Saturday, August 10: I put shoes on Scooter, Sarid and Wayward, getting them ready to head back on the trail again. Then I went over to reset the front shoes on one of my cousin's horses.
I re-packed my food box for Rainy Pass. Then I packed the pack boxes I would take to Snoqualmie Pass. The pack boxes of Roy's I used when I was coming up from Stevenson were just a little too long. They made Sarid's side's sore. I got four gallon plastic buckets to put in the pack boxes. The five gallon ones just wouldn't fit. I put the grain in buckets, then my food on top, like I did with Roy's packs. I took a lot of food out of the food boxes for the rest of the trip. I was not eating breakfast, or the soup for lunch, I was eating about four protein bars instead. I made the protein bars with.
Joy Anderson, a friend of mine, was going to ride from Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass with me. Joy came up to my place in the afternoon and brought her food and packs to pack in my truck. I was going to haul all four horses in my trailer rather than running two rigs to Snoqualmie Pass. Connie Robbins, joined us and spent the night, because she was going to drive my rig back from Snoqualmie Pass. Pat came over that evening to look at the pictures that had been developed. She said that she would like to finish the ride. I told her she was more than welcome, but we were going to get up and be on the trail by 7:30 A.M.. She said that since I didn't have all four horses, there wouldn't be any problem in getting on the trail that early. She said she would not be able to start at Snoqualmie Pass. I told her to come up to Stevens Pass, then.
I was going to pick up Joy and her two horses the next morning in Federal Way.
I decided to take Wayward and Scooter for the ride between Snoqualmie and Steven Pass. Connie was going to bring Val and Sarid up to Stevens Pass and take the other two back home. She would bring them back up the following week to Rainy Pass and take Val and Sarid home. This way all of the horses would get a rest. Wayward's leg was doing okay so I thought she would be all right for a week of riding.
Sunday, August 11: I drove to Federal Way to pick up Joy and her horses. My mother rode along with us so Connie would have company on the drive back with my rig. We unloaded the horses, then all four of us went to a restaurant for breakfast. After breakfast we loaded up the horses and headed over to the trail on the other side of the Pass. It was around 9:30 A.M., when Joy and I started out on the trail.
Joy asked me if I had read the sign at the trailhead as we started out. I hadn't. She told me it said that the trail was impassable for horses 12 miles in. We were up the trail a way so we decided to ride back and make sure what the sign said. Meanwhile Mom and Connie had left. We talked about it and decided to try riding the old Crest Trail, to detour around the slide area. My trailer was gone and there was no way to get a hold of Connie or my Mom to come back and get us at this time.
We could not find the old trail. Then we met some people who told us how to get there. We had to ride down the road a little way and then on to a side road. We rode up the side road for a mile to the trailhead of the Snow Lake Trail, which was the old Crest Trail. The Snow Lake Trail was very rocky and hard going for the horses.
When we got to the lake, there was a creek we had to cross. There was a big flat rock on a slant down in the water. Scooter, the horse I was riding, slipped on it a little, but she kept her feet under her. Wayward slipped and went down. She got back up on her feet and got out the creek. She had a cut on the front leg that was bleeding badly. The only thing I could get to quickly was a roll of toilet paper I had in my saddlebags. My first aid kit for the horses was in the packs on her. I started wrapping the toilet paper around her leg to see if it would stop the bleeding. Hollis had told me of a time when a friend of his had
Joy had found another spot that was easier for crossing. I didn't see it when I first rode up on the trail to the creek. The mare would not go across the water. I even took the lead rope and whipped her on the rear, but she still would not put a foot in the water. I finally took Terry, Joy's packhorse, and led him across. Then the mare followed him across.
We decided to stop for lunch, since the blankets were slipping on the horse Joy was riding. We resaddled her and got the first aid kit out of Wayward's pack.
While we were having lunch, a guy who was working on the trail crew came over to tell us that he didn't think we would be able to get through on the trail. Because, there were 17 downed trees on it. He didn't think we would be able to get past the first one, but that the horses would not be able to make it to the first tree because of the trail's condition. After we talked for a while, he told us he'd send his crew out to chop that first tree out of our way. We thanked him, had lunch, got everything repacked, and headed on up alongside of the lake. It wasn't
Meanwhile, Scooter wrings her neck and the reins go flipping right over her head. Before I could get to her, she stepped on them. The bridle broke on both sides. This made the second time I had to repair that bridle because of her neck wringing.
