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SANDY'S JOURNAL: 1985 CREST TRAIL RIDE


Continued



Wednesday, July 10: The weather was really good again. We packed up and headed out along Highway 531. The horses were really thirsty. They had to stand there all night and smell the water across the highway and yet couldn't get a drink. We were riding along the highway when we came upon a crew working on the road. I asked them if they knew of any water we could get to. They said they thought there was some up the road a little further. One of the men was really nice. He got in his pickup and drove up the road looking for water for us.

We told the other men that we would keep riding on road to see what we could find. The man came back just about the time we were by a ranch. He told us of a couple of spots that were up the road about a fourth of a mile, where we could get to water. We thanked him for his time and effort, but we decided to try the ranch first.

The people there were really nice and said "yes" they would give us some water. All that we carried with us was a yellow fold up bucket that was packed on Pat's horse. The people at the ranch brought out one of their dog dishes, which was a good size bowl. Then they pulled out a water hose. I got off my horse, watered them and tied them up, then went over to help Roy and Pat with theirs. Everyone got water. We filled up our canteens, too. We thanked them for all of their help and told them about out problem of trying to get a trailer.

We also had another problem. Pat's horse, Mireeyah was limping again. Mireeyah wasn't trained for neck reining; therefore, she was difficult to handle in traffic so Pat had decided to pack her again. When we got out to the end of the driveway, we decided we had better unpack her and put the packs on Georgie.

Meanwhile, F. J. Danforth, a rancher in the area, pulled up. He said that he had heard that we had a lame horse and were looking for a trailer. He had a single horse trailer at his ranch, but his big stock trailer was somewhere else. It had the sides off, anyway, he said. Evidently the people we got the water from had called him. He offered his corrals for us to use. Then he said he would take us up to his ranch to see if he could find someone with a trailer to help us. He told us how to get to his corrals, and we accepted his offer. I stayed with the horses while Pat and Roy went with him to his home. I guess he has a really beautiful house from what Pat and Roy told me.

They were gone for about three hours. He tried for an hour and a half to find someone that would haul us, but he had no luck. When they came back, he offered to take me to his place so I could take a shower.

"No thanks," I told him. We need to get on the trail. We have a lot of miles to make up. I thanked him for the offer. Also, I had taken a little bath in the irrigation ditch that ran through the corrals while they were gone. So I was fairly clean, good enough anyway.

As we headed out, he told us of some ways to stay off the highway. We turned on to Road 33 and began heading back up into the hills. Danforth drove on up and found a place by a creek for us to camp. Then he drove around looking for different roads and marking them so we could get back to the Crest. We were rally low on grain by this time. We had fed extra grain when there was no grass thinking we would be hauled to Diamond Lake before then. Danforth called his wife, Gail, who worked in town and she brought two bags of grain out to us that night. Pat sat and talked with Gail. I was working with some of my gear and getting things ready to put the horses up for the night before it got dark. Danforth drove Roy around to show him where the areas were that he had marked for us to take the next morning.

Mr. & Mrs. Danford, Sandy & Roy

The Danforth's chatted with us while. It was dark before they left to go back home. They may have thought I was unsociable because I didn't sit to talk with them. With four horses I had a lot of work to do before I could sit. I really did appreciate their help.

It was so late that we ended up cooking in the dark that. We cooked some of Roy's canned food to make it easier and faster. If you like stew and chili mixed together, that is. This was one of Roy's favorite concoctions. There was a little grass out there, so the horses did get a little to eat again. We covered around 14 miles that day.


Thursday, July 11: Danforth came back in the morning to scout out a different way. He found a better way for us than what he had found the night before, a way that would not be quite as steep. So I rode out with him in his little pickup so he could show me where he put the markers to cut across country. He also brought a Bosal (hack-a-more) for Pat to use on Mireeyah. She kept fighting the bit Pat had on her. We got everything packed up and ready to go. We said our good-byes and thanked him again for all the help he had given us. He also showed us on a map where the Goose Nest Trail was. It would put us further north than the Seven-Mile Marsh Trail that we had been planning to take to get to the Crest. He suggested; we cut across country between Goose Nest Mt. and Goose Egg Mt., so we wouldn't have to backtrack so much to get to the Crest. He thought we might be able to save a few miles that way.

We mounted up and headed on out to cut across country to get over to Road 3282. That would take us on up to the Goose Nest Trail. The dirt roads were very dusty and hot. We rode all the way to the end of the road and never did see the trail taking off. We backtracked, a little way, then cut across country till we found a "trail," if that is what you want to call it. Evidently this trail had not been used in years. We found some blazes here and there on some of the trees, and that is basically how we followed it.

