Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Owyhee Spring Ride

Saturday May 1 2010

In a spring endurance ride in Owyhee in southern Idaho, you get a bit of everything: rain, sleet, wind, hail, sun, gales, bugs, cold, awesome horses, spectacular scenery, great trails, a bit of history, good friends, and of course fun. I rode the 60 miler on my pal Jose, with Steph and Rhett.

This was the brief bit of sun for the day: notice there is hardly a cloud in the sky as we are saddling up at 7 AM.

Notice, 45 minutes later, ready to start the ride at 8 AM, there's not a spot of sunshine! I'm quite glad I overpacked a duffel bag with extra clothes.

Loop 1 - 25 miles:
Heading down into the Snake River Canyon, to the petroglyphs. This is Nance and Jazzbo.

Two riders on the trail far below us.

Still going down.

On the trail along the Snake River. Here the water was glassy and looked like a lake. If you jumped in though, it would sweep you mighty quickly downstream.

We rode by some boulders with petroglyphs - some of this artwork has been dated back 11,000 years.

Richard caught up with us and rode with us the rest of the day. He's checking out the petroglyphs.

Climbing up the steep rocky trail out of the Snake River canyon.

A couple of places in the ride illustrate the expression, "That's SO Idaho!" One would be this tumbleweed barrier. When Steph was marking trail for the ride, she spent about an hour in multi-directional gale force winds trying to clear a path through this sea of tumbleweeds. She'd toss them in the air and they'd fly right back at her; she'd clear a few feet and the path would fill in again. (And note to those not familiar with tumbleweeds. They are not cuddly. They are a rolling big ball of stickers!)

The view back to the Snake River canyon.

Jose spies distant riders with his elf eyes.

There isn't a lot of choice in where you pin your trail ribbons in some of this country. Here Steph used a cow carcass to hold ribbons. Another "That's SO Idaho!" moment.

Jose is not so sure about this trail marker holder.

Loop 2 - 17 miles:

Rolling sand hills and an old cow camp.

Descending off a plateau. The old historic Oregon Trail is below, where Con Shea road is now.

Jose waiting for his pals.

We had an awesome couple miles of cantering down Con Shea road.

Climbing out of the Snake River canyon again, up onto a plateau.

Jose loves to stop and look at the views.

Vet check two: it's spitting ice balls! Notice the expression on Jose's face!

We stayed inside the truck cab and whined just a bit.

Loop 3 - 16 miles:

Steph and Rhett cruising along. Rhett always travels with his tail high in the air, waving like a flag. You can spot him anywhere.

A long road ahead of us.

There was a ridiculous amount of grass on the trail. Our horses ate a lot during the day!

This is a southern Idaho fence - about 8 feet thick on both sides with tumbleweeds. That's SO Idaho!

The typical spring weather - sun and rain/ice squalls.

Of course the Raven rode along!

Another squall.

Jose at his final vet check. He completed! We finished 3rd and 4th (Steph said we'd go 'slow' today!), and 20-year-old Rhett reached his 4000 miles today!


  1. Gorgeous ride, but you guys still wear me out. Now way I could ever ride that far...but it surely does look like fun!!

  2. Enhorabuena por el tercer y cuarto puesto en vuestro Raid. En el nuestro este fin de semana, hemos tenido todo el dia con un buen sol, aunque con brisa fresquita.
    Saludos de Gabriel.

  3. Congrats on trailering to your ride! Errrr... I mean, congrats on completing your 60! ;)

    Hahaha, when I was a kid, I rode 1,000 miles in the back of a minivan with a tumbleweed. I was bound and determined to bring it home as a souvenir, and my mom finally said "well, fine, but it goes in YOUR part of the car!" They are very prickly!

    You took a picture while cantering! I am not sure I could get the camera out of the bag, turn it on, point it at something, and push the button without falling off at the canter. Totally impressed here.

  4. LOVED THAT>>>RIDE Excellent mare would ponder it all about then too!
    AND really cracked up with the ribbons on the carcass...and the raven thingie!

    Say...what kind of saddle do you ride?
    Let me know...
    Kacy at allhorsestuff.blogspot

  5. Yay! What a fantastic ride! The views and wide open spaces were gorgeous. How many riders were there that day?
    After all of your endurance rides, do you find that you're seasoned now and don't feel sore after riding for so long? Or do you still feel a little achy for a day or two after a ride like that?

    Also, I'm planning on buying some riding tights soon and was curious to know if you had a favorite brand.So far I'm really leaning towards Kerrits.

    I know all about those uncuddly tumbleweeds. When I used to work at the Albuquerque Airport back when we first moved to New Mexico, I was driving a cart full of mail and freight across the ramp and a huge tumbleweed bunch, the size of a VW bug came barreling across the tarmac and hit me upside my head!

    I had to file and injury report because some of the goathead thorns scraped my eye and I had to go to the hospital because my cornea was scratched. I know that the Employee department back east were clueless as to why I was injured. There are no evil tumbleweeds back there. lol!


  6. Sorry Lisa, I can't stop laughing about your tumbleweed attack...
    Funder, thanks, now I will think about it next time I try taking a picture while cantering and I probably WILL fall off! Fortunately Jose was behaving : )
    Jean and Lisa: After the April 3 50 mile ride and this last 60 mile ride, I was both whooped, and very sore!
    Kacy: Steph has Specialized saddles; i think the one I'm riding on Jose is a TrailMaster version.

  7. Well done!! Great shots...and I love the cow carcass...and of course the tumbleweeds...very SE Oregonish...we always say we might as well be part of Idaho!