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Daddy would be proud

….. Continued From Yesterday……

So we got to the switchbacks and were wondering how these could be labeled as horse trails. They were certainly not for the average horse rider, though I suppose the average horse rider never comes up here anyhow. The first hair raising trail was across a rock slide. Not just any rock slide. It was, of course, incredibly steep, very wide, completely covered in boulder to fist size rocks, somewhat unstable, and wouldn’t you know it- the trail was ridiculously narrow?!

I love my father dearly, but he worries way too much. He’s not a man of many words, so he often expresses his care for my brothers and I in advice on how to stay safe in our daily lives. I often find his worries unnecessary, but this time, I heard his voice in my head over and over- “If you get to any drop offs- get off and walk.” Advice he gave after our accident in California. This time, I listened to him. I saw that trail, saw Tiska tumbling over an over in my head, and immediately got off Apache. Apparently I was more traumatized by that event than I realized. Now was as good a time to get some exercise as any- even if I was waddling in all my layers!

Richard, though, did really well. He intentionally rode over some of the drop off areas just to show himself that he could do it. He even pulled Satchmo behind him because he was trying to pass Tiska on the narrow areas. Satchmo needed more constant attention than I could give him three horses back. It was a day of victory for Richard- the first time he has ponied a horse while riding on steep trails, and he did so with poise.

The next many miles of trails were apparently unmaintained. There were  many down trees we had to go around and under, and the trails were in desperate need of some attention. In many places, they were literally one hoof wide with deadly drops off the side. Apache was not in the best of moods, so rather than deal with him on such terrain, I did a lot of walking today. We held our breath across many areas, praying the horses would step carefully. There was certainly no turning around to find a better trail.

We made it down to the valley between ridges and decided it was time to find a camping spot. Our nerves were fried and another thunderstorm was looming. A successful day in the mountains- scary and memorable- but thankfully uneventful.

(more pics below)


  1. WOW! What scenery! Tough section!! Glad you are all okay! Good job Richard!!
    Yipee Kiyo KiYEAH!! Way to go! Terry

  2. Good job proceeding with caution- better safe than sorry! So proud of Richard for facing his fears after the fall early on!

  3. Safety first! Jeannette, good idea to get off at the first thought of it. No need for heroics or accidents.
    On the other hand, Richard, good for you to find the courage to stay longer in that discomfort zone, and discover how much you are healing from that closely-tragic, first-month-of-travel episode.
    My heart was in my throat when I saw your first photo in today’s blog. Good grief! That is called a trail??????
    You two are incredibly fascinating, but stay safe; never lose faith!

  4. satellite views are so great and scary! I want to call you and say look out ahead and can you make it a few more miles to that ‘small house or building’ two more miles up the trail! And then I guess which trail you will turn on next! I’m praying you will get over the next crest of Mts before big snow hits. You have been so blessed with great sunshine and views! Well, since you already have two Moms, I will take my ‘mom hat’ off and wait for your next blog and just pray! Very exciting stuff here…you two are better than any show on TV…that’s for sure! Love you, Janet

  5. I immediately tilted my head to the side looking at that first picture. It looks at first as if it must have been taken at a funky angle. But no, it actually is THAT steep! That’s a scary looking “trail.” You guys are amazing!

  6. absolutely breathtaking! Glad you are playing it safe and so thankful to hear that God is continuing to watch over you all [not that it’s a surprise;-)]!!

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