Monday, April 18, 2011

Tough Sucker 2011

Karen Bumgarner

When I think of a ride in the Owyhees the first thing that comes to mind is the magnificent Snake River. The Snake winds around through the desert and tall canyon walls, creating quiet oasis and beautiful ranches. The pioneers followed much of the Snake and the Oregon Trail still exists. And lucky us as Tough Sucker riders, we get the privelege of riding portions of the Oregon Trail. To trot where the oxen pulled wagons and the pioneers walked is an amazing experience. And from the dry hill tops looking back towards the river, one wonders how they must have felt leaving the river behind, and knowing that if they stayed there that it could mean death from the Indians. Recall the Utter Disaster blogspot from last October.

It is amazing that much of the Owyhees are as wild as they were 150 years ago. Minus the Indians. :-) But as you ride along its pretty easy to replay some of those old westerns in your head and imagine Indians popping up along the horizon. Hmmm maybe thats what makes Thunder look for something to jump at!

These Owyhee rides remain some of my favorites. And they must be the favorites of others too as riders drove in to the ranch near Oreana for the ride on Saturday April 16. It wasn't a big crowd but it was a happy bunch of riders as we started the day with no wind and a promise of sunshine. The first loop took us to the Snake River and it was peaceful and gorgeous. Even though the water was high and rapid we still had a nice spot for the horses to drink. The trail then went out to the Snake River Birds of Prey area and wound around the desert all day long. Some folks find the desert boring but it is chock full of beauty if a person just looks for it. Even the dry washes with their high walls can be entertaining especially when Thunder is on "Troll Patrol". HAHA.

I think the ride had roughly 40 riders all total on the 25, 50 and 75. Only 5 of us were on the 75 and Thunder and I managed to place third about 30 minutes behind the front runners. He was still full of spooks and playful moves, all in a days work of Keeping me entertained and improving my riding skills. We finished about 8 PM and it wasn't even dark yet. Hooray! We vetted in for the last time of the day with A's on his vet card all day long!

Except for a 5 minute rain shower, it was a sunny beautiful and warm day. So unlike Tough Sucker weather but I truly enjoyed it!

Karen's Horsetales Blog

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