The tree was finally out of the trail. The crew told us they had a radio with them if we needed to call down to their office and get a message out. The crew boss didn't think we would make it down the trail. We headed on down after thanking them for removing the tree for us.
We must have gone a half of a mile when we got to a rockslide. About half way across the slide, Joy told me Wayward's leg was bleeding again. She was leaving a bloody hoof print on the rocks. We decided to turn around and go back.
We got back to the crew who called down to their office in North Bend. They contacted my mother, and gave her the message to bring up another horse. They couldn't get the whole message out over the hills. I wanted my trailer brought up, not Connie's, so we could haul all the animals around the slide area. The last part of the call did not get through. I didn't want Connie's trailer because it could only haul two horses. With mine, I could haul all five horses to Salmon La Sac and bypass the slide area.
It took a couple of hours to get back out to the pass. We got the horses unpacked and were just starting to fix dinner when Mom and Roy drove up. We had only been there about ten minutes so that was good timing. We all went over to the restaurant to have dinner. Mother could not get a hold of Connie so she called Roy. They did bring my trailer. Thank heavens!
After dinner we loaded all five horses and headed for Salmon La Sac. They had figured it was Wayward that I wanted to replace, thinking it was her back leg again. This time it was her front leg. They brought Sarid as they said Val's back was still sore.
It was quite late when we got to Salmon La Sac. We set up the tent at a campground and got all of the gear out of the truck. Roy and Mom left around 11:30 P.M.. There were some hitching rails there we tied the horses to for the night. We didn't have anything to feed them but their grain. The weather was really good, but the trail wasn't too terrific.
Monday, August 12: I found some hay that somebody had left by a tree, so I fed it to the horses. A guy who had been camping there was leaving so he gave me a couple of flakes of hay. I thanked him and told him the horses would appreciate it. It wasn't much, but they got something.
We got packed and headed out around 9:30 A.M.. We started toward Waptus Lake to get back on the Crest Trail. We stopped at Waptus Lake, had lunch and talked to a group of hikers who were camped there. They had their gear packed in by horseback. They were staying there for a week. They had been doing this once a year for the last 20 years.
We headed on up to Deep Lake where we planned to camp for the night. We got there about 4 P.M.. There was some grass around the lake so the horses had a good feed. It was really good weather that day. While the horses were eating, we set up camp. There were other horse people there, and they told me about a creek that ran by
One guy came over from the other camp that night to visit. I showed him some of my pack gear that was different from his gear. While we were sitting around the campfire, his son came over. He had been out hiking and fishing and came back with a fishhook stuck in his leg. He didn't want to cut it out at their camp because he thought it would upset his mother. His father wasn't having much luck getting it out with his knife so I let him use Roy's pointed jackknife. He finally got the hook out.
We put on about 14 miles that day. Scooter's back was very sore. I have never had a horse before whose hair stuck right down to her back in a mat. Her back was very hot. Even with warm water I couldn't get the hair to unmat.
Tuesday, August 13: I took the saddlebags off Scooter to take some of the weight off her back. We put the saddlebags on Terry, Joy's packhorse.
When we were starting out from Deep Lake, we ran into John Gilert from Spokane, Washington. He was hiking the Crest from Snoqualmie Pass to Steven Pass. He was trying to find a way across the creek that came out of the lake. There was no bridge on it anywhere, and it was quite a wide creek. There was a logjam at the end of the lake, but he didn't want to cross the logs with his pack on. I told him to try to hand his pack up to me while I was riding Scooter, but she wasn't having any part of that. I finally got John up on Joy's horse. Then I went to get Scooter to ride across the creek and bring Joy's horse back, but Scooter wasn't getting near John. She took off into the meadow. I had to tie up Joy's horse with John sitting on her. He was up there teetering around with that high pack on his back.
I finally had to walk out into the meadow before Scooter would let me catch her. I got up on her and then went back and untied Joy's horse and got them all across the creek.
