With the only Friday/Saturday with no middle school track meet scheduled for the next month, I decided I should run over to both the Pryors and the North Fork Shoshone for a day each. The excitement of Kelly’s new foal also had my hopes high that some one would have had an early foal. With Thursday’s meet cancelled, I drove over and camped in a spot up Burnt Timber I figured I could scan for horses from in the morning.
I woke up on Friday and did not see any horses in the early morning light. I decided to continue up the road and check some of the usual spots. Since the ground was still hard from overnight, I was able to sneak around Wilderness Study(henceforth WS) Hill with one wheel on snow and one near the edge. I stopped before a possibly passable snow stretch where the closed wilderness road comes out and decided to walk up to Cheyenne Flats. It was a fortunate choice, or I may have missed 2 groups. Off to the left on an arm was Galaxy’s, but I noticed Doc’s in the WS area and decided to visit them first. While I was able to get pictures, with the lower light the were not as good as the ones I got when I saw his group twice later in the day.
Leaving Doc’s band, I followed a horse trail over to Galaxy’s. Being scattered throughout the brush, they decided to gather closer.
Unlike the last time I saw them when they wanted left alone, they were very curious today (as were most of the horses, which I will cover later). Malaki sat fairly patiently as the horses came a little closer to check us out.
Not wanting to disturb them too much, I walked back to the road and continued up to Cheyenne Flats. I did not see any horses on the top, I decided to check both the first arm to the left and the guzzler. While heading down the first arm, I saw 3 horses a little below me. When I reached them I found Inali, Knight and Hamlet. I never saw Hernando, but he will probably be back with them eating the road on the flats soon, if he isn’t busy with a family this year.
As with Galaxy, the bachelors were very curious. Inali approached closer than I liked, so I retreated around a juniper. As he kept pursuing, I maneuvered through a small gap and they decided to leave me alone as they went back to eating.
Finding the guzzler empty, I made my way back to my FJ. Right before it I was able to get better pictures of Doc’s band.
The morning was starting to warm up, fueling my desire to round the hill before the edges got soft and the snow got slushy. As I neared the WS picnic area, Jackson was on the road. I stopped for a while to let his group move up the hill and then continued to the picnic area before walking back to see them. I was hoping I would find them because I had not seen Firestorm with him my last time out, but had heard she was back from Ginger’s visit.
While watching them move slowly through the trees, I noticed Teton’s group further down and arm, and what looked to be Cloud’s group spread apart toward the bottom of the arms. Having seen both groups fairly recently, I decided to hike to the ridge between BT and Sykes to see if it was worth hiking to the other side. It was my first time travelling to the top of that ridge, although I had been to the bottom to see some horses before. From the ridge I was only able to see 2 groups. I ate my lunch as I decided whether to make the hike or not. With the weather uncertain and no foals that I could tell, I decided to head back to the FJ to continue my search on this side of the range. I will continue that story in the next blog installment.