Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Buffalo River....the rest of the ride

Thanks for all your comments on the ride, yes I am brave or stupid for going into the cave and yes I like me some cocktails when I escape from Mommy ville. Here is a rundown on the rest of the ride.

Wednesday it was decided we would do the organized all day ride to Green River. We left camp at 9 am and headed through the woods to the river. There were about 35 riders that day with a trail boss and drag man from the camp. Harley as usual was a little jiggie with that many horses and thought he should be in the front. To teach him some manners I insisted he be the last horse except for the drag man Harvey, this proved to be a bad choice later. We traversed some pretty trails and passed a waterfall on the way, the going was steep and we had to rest the horses every so often as the humidity was soaring. About half way I really decided that I had to visit the nearest outdoor potty which presented itself in the form of a trail going the opposite direction. I informed Harvey and set off on my own, Harley was less than pleased to be going another direction. When I returned to Harvey who was patiently waiting for me Harley was in a tizzy. We started out after the group when we heard screaming up the hill that someone needed help. It seems someone was off trail and stuck in some vines or brush. Harvey told me to keep riding up the hill and find the group. This is where it got interesting folks........
First Harley did not want to leave his only horse buddy and I was concentrating hard on negotiating yet another steep, loose rock uphill climb when BAM! I felt a sharp sting on the back of my thigh. I looked back to see a swarm of ground bees attacking both Harley and I. Now folks I don't know if you have had the pleasure of getting into ground bees but boy it sucks. They are like yellow jackets that live in the ground, they are aggressive and will chase you for miles. Luckily, well I use that term very loosely I have had the displeasure of being in them before this. Let me tell you the best thing you can do is RUN and I mean Run and get off trail into the woods. You see they will follow you down the trail for miles but will not go into the bush after you, don't know why just know that. So......here I am flying through saplings and downhills and leaves a flying while swatting and trying to stay on. (Imagine man from snowy river but with leaves no snow.) After I was sure I got away from them I approached the group with a very sore posterior and a very winded Harley.
Someone had some sauve to put on the stings, I had nine total on my backside and arms. Harley was hit about the same amount as far as I could tell, God bless him he never bucked or thought of being unruly throughout the incident. Turns out the mule in the bush was stung and that is what set it off to go off trail. Two others were stung but I got the worst of it since I was in the back.......
We rode on to the river and played a little splashing and frolicking before we had lunch. After tying Harley up securely I promptly layed down in the river, you cannot imagine how much heat and pain those little bast**ds caused. I got some funny looks and comments about riding in wet jeans but I could have cared less. We rode downstream for about two miles and I really enjoyed it, I could tell Harley was getting tired by the time we exited the river. My friend Tiffany was also along on the ride and her horse Cisco was not thrilled with people running up to him to splash him, we hung back to the rear. After exiting the river the weather started to threaten rain complete with thunder in the distance. Since we were so far back behind the group the drag man decided on a short cut home. Now folks I am no scaredy cat by any means but this was the roughest ride I every took. We traversed a hill that went straight up for 75 feet and was rocky to boot. Sorry Mrs Mom but this was one time I was thankful for Harley's shoes all the way around. I went first and he literally had to lope up the hill to make it, you could see sparks and smell the brimstone coming off his feet. Later Tiffany and I remarked we could not believe we did that hill! And sober to boot! We got back to camp around 3 and guess what? No rain after all.... We spent the rest of the day in our chairs in the river with you guessed it Margaritas!

my girls enjoying one.

Whew I am tired

Went to the dance that evening but in loose shorts as the stings were pretty sore and I could not imagine putting jeans on. Mike from Louisiana asked us if we would like to ride with him in the morning to twin falls. Sounded great to me so we forged a plan. Thursday we rode out only to discover that Cisco had a stone bruise and could not make the trail, Tiffany had to turn back which bummed us all out. Mike,Susan,Bubba and I continued on to the blue hole. We covered some beautiful trials that were easy as pie compared to yesterday's hell. We arrived at the blue hole by 10. The blue hole is a small waterfall that empties into a little pool underneath it,a very pretty ride indeed. Here are some shots of it.

Harley and I enjoying a dip.

We continued on to twin falls, Mike had a little trouble finding the trail as they had clear cut the land last fall and it made things look different. Eventually we did find it and we were on our way, here is a view of the downhill at the clear cut.

We rode a beautiful trail shaded by a canopy of trees the rest of the way, little creeks crossed at several spots and Harley had to sample each one. Despite the lack of rain in those parts everything was green and lush. I could hear the waterfall before I saw it and nothing was more beautiful to me that day than hearing and seeing those brilliant showers of water. I tied Harley to a downed log and carefully and oh so not gracefully slid my way to the bottom of the falls, about a hundred foot drop. I instantly went under and cooled off and tasted that mountain water.
Here are some shots from the bottom.

We ate lunch at the falls then headed back to camp, definitely the best ride of the week for me. I shared pictures with Tiffany and was sorry she missed it. Friday I awoke not feeling myself and opted out of the morning ride. I guess the week had caught up with me and I actually went back to sleep until lunch. Afternoon found me feeling better and I did a small ride to the opposite side of camp with Tiffany only to find Cisco still off. We attended the dance for the saddle give away and unfortunately no one from our camp won but we did dance and have fun besides.
The skies opened up at 10 pm and it rained all night, complete with thunder and lighting. Morning arrived with more rain and a big muddy mess. We decided that given the conditions and Cisco's sore foot that we would head home early. Most of the camp was pulling out it seemed. We loaded up and headed for home, two tired girls and their horses.

Final thoughts on the trip and camp. Although the camp was not as well kept as before I still found it more than adequate. The food definitely was not up to par but edible most days. The riding was great, despite those damn bees. The river , ah the river the reason I went was perfect. Hope you enjoyed the trip and go visit someday. Tell Tony I sent ya!

Happy trails......

1 comment:

Pony Girl said...

Wow TRC- can't imagine that ride! I was enthralled reading about it. The bees, oh my! I would have freaked to be stung 9x. And I think My Boy would dump me for sure if he was stung, he's such a big baby!

My sister and I climbed a big hill on Monday, I will post about it tomorrow. It was not quite as steep as yours and was dirt, not rock.

I hope you are recovered from your trip! Is Cisco's stone bruise better? Hopefully it won't abscess!