In one area we ran into a couple of trees across the trail. We really had fun getting around them. We had to drop off the side of the hill and then take the horses up a steep bank one at a time. Pat was on the trail and I was down below the steep bank, Roy would send me one horse at a time, and I would send them up to Pat. Then she would tie them up. It took awhile, and it was rather hectic getting them around, but we made it, and none of them got hurt. It was pretty steep, especially for the packhorses with their loads on.

We ran into a bunch of trees that were really close together. I had to chop a couple of them out of the way to get the packhorses through. We finally got to the area that we thought was the place to cut across country, but we had been in the trees so much that we really couldn't tell where we were going. We could see that we had ridden to the left side of Goose Nest Mt. We thought we were in the flat area before Goose Egg. This was where we thought Danforth had marked on the map that we could probably cut across country and hit the Crest.

We started cutting across country and came to a grassy spot so we let the horses graze a little while. I told Roy and Pat I would rather stick to the blazes' trees, even though they were hard to find. Instead of trying to cross country where we couldn't see out of the trees for landmarks. In the first place, we were not too sure this was the place Danforth had marked on the map. We headed back to see if we could find the blazes again. We did and we came out in the Oregon Desert. There was a sign that read a mile and a half to the Crest Trail. We rode a couple of miles down the Crest trail. Then we decided to make camp.

Val and Wayward
eating snow

There was grass for the horses to eat, but no water. So the horses ate snow for water. They had no water all day. Roy and Pat saw a bull elk that evening. I was staking my horses out so they could eat when they saw the elk. Then I put up my highline rope for the evening. I had two; 50 foot ropes that I stretched between trees to tie the horses to. I put Sarid and Wayward on one rope and Scooter and Val on the other.

It was a long hard 12 miles I figured we put on, with cutting through all of the downed logs and brush. I don't think the trail had been used in years, but we did make it back to the Crest. It really felt good to get back up on the PCT and head north again.


Friday, July 12: The weather was good again. We headed out. The horses had not had any water since the day before when we left camp, except for the little bit of snow they had eaten. When we came out to Highway 62, a big horse trailer was parked there.

The driver, Bud Kernell, was waiting for the Stewart family. They were riding from the Mexican-California border to the Canadian border on the Crest. They were riding strictly Arabian horses. We knew they were behind us. Pat had been hearing reports at the Carnation feed store where she buys her feed. Pat said, she heard that the Stewart lost three horses in a snowstorm in the Sierras in California. We sat there and talked to Bud for a while. He confirmed the reports about them losing the horses.

Bud gave each of our horses a half a bucket of water. They were glad to have it and about mobbed him trying to get at it. That was all he could spare. He had to make sure he had enough for the Stewart horses when they came out. He also gave us a bale of hay to give the horses. We fed them half of the bale and packed up the rest.

When we were getting ready to leave, Aaron, the youngest boy of the Stewart family came riding in. He was ahead of the rest of the family because he had a fast-walking horse. We talked with him for a few minutes and then headed on out to the Crater Lake horse camp where we planned to camp. We went about two miles when we came to a creek where the horses could get a good drink. Then three miles further we came to a trail that went to Crater Lake Horse Camp. We turned off the Crest Trail and went about a fourth of a mile to the Crater Lake Horse Camp. There was lots of grass down there on the other side of the creek from the camp, but there was no way you could take the horses to it. You couldn't walk out there yourself without sinking up to your eyeballs in mud. This place was a hole!

It was nothing but dust and trees. What grass there was, you couldn't get to. We were not too pleased with what the Cater Lake people called their "horse camp." I tried to let my horses pick what they could by the edge of the creek on our side. They still had their saddles on, when Val got her lead rope caught over Wayward's saddle. Wayward was towing Val along as she was sinking in the mud. I thought for sure I was going to have a horse with a broken leg, when both of them sunk clean up to their hocks. I thought that was enough of that, I tied them up before they really got hurt.

Pat must have been really tired; she just put her tarp down and crashed on it for a while. Usually the first thing she would do was find a place to put up her tent.


Saturday, July 13: We didn't get out on trail until 10:30 a.m. As usual we were sitting waiting for Pat to get going. It was a boring ride, just long, hot and dusty. The Stewart family passed us while we were still at the camp that morning since we were off the trail. They were not using packhorses in Oregon. They were just riding from one highway to the next where their van would be waiting. Then they would change horses and go the next distance. The Stewart's were sitting out by Highway 138 waiting for their van to show up when we came out. We sat around talking to them for about an hour. Their names were Tom and Lynda, and their children were Sean, Aaron and Stacci. They live on Vashon Island in Washington.

