|Wednesday August 13 2008|
I love riding in our Owyhee back yard, which stretches all the way to Nevada and, heck, probably to Mexico and Canada if you know where all the fence gates are, but it's great to cover new trails too.
This was still in our back yard - just 18 miles down the road by diesel truck and trailer, (10.57 miles as the Raven flies) to the top of Bachman Grade. We could have ridden there, and Steph's rides have gone there before; but Rick's horse Surri is still young (four) and isn't in condition to do long or hard rides yet, and it's good experience getting the horse used to loading up to go ride, and riding over new territory - and we all wanted a change of scenery.
We left in the morning so it would be cooler - and we'd be higher, 5900' instead of 3200', in a juniper forest in the lower hills of the Silver City range of the Owyhee Mountains.
We followed an old road to the south, up and up with a view over the Jordan Valley and more layers of Owyhee Mountains to the west, and the Oreana valley to the east. Much of the ground was littered with small natural obsidian (no flakes, no worked pieces), and we threaded through some big rocky outcroppings. Jose loved the very tasty lupines, and he really does like to stop and look at the scenery. (Or... is he looking over his shoulder for cougars?)
The horses got some hill climbing in, and we all had a nice hour and a half ride - a picturesque alternative to the high desert.