|Posted on July 10, 2012 at 8:10 PM|
Barry was kind enough to host me a couple of nights. I rode out from his place with Ursa …….yeah and about a block out, well people can have their dogs untied in the back of their rigs here in Montana (kind of woild to get used to as in Wa they have to be tied in and so you do not see many dogs in the back of pick ups there. These dogs barked at us as they approached to which Ursa in her infinite wisdom thought she should be able to retort…….and of course this happened when I was on the phone with Rhonda who was letting me know that Duke (one of my dogs) was not doing well. Multi tasking to my best ability I braced in the saddle waiting for Ursa to hit the end of her leash while dropping the phone into my front pocket while saying hold on to Rhonda and yelling stop to Ursa (I really hope it wasn’t the other way around) and shortening the reins on Sierra in the event she decided to blow. And from all of it came a good hard yank as Ursa hit the end of the leash…….a few choice words to Ursa as I grabbed the phone and apologized to Rhonda with a keep me posted end to the call. The road was great as there were not many vehicles and it was still cool. Around 1:00 Barry drove by with water for Sierra and lunch for me – WOW!!!! It is funny because I didn’t even know I was hungry…..but I ate 2 pieces of chicken J. He asked if I wanted him to take Ursa with him as it was getting hot and I thought, …and as I was thinking - Ursa ran to his truck and jumped in……guess that answered the question! And Barry said that the pass was doable, but he wouldn’t bring a dog on it…Sierra was on a roll and I hate breaking a good moving streak so on we went with the idea of riding all of hwy 12. He was going to hot me a second night so we decided I would ride as far as I could until 4:30 ish and where he picks us up at is where I would continue from the next day. Plan in place off we went. I knew Ursa was in good hands so no worries there, it was beautiful out which was driven home as Sierra and I passed a home where they were tacking up for a ride too. Then came hwy 12 and the little pass we needed to get over. It was at Deep Creek……..about a half mile up I thought there is no way I am doing this if I have another option. Maybe if it had been a mile or two, but when I saw the sign saying 12 miles…….Oh HECK NO! The hwy had all of 6 inches of shoulder (literally) and dropped straight down to the creek (literally) and had cars, trucks and semi’s blowing by (not literally, but when you feel them move within 2 feet (literally) of you, it feels as if they are blowing by! I have done some crazy stuff, but stupid…..I would like to think not (but then again who knows)….
I turned Sierra around, walked that half mile back down, tied her where there was a fair amount of grass, sat down with my phone and started looking at the maps on my phone. I sat for just over an hour rethinking all of it and was sure I could get around this and maybe without many more miles (although more miles and still alive felt better to me, just sayin’). Now I had to let Barry know there was a change in plans……another back track of a good half mile put me back in cell range. I called to let him know I was going another way. He got quiet and said: “people that live here get lost back there”. My response: “At least lost I will have a sporting chance……and I am ok with being lost”. Ok then – up Ross Gulch Road I went. Barry would meet me in about an hour……and he did. At the top of the hill where it was beautiful I marked the trail to pick up the next day!
When we returned to Barry’s he made a couple of calls about the new route. It was great that he did as I would have to take 1 of 3 possible ‘roads’ down to dry creek road off of ridge road. A friend of his came over and as we looked at the map he showed us which road would be open as the other two were gated and locked. HELPFUL!! Okay a plan in place, now just follow through. Barry was working the next day, but said he would help move the rig. We decided to flag the forest service road so he would know if I popped out before him and it also served as a safety thing – if something happened people would know which road I went down (in my mind anyway). I was also looking forward to being able to ride with Ursa off leash –and I am sure she was thinking the same thing!