The Stewart Family, Roy & Sandy

We left, heading for Diamond Lake to see if we could find some place to stay that had grass for the horses. Then, while riding, we decided to go ahead and try for the Diamond Lake Corrals, which was nine miles further. Roy put his horse in her four-mile-an-hour walk. We traveled along very easily since the terrain and flat. When we left Highway 138 it was around 6:10 P.M.. We arrived at the Diamond Lake Corrals about 8:30 P.M.. We stopped one place where there was some luscious grass and let the horses eat for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Wayne arranged his horses at the corrals so we could each have one for our horses. He charged us $10 per corral a day. This was what he had quoted to me earlier when I had come down to check out the food drops. We told Wayne we thought the Stewart family would probably be up to get some corrals from him, too. We told the Stewart family where we were going and that there were some motels by Diamond Lake Resort. They came in the next day and also got corrals, but at $25 a day.

Wayne and his wife were going out to dinner that evening. He told us we could use his pickup to come over to the restaurant after we took care of our things. He said the restaurant quit serving at 11 P.M.. We finally got everything taken care of and our tents. Roy and I were in the pickup waiting for Pat again. We kept telling her to hurry up, as the restaurant would quit serving in about 10 minutes. We finally got going and made it there at about three minutes to 11 P.M.. Wayne had reserved a table for us. The waitress was really nice. She brought us large salads. I think they were bigger than what they normally served. She even asked me if I wanted a second one.

"No thanks," I told her, "I wouldn't be able to eat my dinner." The dinner was very good. After finishing, we went over and thanked Wayne for the use of his pickup. Then we headed on back to the corrals to check on our horses. Wayne sold us five bales of hay so we could feed our horses. We put on 29 miles, the longest day that we had done so far.

The day before, I started changing saddle horses, because Scooter's withers were getting sore, so I decided to see if that would help. I put her packs on Wayward.

I thought how ironic it is that the beautiful Crater Lake is bypassed by the Crest. It is a natural wonder, but they put the Crest over in a bunch of trees and a dust bowl. I like how they discriminate against horse people. The hikers and motorists can go in and see the lake, but the horse people are not allowed in the park except on the Crest. They should have built the trail ten feet from the side of the road that goes by the lake. That way everybody could enjoy it.


Sunday, July 14: Was a layover day for us. Wayne let us use his pickup again that day. We went to another little restaurant at the Resort for breakfast. We took hot showers, washed our clothes and bought a few groceries. (Not that we needed any. We had all kinds of food coming out of our ears.) We bought fresh bread and lettuce and tomatoes for salads. When we got back, I re-shod Scooter's front feet because I had to shoe her so early before we left.

The next task was to fix up one of my pack boxes. When Wayward jumped a creek on the trail coming in the day before, she slammed the box into the back of Val. One of the straps that hold's the boxes on the packsaddle broke. When that was repaired, I fixed the bridle Scooter had broken the day before. She likes to wring her neck. When she does this she flips the rein right over her head. She had stepped on them before I could get a hold of them, so it broke the headstall by the bit.

I got everything repaired and was sitting around with Roy, Wayne and Tom talking about the trail in the next section. Wayne said there had been a hiker he knew told him there was lots of snow and trees down in section between Mt. Thielson and Windigo Pass. It is so hard to get packhorses around downed trees, so we decided to take the road. Tom Stewart decided his family was going to take the trail. He said he liked some thrills so he would go to trail. They were going to leave the day after we were.



Pat on road #138
Mt.Thielsen in back ground
Monday, July 15: I decided to start riding all my horses to give the ones packing a break. I would ride each horse for two days and then change to another. This meant they only had to pack six days each.

We got packed and headed out by Highway 138. We had a few problems along the highway. Roy's mule, Red, went on the opposite side of a pole, than Gracie did. He broke his lead rope and ended up going backwards into traffic. He was just missed by a car.

We continued on the highway for about five miles and then turned off on to Road 60. We rode six more miles to the Umpqua River. I was glad to get off the main highway since I was riding Val, one of my three-year-old horses. We turned off on a side road along the Umpqua River.

There was supposed to be two trails at the end of this short road. Wayne said to take the one to the left. We could not find two trails, only one. We rode up the trail quite a way before deciding to turn around, to make camp by the Umpqua River. There was water and nice luscious grass for the horses that they really liked. I even got a picture of Roy's mule, Red, lying in the grass eating.

