Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Oh What a Night! (part 2)

Dear Readers,

In honor of the one year anniversary if our "unscheduled overnight on the PCT" I will be re posting the story one segment each day for the next week. If you read about our adventure last year...please feel free to skip it. If you have NOT heard our story might want to take notes...cause we never thought it could happen to us either ;)

I left you at the last post as we had just cut our way through the downed tree, which by the way cost us at least 15 minutes time. The Bossman and I tend you cut our rides pretty close so we will need to make this time up somewhere along the line. I decided to save this info as a surprise for Bronco Betsy later on in the ride.
We mounted up and soon came into this really great little valley surrounded by these rocky hills.
Soon after this...we come to this!Ya...that is one steep drop off, right down to the desert floor! So we turn around to go back and see what we had done see we had followed the Bossman and he had followed a trail. Only now we discover that there are many many little trails going here and there and they all seem to lead us to the same kind of situation or this!Not sure why...but we could not even find the trail we came out was so well hidden!Then The Desert Rose has a bright idea...let's follow these...surely we will find the trail again cause these guys know where they are going up here...they are the ones that made all the little shoot off trails to begin with to eat the grass. If we follow the freshest of these...we should get back to the main trail cause they drink water at our lunch stop! BRILLIANT! So we follow the freshest one we can find and this is where it leads us! Then down this!With this all around us!!!
Notice the sky...the sun sets early here in the desert when it goes down behind the mountains...which by the way are the direction we needed to go originally! It is now approximately 3:45 pm and the Bossman I have the same thoughts all though we have not spoken them out loud...yet! But at 4pm... we decided it was time to regroup the and alter the game plan. The Bossman got a hold of Big foot and arranged for him to go get our trailer and head back up to where he dropped us off. There was going to be no way off this mountain tonight, our only hope was to go back up...and we had been trying to do this now anyway. We were just hoping to find the right trail. This means we would be riding in the dark...but we do know the trail and think this is our best option. Below is the Bossman on the phone with Big Foot!
Now...somehow I had forgotten to mention this itty bitty little incident... it was our first meltdown. I say "our" because since we got Bronco into this mess we need to share all her...emotions!!! We are starting to get touchy feely watch out! This is the "hill" that started it all. You see...we were at the top of this hill coming down when we got to this boulder at the bottom. There really was no way around it although it looks like there is from this picture. Well Bronco watched the Bossman and Slick slide down this boulder on Slick's butt and turned to me with little crocodile tears welled up in her eyes and said, " I just can't do this!" I turned to her...knowing I risked the possibility of the dam breaking and a major flood flowing and said, "Baby have to"! I then told her what to do to get down safely and she then sucked it all up and went down on Jesse's big Quarter Horse butt!!! Bronco and Jesse look back up towards the hill! Notice the little red can in Bronco's hand? The Bossman decided that Bronco needed a shot of "Cowgirl Courage" and snapped open a can a champagne for her! Moments later she was laughing as the Bossman was on the phone...guess it worked!
Soon we hit upon another snag...we run out of daylight! And even though we know exactly where we are...we can not get to where we need to go!!! And even more distressing we have been separated from the Bossman. He went down a hill while we waited...he yelled up for us to find another way around and meet him up at the top. We have been trying to find a place to hunker down for the night now as we see no way to get out of these rocks safely. Fortunately...we find another way up...but not before Bronco has somehow lost her "cowgirl courage" (not the liquid kind) and needs to dismount. She has come to the end of her pun intended here and decides she will lead her mount ( she is now riding Little Lady as Jesse has a shoe that slipped sideways. He is wearing an easy boot and not to happy about it so I traded Bronco mounts) By the way...we lost 10 more minutes getting the easy boot on Jesse and all taped up! Bronco thinks she will lead Little Lady up to where we can see the Bossman...only realizes that Lady has to jump up these boulders and is afraid Lady may knock her down unintentionally. So...I have Bronco give me Lady's lead rope and pony her up the hill jumping boulders, dodging trees, making Jesse move because by now he is just plain worn out and DONE! My arm is just about torn out of the socket as I pull Lady up behind us and because I am in Bronco's saddle with too short of stirrups and not as deep seated as mine I come very close to being pulled out of the saddle by Lady's lead. I would have drooped her lead before that happened...but I did have several near misses!!!
Now between Bronco and The Desert Rose... we have not taken very many pictures the last hour...we were in the beginnings of survival mode, but I did manage to get this picture of Bronco trudging up the hill behind us! Look ever so closely right in the center of this picture and you can see poor little Bronco! So again... dear family and friends I hate to leave you here in the dark with Bronco...but the story is just too big to squeeze up here!

Your Desert Rose!
This picture show several interesting things. 1st...look ahead to the mountains in the background. We know that our trail we are headed to is down in the wash between this ridge and that one. We are right on target! 2nd...The Bossman is in the lead...not the Desert Rose!!!


  1. what an adventure!
    Can't wait to hear the rest !
    IO am so lucky I am married to a survial instructor, I never have to worry!

    GPS is all Im sayin.... GPS

  2. Crazy. See here it is so flat theres no getting lost or sliding down boulders.

  3. Beautiful pictures! It is hard to tell the depth perception in the photos, but I can imagine it is steeper than it looks. What a crazy story, I'm glad you are documenting it on your blog!

  4. The scenery is beautiful. Can't wait to hear the rest.

  5. Yes, beautiful scenery, but I am sure it wasn't beautiful when you were stuck out all night in it!

  6. I would have been terrified that one of the horses or one of you could have twisted or broken an ankle or leg trying to maneuver through those rocks, especially at night.
    I'd have done the same thing as Bronco and dismounted, too. The desert can be a dangerous place during the night, it's an entirely new and bigger dangerous place.

    I'm percched on the end of my seat waiting to read the rest of the story! (And grateful to already know that everyone got out alive and unscathed!)


  7. Oh my gosh, what an adventure! I think I might have been blubbering with Bronco. I HATE camping!

  8. Can't wait to hear the rest of this story! Your area looks a lot like our mountains! And yes, they have a LOT of rocks, too!

  9. Dang. Sometimes you forget how fast and early it gets dark in the desert. You lose your light a lot sooner than elsewhere. I STILL can't believe you guys lost the trail. I'm pretty sure I will consider very carefully who will be trail boss when riding with you from now on!! :P Can't wait (or keeping my fingers crossed) for our Sunday ride!

  10. Thanks guys...I'm glad I have "blubbering buddies" out there!

  11. Is Bronco B STILL having nightmares!!!


We wish you Happy Trails
Jesse and his Desert Rose!