So we have all these buckets that were donated- they have been our life line. While at the Bakers, once again we drove ahead and stashed the buckets where we would need them so we could water the horses. But on this leg from Baker to Milford, Utah- it was our responsibility due to our remote route to pick up the buckets and bring them with us as we went. We have learned that due to the round nature of buckets, it is easier to tie on more buckets at once onto the pack horses rather than one or two. At our first water drop, we had only two buckets that we then had to tie onto Fiddle. (We avoid tying them onto Tiska now since she is pretty terrified of them.)
Well…… the bailing twine holding the buckets in place broke about 2 miles later……. but the rope that attached the buckets to the pack saddle didn’t break. So we had two buckets suddenly dragging on the ground behind Fiddle- and attached to her! OH MY! I knew what was coming next and it happened in a hurry….. Fiddle got worried but handled it well- but Tiska- she freaked! She ran ahead, wrapped around Apache- dragging Fiddle with her- who was dragging the buckets. Apache then saw the buckets and snorted and wasn’t too thrilled himself. I let go of Tiska to avoid being strangled and she started running away.
So we then had Tiska running full out across the sagebrush in a wild attempt to escape the bouncing buckets that were attached to Fiddle- who had no choice but to gallop behind Tiska since she was attached- and remember- they were both loaded with packs! Richard had jumped off to try to cut the rope before they took off, but Satchmo saw the bouncing buckets and he snorted and reared and ran backwards- so Richard had his hands full. That left me and Apache to go to the rescue. We took off at a lope to race after our fleeing pack horses- but I couldn’t get to Tiska’s lead rope! And Apache was too worried about the buckets for me to cut the rope at a lope. (I didn’t think the idea of brandishing a knife at a run was a good idea anyhow!) So without being able to grab Tiska or cut the buckets off, the only idea I had left was to herd her in a circle to at least keep her contained until she got tired and stopped. So we ran round and round and round through the sage in huge circles- orange buckets bouncing away! Finally, Tiska slowed down and stopped- huffing and puffing- I jumped off and cut the rope to the buckets! Then took a bow! Our packs were still in great shape and didn’t need to be adjusted at all. Wow- if our first day in Utah is any indication of how this sate will go- we are in for one exciting ride!