Since we quit fairly early that day, Roy and I rode out to see if we could find the trail. The road Roy tried had lots of trees across it. I continued on for about an hour up the trail that we had ridden earlier in the day. I knew after I got out there where I could see the lay of the land that this trail was the wrong one. It was heading for Mt. Thielsen, so I headed back to camp. Roy was already there when I arrived. He didn't have any luck,


Red resting in camp
Roy watching
either. We decided to go back to Road 60 to ride to Windigo Pass. It was about eight miles on the road, and we hated riding roads. Pat and Roy both dozed off while riding the road that day. Pat even lost Georgie, her packhorse. She was following along with her rope dragging on the ground. The weather was really good. We put on about 12 miles.



On trial from Windgo Pass


On way to Cowhorn Mt.

Tuesday, July 16: We had very nice weather. We started out riding the eight miles of road up to Windigo Pass. That is where we finally got back on the Crest. That day I was riding Val. We headed on north and decided to camp at Summit Lake, which was a total of 19 miles for that day. The trail was easy going even though we did some climbing by the side of Cowhorn Mt.

When we got to the top, we met Carla Mathews from Battleground, Washington. She had started at the north end of the Crater Lake and was going to hike on to Mt. Hood. She changed her mind and decided to go over to the Oregon coastline instead. She would leave the trail at Odell Lake.

We continued on up the trail until we came to a huge boulder blocking our way. Roy knocked some of the smaller rocks out from around it. We took the horses through one at a time, letting them pick their own way around the rock. My horses were at the end of the line. After I got two of them through, I grabbed my camera to take a picture of the other two picking their way around the boulder.

We got to Summit Lake around 5:30 P.M. and set up camp. All of us put up our tents that night because the mosquitoes were so bad. Carla caught up with us at Summit Lake and decided to camp there also. We invited her to camp with us. She staved in my tent to get away from the


Sarid picking his way around boulder.

mosquitoes. About 9:30 P.M. the Stewart family rode in. "You might as well camp with us," we told them, "because there is no feed around for the horses to eat. It was trees all around the lake and it was getting dark. They tied their horses to the trees and pulled off the saddles.

We had a big campfire going so they used it to heat up their dinner of stew. They also had some fruit. While they were fixing something to eat, I fed their horses the grain I had already prepared for mine for the next day. I fed them each five pounds of grain. I didn't have nosebags for all of their horses so I borrowed one from Pat. I felt sorry for their horses, carrying the Stewart's 31 miles that day then just getting tied up to trees with nothing to eat. I fed our horses extra that day as I had lots of feed and the next day we would arrive at another food drop at Odell Lake. After the Stewart's had finished eating, they threw their raincoats on the ground and put their sleeping bags on them. I dug out some of my extra tarps and put them down under their sleeping bags to keep them off the ground. Stacci stayed with Pat in her tent. I thought to myself if they did this down in California, I can see why their horses are in the shape they're in.


Wednesday, July 17: Was another clear day. When I got up, Fizz was down tangled up in the high line rope. She had her feet caught in the rope and in her lead rope, too. She got a bad rope burn.

SUMMIT LAKE

The lake was really nice and clear. I took a picture of it with Crater Butte behind reflecting in the water. I had fed the Stewart's horses again that morning. I gave them each six pounds of grain, which helped to lighten the weight in my packs. I would be picking up three more 80 pound sacks of feed at Odell Lake. We also had more than enough provisions to feed everyone breakfast. So we all had a good breakfast together, feasting on pancakes, bacon and ham.

The Stewart's headed out before we did. Carla was going to hike with us. I told her I would go ahead and carry her backpack for her. I put it up on top of Wayward's pack. Carla tried to stay out ahead of the horses, but going up hill, the horses were to fast for her, even without her

pack. It was just too tiring for her to try to stay ahead. I had her get up behind me on Sarid for a little while. That was a lot of weight for him to carry. Between the two of us and with all the gear I had on him, he was carrying a little over three hundred pounds. When we got to a steep part she got off Carla decided to follow us. She wasn't going to take anything with her, but I finally got her to take one of my canteens.

"You can't be out here without anything," I told her as we went on ahead.

