Sunday, September 7, 2008

Takin' One For the Owyhee Team

Sunday September 6 2008

It's September already, which means fall (MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR!) is coming, as is the 5-day Owyhee Canyonlands Pioneer endurance ride September 24-28. Time to start getting ready.

John's constructing something, which looks to me like it could possibly be a Teeter Bar and Saloon; Steph made the maps for the 260 miles. And she's out raking. I believe that it is entirely possible that one year, the entire 260 miles of the Owyhee Canyonlands ride will be rock-free, setting a new high standard for ride managers and organizers the world 'round.

Today I took the 2 fastest dogs, a saw, and brush cutters, and raced the 4-wheeler down to the end of our canyon and started clearing a passage through Pickett Creek Canyon. It will just be a short piece on one of the days - very rocky, but it's SO scenic, that Steph just had to include this little portion.

I may be really sorry I volunteered to do this job. While the dogs were staying the heck out of my way, I was sawing branches and tree trunks and dragging them out of the creek, and clipping branches and vines - clingy insistent gnarly vines - vines with 3 leaves, when a long-buried phrase started ringing in my head, "Leaves of 3, let them be." Uh oh. Could these be poison ivy? Poison oak? Surely not! Although... I have seen poison oak up this canyon before...

Well - too late now, somebody's gotta do it, and I've already got it all over my arms - and wrapped around my legs, and - eek! Now on my face. Dang! Nothing to do but keep ripping the vines out, so horses and riders won't get them all over themselves when they come through.

I brushed up to the turn up out of the canyon, flushing a long-eared owl on the way : ).

The dogs and I headed back to the house, where I hosed myself off good with cold water, hoping it wasn't really poison oak or ivy I'd gotten into.

Don't worry, OCP riders, I've got your back. The canyon passage will be clear of questionable vines for you when you get here so you can concentrate on the scenery!

So how long does it take before poison ivy or oak starts to itch?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We rode this canyon the very first year of the Owyhee rides and I've always wanted to do it again! Rocky but very interesting, and the rocks don't last all that far..
Hope to do it this year!