We got John to the other side without getting his feet wet. John thanked us for the help. Then I brought the horses back across to where Joy was holding the two pack horses. John had gone up the trail quite a way before we caught up with him. He paced himself with the horses going up the hill out of Deep Lake. He did a good job keep up.
We were taking pictures of each other by Cathedral Rock. I took pictures of John with his camera and he used mine to take pictures of my horses. We told John we were going to camp at Deception Lakes that night. He said he was going to check out a place before that. If it was not good, he would also end up at Deception Lakes.
Joy and I stopped at a little place that had some grass and had lunch while the horses ate. John passed us while we were there. We caught up with him about a mile before Deception Pass.
As we changed National Forest Districts, we started running into trees across the trail. In Kittitas County, they were clearing the trail on the way up to Deep Lake. In King County no one had cleared the trail of downed trees. I climbed up to where I could see other horse people had gone around a tree by jumping up a steep bank. Up there, after going around the tree roots, the ground became boggy. I came back down to take Sarid, the horse I was packing, around the end of the tree. I got him by the bog without him sinking too much. I went back to get Scooter. I had left her tied to the fallen tree across the trail. The log was chest high so I just had her jump over the tree. She cleared it okay. She's pretty agile. Then I took Joy's two horses up around the tree one at a time. Joy had a bad knee and wouldn't have been able to climb up and down those banks or get around the bogs without hurting her knee.
When we got to Deception Lakes, there was a sign pointing to a horse camp. We started toward the camp, but the trail started getting boggy, and trees were down. I said I was not going any further up this trail with the packhorses so we went back down to the lakes. We let the horses eat a little bit of grass while we were trying to figure out where we wanted to make camp.
I decided to ride Scooter over to see what the horse camp was like. It wasn't much of a camp because the flat spot was swampy and the one little knoll had a hitching rail on it. There wasn't any place level enough to put up a tent that wasn't wet. I rode back and told Joy what it was like up there, and we decided to camp down by the lake. We put the horse's back 200 feet from the lake on a picket line as required by forest service regulations.
It was nice and peaceful with just Joy and me there. John came in around an hour and a half later. We were camped on the side of the lake and John camped at the end of it. A group of church people hiked in and camped between John's camp and ours. They were anything but quiet. We hiked on by them and went over and talked with John until it started getting dark. We were ready to go to bed at dark, but this church group was still singing. I told Joy I had come to the mountains for peace and quiet and I wished they would be quiet. I felt like going over there and telling them to quiet down. The weather was good that day and we had ridden about 22 miles.
Wednesday, August 14: We had more trouble with downed trees. One place we really had trouble was by a stump that was on the side of the trail with a rock wall on the other side. The saddle horses could get through but the packhorses could not. The pack just would not fit between the rock wall and the stump. I threw Sarid's lead rope up on his back setting him free and rode Scooter on through. I found a place to tie her up. I got the axe from my saddle and went back to see if I could chop some of the stump off. To get the pack horses through.
I planned to undercut it then try to split it down to the undercut. I got some off, but it was like chopping on iron. I led Sarid up to see if I could get him through, but he banged his packs. So I chopped some more off. I brought him back and tried again. I got him at an angle coming in to the stump until I could get him through. Then I tied him up by Scooter. I went back to help Joy get through. I took her saddle horse through and tied her by mine. Joy held on to Terry, her packhorse. I told Joy I wasn't sure if Terry would be able to make it because I thought his packs were a little wider. I suggested we unpack him, but we decided to try getting him throat first. I brought him up to the stump and he hit his packs. I went ahead and chopped some more on the stump and split a bunch off before I brought him back to try again. I though if I could get him to line up, we might be able to get him through. Instead he would rear up and scoot backwards. I chopped some more and tried again. This time I couldn't get him to come close to the stump at all. He would just start rearing again. Then he reared up and leaped around the stump. Well, there wasn't anything on the other side for him to stand on so off over the side he went. We thought he was a goner. There was no way I could hold him with the lead rope. We were lucky. He stayed on his feet all the way down. He finally stopped on the third switchback below us. Then he headed on down the trail.
We had passed a hiker earlier who was still in view so we hollered at him to see if he could stop Terry. He caught the horse and Joy went down and brought Terry back. We were really lucky. Terry only had a few scratches on his feet. We unpacked him, and he still didn't want to go through even with the packs off. We finally got him through.
