Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bass-Ackwards Badlands Trail

Sunday January 17 2010

Normally we ride the Badlands loop counter clockwise.

"Let's do it backwards today."

We headed out to the east, along Dog Trail (dogs used to spring out here and surprise our horses) to Four Corners (four trails intersect), down Blond Cow Wash (saw a blond cow in there once, among a herd of red ones), cresting Tamara's Hill (we took Tamara this way on her first ride in 10 years), and took the back road to the Badlands. We call it the Badlands loop, because the eroded hills are the feeble Owyhee imitation of the Badlands of South Dakota.

Steph's horse Rhett LOVES to gallop up this dirt road; we had a nice trot and canter down it to the fence along the potato/corn field. (Some years it's scary corn, sometimes it's potatoes.)

Lots of goodies in the fallow field to tempt Ravens. Lots of rice grass along the trail to tempt Jose and Suz to stop a spell and dine. Lots of enticing scenery to occupy the eyesight. Some mysterious dried flowers we don't remember seeing before popped up in bunches along the trail. New hills seem to have grown in these Badlands - an entire trail, when you are used to riding it one direction, looks like a whole new trail when you ride it the opposite direction.

The Badlands Trail skirts the base of the low eroded bluffs; today, for the first time, we rode right up into some of them. Miniature hoodoos stood where the bluffs had eroded away. A weathered mound of a different type of dirt/clay/sand indicated what once must have been a geyser. Miniature gullies showed the ultimate power of water that has done so much to carve this high Owyhee desert.

Jose, who has Elf Eyes ("Legolas. What do your Elf Eyes see?") - he can spot interesting things far sooner than I do, and he really does seem to appreciate views - paused to look at the hoodoos and the take in the sweeping views over the Hart Creek drainage.

We meandered back along this low ridge, the Owyhee mountains a beacon ahead of us under low gray skies. The horses trotted back all the way up Blond Cow Wash, finishing with a good workout and a little sweat.

It was a good ride in the Bad Lands of Owyhee in the dead of winter.


  1. well done!! you get points 'cause it's winter:)

    how's it going with kazam?
    happy trails
    cid and gazi

  2. What a nice ride. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Do you ever ride in the Badlands of South Dakota? What a neat ride this looks like - I'm new to owning a horse & can't wait to take him out. Any suggestions on cool trails is always appreciated!

  4. I've only hiked in the Badlands in SD. Where are you? If you find and hook up with endurance riders, they always know great trails to ride on because they always have a lot of conditioning to do!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  5. Looked like a perfect ride...about as good as it gets in the middle of winter! Glad you took us along~

  6. i look out and see only banks of snow. My trailer I could not get out, if I wanted. The ponies furry with winter coats. the sun dogs tease us everyday. the frost every morning make us oh and aw. we wait and mark off the days until we two can head back down the trail. The horses play and chase as the days get loner. keep us posted. cole

  7. Looked like a great trail ride. Love the wide open spaces and the unusual vegetation, rock formations and erosion designs. Thanks for taking us all along and showing us the sights.
    Now I want to join you someday, if only you'll name a hill, trail, or a wash after me ;)