This one's going to have a LOT of photos! I thought about breaking this down into several posts, but I think it's a little more cohesive as one, so I'll just overwhelm you all at once.
Okay, so June 25th we got a pretty early start and drove out to Teton Canyon in the Targhee National Forest. Sara was acting odd when I was grooming her and getting her saddled, she seemed really cranky and kicking at herself even after I put on fly spray, and she kept sticking her neck out and doing "airplane ears" and making weird faces. I said I though it looked like colic but I'd never seen this facial stuff before (curling her lip back as though smelling something). I walked her a bit and she kept doing it, so I put her in a small corral there and she quickly looked like she was going to lay down so I got her out again and we traded off walking her for a good while til she felt better. So I guess mules make odd faces when they have a belly ache. Good to know. She was fine after a while.
There was a forest service truck parked in the lot too (the only other vehicle there) and B noticed a fuzzy critter underneath. Turned out to be a marmot, and not a very shy one! I'd never seen a marmot before but by the end of the trip I'd seen plenty. :-) It crawled up into the underparts of the truck and came out the wheel well.
Me and Sara, I LOVE this photo!!! (I'm the one with the sunglasses). ;-)
Saddled and ready to go!
So sit back and enjoy the ride! I'll point out a few things along the way, but note the changes in scenery: meadows, canyons, pine trees, aspens, streams, snow, etc. It was gorgeous, just absolutely stunning. I took about 150 pics. Many are scenery reference photos but for the sake of cuteness I made a point to take plenty with ears in them and that's mostly what I'll show you here. So pretty!!! (Just to note, all pics on the ride are taken on the old coolpix camera, I really just "point and shoot" and hope for the best).
We went as far as we could easily go before the trail was getting too hard to ride due to snow, and then we turned back.
Amigo is good at getting himself wrapped around trees.
Sara doesn't do that.
Yeah, this totally sums up how I was feeling. "Woo hoo!" :-)
Then B disappeared with my camera and went down to the river.
And returned to find the artist lost in her own thoughts.
Back in the saddle, here's photographic proof that I rode in snow (no, I was not cold). Oh, and I removed my riding helmet for photographic purposes only!!! Not many people wear riding helmets up in that neck of the woods but I've had enough close calls I don't care to have my brains spattered about. It's terribly un-sexy, but then so are spattered brains. Sara was great, I really really liked riding her and felt like we really clicked and I felt very safe with her.
At some point B turned back and I went on ahead. Amigo was being a pain in the you know what and needed some work on separation anxiety, so Sara and I set off on our own adventure until he came back.
And it was right about here that I saw the moose. WAAAAYYY up ahead of me, crossing the trail. It was so far away I couldn't even tell if it was male or female, just looked like an enormous long-legged chocolate colored animal. It was long gone by the time I got there.
B eventually caught back up with us, though sadly by the end of the ride Amigo had thrown a shoe and was pretty sore. :-(
To quote the journal: "All in all, I'd have to say this was the best ride I have EVER been on! I wish I could do that more often, and I wish I could bring Shylah here. This IS the adventure of a lifetime and I am having a totally great time and so glad that I am here." And then I drew a big smiley face. :-)
B says that area is full of those rides. *sigh* I want to go back!