I had to take my horses up a couple more switchbacks before I could find a place to tie them up so we would have room to tie and repack Terry. Then we packed all the stuff up the trail to put back on him. We got everything packed and started out again. On down the trail we came to more trees down across the trail. It was hard to get around and over some of them, but we finally made it to Stevens Pass.
As I was going under the ski life, I though to myself, the Forest Service complains about horse's ruining the trees when they are tied to them. Yet as I looked around I could see the trees they had cut down and left on the ground just so the skier could come down off the slopes on a ski run. That's okay because they are getting money for that.
At Stevens Pass, Joy made a call to get in touch with her dad who lives in Monroe. She asked him to bring the trailer up for her and food for me for the next leg of my trip. It took about four times before she finally got through to him. I also called my mother to let her know that we had made it okay, but I couldn't get hold of her.
Joy helped my set up camp while we waited for her dad. The Forest Service person said I could set up my tent on the other side of the trees behind his house. It was not very level, but it did get me away from the highway. While we were talking to the Forest Service guy, he said nobody had told him that there were any trees down on the trail.
"Don't you send people out to check the trail," I asked. "No," he said, "we do not. We have a thousand miles of trail to cover, but the Crest is the first one we do."
"You have a whole lot of trees down in the area we just rode through," I told him.
He said he thought it was fairly clear going north, but there might be a couple of boggy areas where I might have trouble.
It was dark when Joy's dad came. The woman who owned the horse that Joy borrowed was with him. Since Joy's dad did not see very well at night, she drove the rig up. I sent back some of the feed for the horses and some of my food with Joy.
After Joy left, heading back to her dad's place, I went back over and tried to reach my mother. I finally got hold of her and told her everything was okay. I would meet her at Rainy Pass in seven days. Since Wayward had hurt her leg, I did not change horses as I had planned to do. Pat never did show up to do the rest of the ride. We rode about 18 miles in very beautiful weather.
Thursday, August 15: The weather was again very good. On my way, I passed two deer, right on top of Stevens Pass. I was heading one way while they were going the opposite way. We didn't stop, but walk right by each other, not more than ten feet apart. It was nice to see them.
I never did find the boggy areas that the forest Service guy told me about. I was glad for that. Leaving Lake Valhalla the trial headed up to the top of the ridge. There were two trails up on top of the ridge without trail markers, and I was not sure which one to take. My map did not show two trails. I started down one hoping it was the right one. I went two miles before I found a sign where I got my bearings. I was okay this was the Crest.
After leaving Lake Janus, I had a long climb up to the top of Grizzly Peak. The climb was worth it. The view was marvelous. I let the horses eat for half an hour up on the ridge where the grass was very thick. While they grazed, I took in the scenery and talked to two men who were there. I camped at Pear Lake that day. There were lots of people there. I camped at the horse camp. This was the first time a camp for horses was not stuck way off from the lake so you could not see it. There wasn't much grass around, but I staked Sarid out and hobbled Scooter.
There was a group of people at the Northwest end of the lake. I stopped and talked to them as I was hiking around the area. They were doing some stretching exercises and the leader asked me if I wanted to join them. I watched for a little while. Some of the boys looked like they were having an awfully hard time sitting in some of the positions. I started doing the Yoga exercises with them. It was fun and it gave me something to do since I was out by myself again. These kids were in some school and it was a requirement that they had to do some camping before they could graduate. They had started at Stevens Pass and were hiking over to climb Glacier Peak. They were in for a week of camping. They were going out another way.
I met some other people that evening that was also hiking the Crest Trail. They started in the north and were hiking south. They asked me if I knew of any place to camp around there. I told them I didn't, but there was a big group of people at the south end of the lake, so they went on. I don't know I they found a place to camp around the lake or not.
Since there was a fire pit there and wood around, I built a fire. When I was by myself, I seldom built a fire, about the only time was if I had garbage to burn. I rode 18 miles that day.
Friday, August 16: When I put the horse out to eat, Scooter kept coming back to camp trying to get her grain. I kept telling her that if she didn't stay out of camp, I was going to tie her up. I finally had to so I could break camp. I headed up the hill going out of Pear Lake around 6:30 A.M..