Crossing snow by Diamond Peak

We rode up around Diamond Peak that is a really beautiful mountain. Going around it we crossed some snow on the trail. According to the maps we had, there was a trail that cut off the Crest long before you came to Highway 410. We thought that we would take it to shorten the distance to Odell Lake. We didn't find that trail so we followed the Crest down to the highway and saw a trail that cut down toward Odell Lake. I think it was a cross-country ski trail. When we got down by some railroad tracks, we cut across to the road that went into the Odell Lake Resort.

The Stewart family was camped down by Highway 410 where the Crest Trail came out and crossed it. They had found a road construction gravel pit where there was enough room for them to pull in their big van. Tom and Lynda drove on down to the resort and then over to where we camped. They brought a couple of bales of hay down to us because we had fed their horse's grain. There was no grass around the area. It was a good trade off and very nice of them, too.

We were camped away from the resort across from the railroad tracks. This is where the person at the resort had told us we could camp. We thought it was a hobo camp by the look of the place. There must have been a lot of buildings there at one time. Now there were just parts of the concrete foundation around. There was a big fire pit with a tripod made out of heavy wire to hang pots or cans on to heat food in and logs to sit on. It was a train switching area we found out as we listened to trains switching there all night long.

On the trail coming in to Odell Lake I had stopped to pick up one leather glove that was laying on the trail. Roy had stopped earlier and picked up a glove. They were a nice matching pair of gloves. Since they wouldn't fit Roy, and I had lost mine earlier back at Devil's Peak (only mine were cloth), I wore them. We figured they belonged to the Stewart's. I picked up one of their flashlights they had left at Summit Lake. When they brought the hay over, I asked them if the gloves were theirs. Tom looked at them.

"They look like the one we were using. We bought 20 pairs of them for our trip," Tom said.

"Well, a ranger brought back the pair I lost," Lynda said. "They must been Sean's," Tom said. "You go ahead and keep them since you lost your last pair earlier."

I gave them back their flashlight. Tom irritated at Lynda for losing it. He had taken the batteries out of his camera and put them in the flashlight the night before. So, when he went to take some pictures, he couldn't take them because he didn't have any batteries in the camera.

That afternoon we took four of the horses down to pick up our food and grain. The grain was in one of the boat sheds, and the food was at the store. We were going to go through the food boxes and work on the packs for the next section of the trail. I was going to mail a whole bunch of my food back home. I was also mailing back some of my equipment, whatever I could get in the box the food was in. I got it all ready to take down in the morning to the post office, which was to open at 5:30 A.M.. It was too late to mail it that day by the time I figured out what to send and got everything packed up.

We were beginning to wonder about Carla because she hadn't shown up for quite a while. Because we had her pack, she had no food with her, just the canteen I had given her. If anything had happened to her, she wouldn't have had anything with her. It was about 6:30 P.M., when she finally came, which was a real relief to us. We were all glad to see her.

"Thanks a lot for the bag of peanuts you left along side of the trail," she said. I told her we didn't leave them. The Stewart family must have dropped them. Carla stayed with us that night and slept in my tent again. She was heading out for the coast the next day.


Thursday, July 18: I got up at 5 A.M., and fed my horses. Then I went down to mail the package. When I got there, the store wasn't open. I phoned my Mom while I was waiting. I called to let her know we had made it to Odell Lake, okay. She could tell my friends that we made it that far. When I had that all taken care of plus my package mailed, I headed back to start working on my packs and to take down my tent. Carla was sleeping in it when I left. Roy was working on his breakfast when I got back. Fizz was really sore that morning. She could hardly walk. Roy was debating if he should call his son to come and get him and the animals. Roy didn't even open his food box because he had so much food already. He was going to mail his extra food to Stevenson. He did not leave any food there when we did because he though he would just buy some in town. He said he would make the decision on whether or not to call his son while he rode Fizz down to the store. He wanted to see of she would walk out some of the soreness. Pat also mailed a package back. Pat and Roy left together for the post office. Carla and I left about five minutes later. Carla was catching a ride over to the Oregon Coast.

While they were taking their boxes down, I went to see if I could get a shower. Pat planned to do the same. I went over by where the showers were and a person was already there. Her husband was already in taking a shower. She said, it would probably be a one half hour or so before he would be out. Then they would take the key back to the store. Only one shower was working at that time. You had to go to the store and get the key. I decided I wasn't going to wait around any one half hour or more for the key to get a shower. Pat said, she would wait no matter how long it took.

Roy and I headed back to camp. We packed up all of our things and started saddling up the horses. This was Sarid's second day to be ridden before being packed again. Roy decided to go ahead and try Fizz for the day. If she didn't walk out the soreness, he would come back and call his son. When Pat arrived, Roy and I was just starting to get the pack boxes lined up for loading the horses. We got all the horses and mules packed up and were waiting for her to get her things together.

