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.