Coming down on the other side of the hill there was a place that had grass up to the horse's knees. I stopped to let them eat for about 15 minutes since they hadn't gotten much down at the lake. We traveled up and down hills a lot for the first part of the day. In the afternoon, it got so we were just traveling around the edges that made it fairly easy going.
It was cold and windy in the morning, but the afternoon turned out okay. I camped near White Pass. You couldn't camp at the pass. It was posted, "No Camping." I went down over the side to a little basin and camped. There was a lot of grass there.
I took the far end so I was away from the other hikers who were camped there. I hiked back across the basin looking for some water and finally found some. Then I took the horses down so they could get a drink, and I filled my water container for myself.
I rode 20, miles that day. The people that I did the exercises with the night before told me there were two guys ahead of me who had started out at Ashland, Oregon, too. They said they were only a day ahead of me.
Saturday, August 17:The weather was good. The trail was a lot of up and down all day long. I ran into a trail crew clearing out the trail. They told me there were a couple of trees across the trail ahead. I got by the trees okay and then I met a woman who worked for the Forest Service. She told me that I would have to detour down to the Kennedy Hot Springs because there were trees down on the trail and I wouldn't get through. This meant two miles of straight down hill and two miles back up out of there just to get around those trees. She told me I could put the horses by the Guard Station
The Forest Service woman who was running the place was not very friendly. I asked her where the ford was and also if I used the hot springs what I had to wear. She said anything I wanted to or nothing. She said to follow her and she would show me where to cross the creek as she went back to find some other horse people who couldn't find their way across the creek. She did not sound too happy about that either. She was saying in a disgusting tone of voice that she had to go find these five people on their horses and show them how to cross the creek. She told me that I'd have to take my horses on down the trail, that I could not have the horses up there by the Guard Station. I was to take the horses to a place about a fourth of a mile down the trail, then cross over the creek again before I could tie them up. Then I could come back and use the hot springs. She showed me where to cross the creek to get to the trail on the other side. Crossing this creek was not very good.
As I started into the water, I could hear rocks rolling down the creek in the current. That is one thing that can break a leg in a hurry. I waited a couple of minutes, till I didn't hear any rocks rolling down the creek. The water was up to the horse's knees. There was a log on the other side of the bank that we had to get over to get out of the water. Then there were two trees I had to go between right after getting out of the water with a low stump right between them.
Scooter got through with no problem. I didn't know if I could get the packs through. Sarid came up to it and wriggled his way around the stump and got through between the trees. I don't know how he did it, but he made it. He doesn't panic that is what's so nice about him. I decided not to stay there as I figured she really didn't want my horses or me around.
I headed on back up the trail to get to the Crest. It was a steep pull getting back up there. On the Crest it was steep also, one switchbacks after other, for about three-fourths of a mile. The woman had told me that there was one tree, I would have to go around when I got back on to the Crest, but she did not think I would be able to.
After being on the Crest for a mile and a half I came upon the tree she told me about. I lead Scooter up the bank to get around the end of tree. I threw Sarid's lead rope over his back and left him by the tree on the trail. The tree had a sharp end sticking out of it. You had to go between the end of the tree and the stump. I got Scooter through okay. Then I took her down the trail a little way to find a place to tie her. Then I started back for Sarid. He was looking at the tree and then the next minutes he was up the bank to go around the tree. I though he was going to get hung up. He went up high on the bank and came through at an angle between the stump and the end of the tree. He caught the lash rope that was under the boxes on the sharp end of the log, but he kept his feet under him and made it through. He did not panic, when he got caught, but backed off a little so the rope came loose. I thought for a minute that he was going to go down. If he hadn't gone up high on the hillside and taken it at an angle, he would never have made it through, but he did it all by himself. People say animals are dumb.
Whenever I found a little patch of grass on the way up to Fire Creek Pass, I would stop and let the horses eat. Scooter was getting very tired, so I kept stopping to let her rest and eat. It was a steep pull. I felt like I could reach out and touch the glaciers, on the way by Glacier Peak. It was really beautiful on Fire Creek Pass. I thought it was the most beautiful place I had seen on the trip so far. I let the horses eat for about 15 minutes while I took in the scenery. It was getting late, around 5:30 P.M., and as I said Scooter was very tired so I walked a mile down to Mica Lake where I figured on camping that evening.
