|Posted on July 11, 2012 at 5:00 PM|
Barry knows how to treat a gal ~ as we had a steak breakfast then off to work he went and Ursa, Sierra and I headed out to pick up the trail on Ross Gulch Road. I don’t think I really understood just how badly I needed to be out again on the road (dirt – YAY!!) less traveled weaving between trees and creeks! And I probably should have been at least somewhat nervous after Barry’s comment about people getting lost and the fact that my cell didn’t work up there but instead I felt every which way of relaxed. This road was traveled and I met a couple great guys who offered for me to use their internet for posting when I went by their place (problem was I didn’t have the laptop with me) and to feel free to water everyone. They were the 3rd or 4th vehicle to go by as I am sure people were heading to work. I opted to keep Ursa leashed until ridge top road which was only about an hour and a half away. I have also decided that I must really love Sierra as there was a heck of a downhill and an uphill that we had to do and to make it easier on her I walked it …..yep, I must love her because we all sweated up a storm on that one (and realized I probably could be in better shape) The bonus was a nice creek at the bottom that Ursa swam in and Sierra drank from ~ ahhh, the little things in life!
On Ridge road I took Ursa off her lead and she got to be her doggie self….running, sniffing, chasing and relaxing. This road went through private properties but it was a county road so we were fine as long as we stayed on the road (which believe it or not Ursa actually did too ~ I think it is because she has realized just how much more tired she is when she zigs and zags (don’t get me wrong, because some days she would rather zig and then you know – zag)). It even brought it through a place that had buffalo – did we see any ?? nope, but evidently they are there…… I had to watch for the forest service road and not take the one prior………let me just say that I love maps. Yes, I am an old fashioned map gal. Give me a map and am ok. I prefer the maps that have contour lines (they help show the lay of the land, where it is flat, where it is steep, etc.) as if there is not a good landmark I can use the grades of the hills etc. to help me locate where I am. The bonus to this map (it did not have contour lines) but it did show the power lines that I was paralleling and a couple gates (not gates that are next to cattle guards, but honest to goodness heavy duty metal (like forest service) gates). I could gauge off the distance from the lines in relationship to which road. Yay, because there were two places where I had to really look at the map to verify continuing straight and not turning yet. Hot diggity ahead was one that I was looking for and just past that (turns out 2 trails past that) was the one I would go down. It was a beautiful meadow and they had a couple of stock tanks set up I am sure for the local wildlife. We stopped as I promised Sierra she could graze and Ursa got nice and wet. I am pretty sure something was watching us as Sierra started to get a bit unruly as she kept looking at the tree line. It was a fine line for her as she really wanted to graze but was also nervous. I think if I had let her, her stomach would have won out…..imagine that ;). And of course she had to let me know that she thought it was a bad idea to leave such an amazing salad bar (it can be a challenge when they don’t think they got their monies worth). Then it got a bit interesting as the road (more of a trail then a road) Y’d. Hmmmmmmmm……..eny meny miny mo…….to the left we shall go. It actually looked more traveled and then it didn’t at which point I thought well, as long as we go south we will hit dry creek road so worst case scenario we bush whack……which we did not have to do J. (Evidently the other way popped out a quarter mile west of where we came out of).
Have I mentioned just how amazing Ursa is at finding water? There have been places I would have never even begun to think water would be and then she drags us to it and she comes out wet. Very Handy it is! Now she is off leash and she goes running down to an area with brush and trees. I have noticed that this certain look usually means water…..ok, go get wet little sister. In she runs and the noise that came out of there……..oh crap, all I could think of was that sounds like a bear! Damnit!!! In my head I am doing the great yell debate – do I or don’t I while at the exact same moment I am praying to god that Ursa is smart enough to beat cheeks out of there!! Then it emerges out of the far side………I don’t know who was more surprised: Me, Ursa or the Moose!! Yep, ursa flushed out her very first Moose and Thankfully the big ole Beastie was more interested in snacking elsewhere rather then dealing with those that invaded it’s snack bar (Another Bonus!) I have to admit, that was a big relief and I had to laugh out loud at our little adventure. Ursa had no problem ignoring the water and heading down toward dry creek road where just below I could see Barry with the rig and his buddy with his. Sierra got watered, and once again Barry brought lunch – what a treat!! Ursa opted to hitch a ride (evidently she has a nap scheduled each afternoon ;)) and Big Sis and I continued to enjoy our ride. Mountains on each side of us, wildlife, the absolute quiet that comes with it. I felt like I was ridng in the backcountry again and must say that it totally re-energized me! Barry and his friend had driven off as Barry had taken on the job to locate a place to rest for the next couple of nights. Sierra and I watched another Moose watch us, rode next to Wall Mountain (which I must admit that I thought maybe we might have gotten on the wrong road as it seemed a little too close --- thankfully we were on the right one). I also know I needed to be able to relax the best way I knew how as I had a call saying that Duke (one of my dogs at home) did not seem to be doing well. In the back of my mind I was worried about him, but did not have cell service and had to really pay attention to my surroundings. Yet being out like this was also relaxing for me…..I think it helped balance out my concerns for Duke. At about 4:00 Barry, Ursa and his friend found me. We were about 5 miles from a place that was nowhere (actually it was somewhere --- it is an outfitter that I stayed at with cabins for hunters, a beautiful creek and the sounds of country all rolled up in a blanket of peace and relaxation). They needed to be getting back to Townsend, but Barry really wanted to show me where I would be staying for the evening. So I rode another half mile and loaded Sierra on a mountain top where I would drive to and leave from in the morning. We got Sierra all settled in and I really wanted to make a call to check on Duke, but still no cell service. The next stop would be Ringling, MT and it was just over 20 miles. I decided it was worth driving to to try to make that call and I could also scout for water and Barry said he had a couple names in town…..so it really was a get three birds with one stone moment.
Let me just say --- no cell service in Ringling……….the call would have to wait and I had the faith that maybe I was supposed to not know what was going on, so try to push the concerns to the back burner and pay attention to what you are doing now……..