Friday, March 13, 2009

Riding the Slick Rock

Ole' Dangerous is always talking about home improvements. Last year, he actually completed a downstairs bathroom after 34 years of talking about it. This year he plans to remodel the kitchen, and replant the horse pasture. He might actually complete these projects if the contractors he hired show up as planned. Dangerous isn't one to let projects around the house interfere with his riding and hiking. The carport he started repainting last spring still isn't finished. Maybe that's why his friends refer to the place as "Doug Patch."

In my opinion, his priorities are right. Who really cares if the carport gets painted when there are trails to ride and hike? My only complaint is that he sometimes starts the season a bit early. Inclement weather has punished us more than once. As you can see from the picture, the High Plateau is pretty unforgiving even in June. It isn't much fun negotiating a loaded horse trailer in a snow storm. It's even less fun to be caught out in the open at 10,000 feet in cold, stormy weather.

Dangerous has a regular circuit of trails he rides. To avoid extremely bad weather, we usually start riding at 7,000 feet or lower in April and May -- slick rock country. There are even warmer places at lower elevations in Capitol Reef National Park, but the "Parkies" have some crazy rules about dogs. I don't understand their attitude towards me. I get along with most everyone which is something I can't say about Ole' Dangerous. Don't tell the Park Service, but I have been on most remote park trails, and if I know Dangerous, I will get to see them again.

They aren't in the Park, but the slick rock trails we ride are pretty damn impressive. As you can see, Dottie doesn't have much to munch on, but where else can a horse have her picture taken under a rock mushroom? Dangerous sometimes forgets how spectacular and impressive the slick rock is especially for those who haven't seen it before. Since the trail is close to the Home Place, we don't think much about it until we take a first time visitor for a ride. Dangerous is always a bit baffled when they accuse him of keeping the area a secret. I guess we are just use to seeing it regularly and sometimes forget how beautiful it really is.

If he is inclined, Ole' Dangerous will take you to the top of Lion Mountain. Again, we don't think much about it since we look at Lion Mountain every day. Also, the trail is an old logging road that traverses the slick rock. If you are troubled by heights, you might not enjoy the ride, but the view is worth the steep pull to the top. Dangerous, Dottie, and I are standing where we stop every time we make the trip. From this vantage point, you can look directly down on the Home Place. And, if we are lucky, we see the herd of elk that hangs out on top.

How about a quick quiz for those of you who follow my blog? Can you idenify the horses and riders in the last picture? For those of you familiar with the High Plateau, can you tell me the point you are looking at in the background? Love to hear from you!


Bluester said...

I know but I'm not saying.

Nice day today and it's supposed to get nicer. Wilcox was down and everybody that needs em has new shoes. Ready to go.


Bluester said...

OK, OK, It's Choke Cherry Point and the riders are Utah Jack and Fremont Bob.

Spent the afternoon on Beas Lewis. Habanero did swell and I sure enjoyed it. Temp was about 65, just a little wind, more tropical breezes wafting lazily through the Sage and Rabbit Brush.

So, get your ponies shod there's riding to do.

Bluester is wore out and so is Sadie and so I have to do my own writing this evening. Best from the Fremont.