Just before I got to Mice Lake, I came up on a Boy Scout group. I put the hobbles on the horses to let them eat while I talked to the leaders. They told me they thought there was some grass in a little bowl about a half mile down the trail. I talked with them a little more and then headed out. As I got by the lake, there was a woman and her husband camped there. She was very friendly.
"I know what you need," she said and handed me some granola to eat. Then she gave me a candy bar and said I could have that for on the trail the next day. She gave me some more granola to eat. She said they couldn't hike very far because she had a heart problem. They would hike a little way and then stop to rest. They didn't make too many miles a day, she said, but they were having fun.
I thought it was really neat to meet someone who even though they had a heart problem would go out camping anyway and enjoyed herself. She was from back east, but they had come out west to find work.
|The guys that started in Oregon were only two hours ahead of me now. I figured they must be camped down at Milk Creek. I went down to the bowl to camp. There was grass enough for the horses to eat. I staked Sarid and hobbled Scooter. Then I set up camp. As I was getting things lined up to start dinner, I saw two people walking off the ridge. It was the two men from the Boy Scout group. They came down to make sure there was enough grass. They said they would have felt bad if there wasn't enough after they had told me there was. We sat around and talked while my dinner was cooking. When it was done, they headed on back up to their camp.|
I don't know where all the bees came from, but the frying pan I was cooking my dinner in had about ten of the little devils in it. I put 22 miles on that day. We had started at 6:30 A.M., and it was 6 P.M., when I finally quit for the day. That was almost 12 hours on the trail. It was a hard day for the horses with up and down all day.
Sunday, August 18: I was on the trail headed down to Milk Creek by 6:30 A.M.. It was steep going down to the creek and a steep climb up the other side, about 59 switchbacks. As I was come down into Milk Creek I saw two people hiking up the ridge on the other side. I assumed it was the two men who had started in Oregon. I caught up with them about three-fourths of the way up the other side.
Picture taken by Marty Griffith
Jeff Stewart started in Mexico and went to Kings Canyon, in California. Then he went to Ashland Oregon to meet Marty Griffith where the two of them started out for Canada. Marty was from Sparks, Nevada. I didn't find out where Jeff was from. They also thought Fire Creek Pass had been the prettiest place so far. We talked for a while and then they started out ahead of me. I let the horses graze a little longer on some grass along the trail. I caught up with them again and wished them good luck on the rest of their trip.
I stopped for lunch at Vista Ridge, where there was a lot of grass. I let the horses eat for about one half-hour. I could see Mt. Baker to the north and behind me, Glacier Peak. I headed off down the ridge to Suiattle River and then up to Miners Creek where I planned to camp. I still had a way to go to get to Miner Creek. On the way up Miners Ridge I came up on a Boy Scout group going to Miners Creek, too. When I got there and checked it out, it had been well used. There wasn't any grass around. I'd seen some grass on the hillside, on the other side of the creek so I went over to check it out. There wasn't much, but I decided to camp there anyway. I didn't want to camp by the Boy Scouts.
I staked Sarid and hobbled Scooter. There wasn't much room, and Sarid kept getting his rope tangled up. One time, he even stirred up a bee nest in a log with the rope. I got tired of untangling him so I put hobbles on him too. It wasn't bad enough that he had stirred up the bees with his rope. Now the goofy nut went back over with his hobbles on.
I had never seen him move so fast before with hobbles. Those bees kept coming over and getting in my dinner while I was cooking it. I was getting tired of picking them out of the frying pan. I didn't put my tent up that night since there was no level ground. I put my pack boxes on the downhill side, and then put a trap on the ground above the boxes to put my sleeping bag on. The boxes kept me from sliding downhill during the night. I put a tarp over the boxes and one over me. I didn't get much sleep that night because the trees I had the horses high lined to were not the best. I kept checking on them during the night.