It was 1 P.M. and we had to ride the road for a mile and a half to get to Highway 410 so we could get back on the Crest. We only rode about 10 miles that day up to Bobby Lake. It was a real pretty lake, except for all the garbage all over the place. The fish were jumping.

"Get your fishing pole out and do some fishing, Sandy." Pat kept saying.

"I've got to take care of my horses first, and when I get my chores taken care of, then I'll worry about fishing," I said.

By the time I got everything taken care of, it was dark, but I did throw the line out a couple of times. I didn't get anything, just kept hanging my bobber up in the trees. Somewhere I lost that bobber on one of those casts. I never did find it. There was just one little slit out there between the trees to throw a cast out, so I bagged that for the evening.

The bugs were really horrible at this lake. As you tried to eat your dinner, they would dive bomb you constantly. We wore the mosquitoes netting over our heads all evening. It's a little hard to try to eat with those nets on your head. We had to keep picking the mosquitoes and gnats out of our plates. I put up my tent to keep the mosquitoes from eating me up. Roy still slept under the tarps.


Friday, July 19: We used one of the grain sacks I had with me as a garbage bag. Pat gone around and collected a bunch of cans, and I got the rubber boat left by someone, and we sacked it up. Pat wrote "Sacked by the Back Country Horsemen of Washington" on one of the sacks. We also explained in the note that we didn't have room to pack it out, which we didn't because our horses had full load from the last food drop. We headed on out. There was no grass for the horses at that lake either so they didn't get anything other than their grain.

Going down the trail I looked back to see that Roy and Pat had disappeared. I guessed that they had found a little grassy spot and stopped to let their horses eat. I was reading my map and did not see the grassy spot. So I tried to turn Wayward around to see where they were, but Wayward did not want to respond. She was fighting me. So I tied up the pack string. I was giving Wayward a lesson in neck reining, trying to get her to turn when Roy and Pat finally came up.

"Your pack string is in trouble over there," Pat said. My horses were all jumping around and got tangled up. I was hoping either Pat or Roy would go over there to them, but they didn't. I was in the middle of getting Wayward to turn so I tied Wayward's head back to her saddle and went over to my string. Scooter was down. She was the one I tied up because she was lead horse in my pack string. I got Sarid untied from Val, and then untied Val from Scooter. Val jumped out of there and as she did her breast-collar broke; letting her jump right out from under her packsaddle. The packs and saddle were lying on the ground with the diamond hitch still on the boxes.

I cut Scooter's lead rope by the tree, but it did not release her. She still was lying down with her head to her side. I cut the lash cinch rope to see if that would release her, but that didn't work either. Since she still was lying on the rope that was hooked to the cinch, she still was hung up. I saw that the knot in her lead rope (I had to cut her loose one other time, hence the knot) was hung up on the hook at end of the cinch. I cut the lead rope again. That did in that rope, but it finally got her loose. She was okay. I tied a square knot in the lash rope, and tied her packs back down.

I repaired the breast-collar on Val's gear and repacked her. As I was tying the diamond hitch on her packs, the lash rope broke. I almost fell on the ground backward. (Val had chewed on the rope when it was on Scooter when we left Cold Springs.) So I tied a square knot in that rope, too. Then I tied the diamond hitch on Val's packs. When we started out again, Sarid started acting up.

"What the heck is wrong with him now?" I thought. Usually about 3 P.M., every day he started goofing around a little bit, but to day it was noon. Then Pat said it looked like one of his packs was low in the back. It must have come unhooked, when they were all jumping around. We hooked it back up. Then everything went along pretty good the rest of the day. We camped at Braham Lake. That evening I sat there and worked on the two lash ropes. I have never braided two pieces of rope together before, but as they say, there's a first time for everything.

I sat there and worked on the rope and got it together, and it really surprised me that I did it. It didn't look bad at all, if I say so myself. I have braided a lot of ends on rope before but do you think I could braid it on the other rope that night. I asked Pat if she could do it. She tried, but she couldn't do it, either. I finally gave up for the night.

"It will come to me as I sleep," I said, "I will do it in the morning. I only cut about three feet off that rope when I cut it off of Scooter. Since my rope was 50 feet long, it was still long enough without the three feet. That is why I decided to just braid the end back. We must have gone 16 miles that day, even with all of the wrecks and re-packing that we did. Since the Stewart family left Odell Lake before we did, we never saw them again.






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