

Today we are heading up past the falls to follow the meadow into Eagle Lake. We leave camp by riding up the steep bank. Troy is too sore to join us today, so Deb brings Diego for a change.

Just more awesome scenery, and smells. It smells like no other place I have been. Every once in awhile you just get of whiff of live.

Deb leads out on Diego and we get a group shot along a ridge.

We follow the rim to the head of the trail to the lake. Every opening has another amazing view.

What goes up must go down! We start the decline off the ridge to the river flat below. Tracy drinks from the pure mountain stream. This what they sell for $3 a bottle in the store!

Deb and Tipper take some refreshing water. Crock looking for treats.

We are only 20 minutes from the lake, so we take a 10 minute break and carry on.

And arrive at Eagle Lake! Since no one can cross the Red Deer River there are lots of people around this year. A group has hiked up the hill from the YMCA camp, some people fly fishing and some trying to swim!

Deb and Diego take a break.

Daphne and Cindy take in the wonder of the moment. The rest of us have fun watching.

Seleena and Doc come down the last stretch to cool of in the lake.

Doc loves the water.

Seleena cools off.

Wrangler and Diego come to join the fun.

I like this picture of Crockett. Andee is the dad to Doc and Crockett.

Deb brings Diego back and them we head up a new trail to find the poplar Ridge. It's very tough climbing and we have to stop every 10 minutes to let the horses all catch their breath. Nobody has trouble; it's just very steep with lots of switchbacks and some mud along the way.

I'm so happy to be riding Palladin through places like this. He takes the lead, always goes where I ask him to just from using my hips. I love him. He never misses a step, never stumbles, never refuses, and just goes. When we download Deb's camera I'll hopefully have some shots of him and I to post. Then we come out into the clearing for more fantastic views.

On this side of the ridge we get to look over the Red Deer River valley.

That's the Sheep Meadow across the river and Warden Rock in the horizon.

Doc and Seleena drifting along with the tumbling tumble weeds.

Hmm, that's a pretty steep drop. Everyone comes down, but Doc isn't so sure. Poor guy, quite an initiation for his first time to the mountains. But Daphne's riding skills guide him through the challenge and he joins us at the bottom. Then it's back at camp and Deb gives Diego a much deserved rub down.

Charmer wasn't happy about being left behind. Who can blame him! I wouldn't want to be left behind either!! Cindy and Daphne take Doc and Seleena out bareback and tag Charmer along for a drink.

Love watching these two ride. Oh for my younger days!

The last ride into camp.

And so ends another great trip in the Rockies. As always it is too short, but as always, it is worth all the trouble to get here.