In case you wondered if we over-wintered in the Yellowstone wilderness, we’re toasty at home watching the snow fall, dreaming about the hot pool we found on the 3rd day of the trip.
After 3 days we find hot water on Pole Cat Creek
Seven Days in the Wilderness of Yellowstone Park
After navigating lodge pole forests and steep passes, one grizzly bear, wild country, we arrived at Nine Mile trail head on the East side of Yellowstone Lake. Our faithful dog Pudge greeted us for the last leg of the trip. He missed his best Bud, Kevin. During the seven days we traveled by horseback, Kevin and I felt like we were riding in the old days, cross country, off trail and on through Yellowstone National Park. Here are some highlights from our 2014 ride through lonesome and majestic country.
“There’s no place like
Crossing the south fork of Bitch Creek on our way to the first campsite at Nord’s.
Nord’s Peak. Happy to be out on our own.
Debbie on horseback in a wild flower meadow.
After 3 days we find some hot water on Pole Cat Creek.
Close quarters with a grizzly bear!
Not too scrappy after five days.
Our favorite campsite right on the Yellowstone River.
One of the best things about living where we do is we can ride cross country from our house to Yellowstone Park.
After a fun and full season of horseback riding in Grand Teton Park and Yellowstone Park, Kevin and I are off on our own R & R cross country ride all our own, setting out with two saddle horses and two pack horses
into some of the wildest country
between our home and the east side of
Today we start out across a neighboring barley field to Swanner Creek, then on to Pole Canyon and the Poacher’s Trail. From there we’ll ride into thick and steep Bear Canyon to the Bitch Creek narrows (some of you who have ridden with us in the past will recognize this country), finally camping for the night below Nord Pass. Rain clouds might catch up with us today but the weather forecast predicts sunshine ahead! Our route will take us into Owl Canyon to Glade Creek and Flagg Ranch. From there we’ll enter Yellowstone Park and have four days of peaceful riding to the east side of Yellowstone Lake.
Keep a look out for tales and photographs of our adventure in about 9 days.
My mare’s even looking forward to this adventure
Cinching down the kitchen
Still smiling at the end of the season!
Leather chaps are in order for this rainy late August weather!
Moose Creek Ranch
The main 2014 season of horseback riding in Idaho and Wyoming with Dry Ridge Outfitters is over. We had a great summer traveling throughout the Grand Teton range and in Yellowstone Park with old and new friends. We are still accepting reservations for 1 – 4 hour rides at Moose Creek Ranch through mid to late September. So don’t miss the chance to ride with us during the yellow end of summer, and through red grasses and under the golden umbrellas of fall aspen trees before winter sets in in all its flurry and fury!
A lot of work goes into getting ready for the summer riding season. One of the most important tasks is to make sure all the tack: saddles, blankets, bridles, breast collars, and saddle bags are clean and ready for riding. Who knows what kind of surprise we’ll find in one of the saddle bags!
The Tack Room at Dry Ridge Outfitters
This is the tack room in the barn. The saddles gathered dust all winter long. Now that summer has nearly arrived, they’re ready for a horse and a rider.
Don’t miss the spectacular beauty as the Tetons wake up from a long white winter. Aspen trees are newly green; the air is filled with the their downy seeds. Although there’s still plenty of snow in the mountains, Larkspur, Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Service Berry, and Chokecherry are beginning to bloom at Moose Creek Ranch. And the small ambitious House Wrens are singing their hearts out.
View from the trails at Moose Creek Ranch
We open for riding on June 2. Join us for a springtime horseback ride in Idaho. We offer 1 hour to 1/2 day rides at Moose Creek Ranch. Full day rides are limited to the Decoster Trail and other low elevation trails right now. A couple more weeks of snowmelt and we hope to be riding to Hidden Lake.
Natural History on Horseback
Small Bird With A Big Voice
photo credit AllAboutBirds
The tiny House Wren fills the aspen woods with it’s bubbly song all summer long in the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. When the House Wren sings it’s as if the whole bird is song. One the most interesting facts about the House Wren is that the male builds several nests at the start of the breeding season, then sings his heart out in hopes of persuading a female to mate with him. The birds build cavity nests in some of the most interesting places, old cans, boots, as wells as tree cavities and nest boxes. The pair fill the cavity with small twigs, then often line the nest with spider egg sacs. When the spiders hatch, they help the nestlings by devouring parasites. Click on the link to find out more about this songful bird.
Mountain bluebirds, sandhill cranes, and the birth of new foals are sure signs of spring in the Tetons. The brilliant blue mountain bluebirds are flying fencepost to fencepost, and sandhill cranes are walking in the fields around the barn. Click on the link to learn more about these elegant birds and listen to their unique bugling call. Sandhill cranes also moan, hiss, and make goose-like honks and snoring sounds!
The ground is bearing off at the barn and the only things not brown are the bowl of blue sky and this handsome black foal, our first newborn of the 2014 season.
Join us in welcoming our new Morgan foal, born during a spring blizzard that packed eighteen inches of snow in drifts around the loafing shed. Before we left the barn at the end of the day, Kevin spread straw in the shed and put up panels to make sure the mare stayed out of the weather. The next morning we found a jet black foal trying out a pair of wobbly new legs. We are so happy and proud of the birth of this stud colt. A spring blizzard in the Tetons isn’t rare, and neither is the birth of a foal in a blizzard, but what is rare is that this foal is the grandson of our most loved Morgan stallion, Bessia’s Tendoy Nighthawk. We called him Hawk.
Kevin and Hawk after 100 mile ride in Yellowstone country
Hawk was such a good-natured stallion, athletic and calm. He never tired of horseback riding in the Grand Tetons. I guess you could say the same for us. The foal’s mother, Legacy, is also a special mare. She was Hawk’s last offspring before he died at age eleven. We hope this little one grows up to be as good-natured a mountain horse as his grandfather.
Legacy and her new foal
What would you name a black Morgan foal born during a Teton Valley blizzard whose great great great great grandfather was the famous Morgan stallion Domino Joe? Myrtle Neeley raised Domino Joe at the confluence of Canyon Creek and the Teton River. She described her first home with her husband OJ as one long room, 24 x 14, heated by a cookstove. She said they slept in one end of the cabin and ate in the other!
The birth of a foal is always a happy occasion and so is the naming. Share your ideas for the new foal’s name, and if we choose your suggestion we’ll share with you a day horseback riding in the Tetons.