Upon awaking Saturday, I decided to run out the dryhead while I saw what the weather was going to do. It ended up remaining the same most of the day, with clouds and clear sky intermixed, until I left at around 5 with a heavier rain. It also looked like the rain, or snow, was more consistent higher up the mountain. My first wildlife on the range was actually some of the bighorn sheep. I saw Issaquah and Hawk again, but no Kemmerer with them this morning. Fiero was nearby. As I came back through, the greeters had made it to work a little late.
Not only does it make them beautiful, but the feather patterns make birds very camouflaged.
Still unsure of the weather, I decided to go to the Sykes’ coulee overlook. I am glad I did because on the way I could see a lone horse out a little ways. It was Inniq, taking after his father in his remote desert ways.
I did not see anyone across the coulee, so I made my way for BT. I could see Cloud on one of the arms, and Cappucino to my left. Looking waaaay over to Sykes I could see Bolder’s group. I wanted to hike over so much, but with some rain spitting and a forecast of rain for Saturday and then snow Sunday I didn’t want to get stuck up BT. I don’t know about the Pryors, but I am able to finish this post right now because our 2-hour delay just turned into a snow day with the 8-10 inches down and 2-3 more coming. Since periods of sun kept taunting me, I held on to hope that the clouds would break and decided to hang around a little. I hiked a little in a new area for me to get some views and pass time. While scrambling up a little rock ledge, I lifted Malaki because I wasn’t sure he would get up on his own ( although he did a few times later). I was scanning the area when he jumped back down. I was annoyed because I thought I would have to go back down and get him. As I went to reprimand him, I noticed what he was interested in, so I owe his doggy diligence to the discovery. We searched but could not find anything else. I suppose a coyote could have carried it from some where else, or the rest was hidden. While I saw many other bones on the trip, they were bleached and stripped clean, making them feel “ok” because they were more a reminder from years past. Seeing hair still on the leg gave it a more tangible feel. I know tangible implies touch, but you know what I mean.
UPDATE: While I noticed the cloven hoof , I never thought of anything but a horse because I was on the range. As Sandy pointed out, it can’t be a horse because they aren’t cloven. It is probably a calf leg carried on to the range by a coyote. I wonder if the pelvis Lori and I found Friday wasn’t the same, based on size.
In searching for more remains, ventured out to a stretch I had only viewed from afar. I ended up discovering another piece of the Pryors’ history. It wasn’t as exciting as the old mine in the bottom of the canyon, but it reveals some of the Pryor activity from decades ago.
I wonder if this needs left as historic, or can be removed to eliminate the nails and rusty metal.
Since I wasn’t carrying water maybe I should enjoy a drink…
… or couple dozen
While I did not see any horses on this little excursion, I was able to explore an area that is probably overlooked. I like having a few “secret” spots that I can escape to if it is crowded in the main areas. While I could see Gringo’s and still see Cloud’s, I decided to leave the horses I had seen with Lori Friday alone and went back to the dryhead. Not much had changed except I found Kemmerer again near Fiero. I was on my way out thinking that maybe I would run down to McCullough’s to look for foals when I noticed a lone horse in the Bad Pass guzzler area. I almost “ignored” him, but decided it wasn’t too far out to check one last time.
Since I was already out there, I made my way to one of my favorite look-outs that I hadn’t tried this trip. I could see Inniq still, and his path made it seem like he was heading to the guzzler. Way in the distance in a little gap of the hill I could see another black/bay horse. I was pretty sure it was Cecelia, and the decision I had to make was whether I would hike from where I was or up from a different location. Since rain was still a concern, I decided to hike to the FJ and drive to the other spot which would be easy to leave, even if it rained.
While at the FJ, Inniq popped around the corner and made his way by me.
Then it was off to see his parents and Mato. They were the last band I saw before heading home, but I took more pictures of them than anyone else. While they did not mind me around, they are such a secretive little band and probably one of the lesser known set of horses on the range. Their environment is so different from the other horses, too. Prepare to be inundated with Mato and family photos.
Mommy, that strange man keeps looking at us.
A side trail that Malaki and I went up. There is still some more range to explore at the top in the future, although I am not sure that horses would use it.
I mentioned the difference between the leg I found before and old remains. While observing SB, Cecelia and Mato I found 2 old remains inside the range (and 1 out). While it does pique my interest as to who they were, it is different because they are ghosts from some by-gone time, not a present reality.
Sitting Bull and skull 1
Sitting Bull and skull 2
A few lessons from the second picture with the skull. 1) Always carry the wide angle lens, even if it feels like it will be a pain. 2) when you go to lay on the ground to take a picture, check for prickly pear first.
I am not sure when I will get back tot he range again, but probably not until May 10th. Of course, there are probably some subjects close to home I should focus on, like one of the heron rookeries in the area.