Monday, August 19: I headed out for the Stehekin where I planned to camp for night. The clouds were so low it was like riding in fog. I was getting wet. Coming down off the Suiattle Pass I could smell smoke in the fog. I came up on some other horse people camped out. I stopped and talking with them, and they offered me some hot chocolate. It was very good and warmed me up a little. When I got around by Sitting Bull Mt., the weather turned good. I stopped on the north side of the mountain and let the horses graze while I had lunch. The thing about riding by yourself is you get to do a lot of thinking. One thing I was thinking about was doing the Crest in California. I had planned on doing it the next year, but I was thinking, how hard it has been on the horses just doing Oregon and Washington. I thought I would not do it, especially after remembering what the Stewart's horse looked like coming out of California. They had said the water problem and feed was very bad down there.
After leaving Sitting Bull Mt., I started riding in trees again. I rode in trees all the way down the South Fork of the Agnes Creek to High Bridge where I camped for the night. There was a corral by the park service cabin. I put the horses in the corral.
I asked some people there if they knew of any phones where I could make a call out. I was going to be a day early into Rainy Pass. I needed to let my mother know so she could meet me with my food for the next leg of the trip. Nobody knew of any. To get to a phone I would have to catch a shuttle bus down to the Stehekin. There was only one shuttle left according to the schedule posted by the cabin. That was going down and wouldn't be one back until the next day. I couldn't go because I would not leave my horses unattended all night.
There was a guy who came up in a van from a ranch a couple of miles down the road. He was picking up people to take to the ranch. They had a restaurant and also rented out horses. I asked him if they had a phone and he said no. I also asked if I could buy some hay from them. He didn't know but said he would ask his boss when he got back to the ranch. He said he would try to get back and let me know. I went to check out how to get down to the gorge, to the Stehekin River or the Agnes Creek to see about getting the horses down to the water. It was a deep gorge where the two came together. Right by High Bridge I found a trail down to the Stehekin River.
There was a family down there fishing so I asked them if they knew of any phones. They said no, that they were staying at one of the cabins down the way. The man liked horses so he wanted to help me bring them down to the river for water. They also got a station wagon when they rented the cabin so he said he would drive me down to the ranch to see if I could get some hay. On the way down we met a shuttle bus coming up. Since the dirt road was one direction at a time, we had to get off. While the man I was with, was trying to get off the road, I went to ask the Park Ranger. He was driving the shuttle bus, if there was some way he could call out for me.
He got on his radio and called his station to have them call my mother. They got through to her and let her know that I was going be at Rainy Pass the next day. I thanked him for the help. That was one big problem off my mind. I was glad that the shuttle had an over load coming out, that is why they sent an extra bus up. The next problem was getting some hay. Things were sure looking up. We continued on down to the ranch. I went into the restaurant to ask about getting some hay. They said the boss was coming in with a load of people in about five minutes. Since I didn't have a reservation, I wouldn't be able to have the dinner they were serving. They did fix me a hamburger. They gave me an aluminum pie plate that I could fill up with any of the fruit and salads I wanted.
The boss finally got there so I asked him about the hay. He said he would sell me some. I asked for a half a bale since a whole bale would have been more than the horses could eat, that night and the next morning. He didn't know how much to charge me for the hay. I said most hay I saw was running around $5 a bale. I gave him $3, and he said that was okay. I felt good now. I had feed for the horses and dinner for myself. He told us where to get the hay so we drove over to the place. The bales were really loose. I was looking around for a compacted bale when this guy came up and asked us what we were doing. I told him I had bought a half a bale. He said, just go ahead take the whole bale.
Are you sure? I asked.
"Yes," he said. So I did. He told us the reason the bales were so loose was that when they first started bailing, the baler was not set right. The man drove me back to High Bridge, and I thanked him for all of his help.
It sure is nice to meet people like him. After feeding the horses and eating my dinner, I decided to wash some of my clothes. I wet down to the Stehekin River to do this. When I got back to camp, I stretched a rope between the trees to hang the clothes on. The wind was blowing pretty hard so I was hoping the clothes would dry before dark.
One thing that did bother me was the sign they had up was to be aware of bears in the area. They had some rope with hooks on one end that went over another rope stretched between trees so the campers could put their food up in the air. I had seen a couple of these at some campsites around there. There was none around the place I was camped. It would have been a little difficult to hang pack boxes up anyway. I had camped up behind the corral. That way I could keep an eye on the horses. I could see it would be very likely to have bears around with the full garbage cans around there. I rode about 24 miles.