July 29, 2012. After my return to Trout Lake from the Oregon Country Fair I spent a few days organizing and added an under slung “tool Box” to my cart. This time I brought a colman white gas stove (an oldie I totally rebuilt for the occasion). With one cross County trips under my belt now and trying to be prepared for any circumstance, I estimate the cart weighs as much as Taboona weighs, about 1000 pounds! We leave TroutLake around 9 am.
My plan for this trip is to retrace the route I explored this Spring. I have chosen Movement as my temporary answer to what ever domestic issues I have in my life todate. I know from experience there is no running away from my problems. But Time does have a way of healing the Soul. Nina tied up the dogs and off we went!
Taboona did great until we got to the pasture where Sundance, her favorite buddy, was, and from then on she just wanted to go back home! I know it is her way to take care of herself, her default button!
She pulled the long grade out of the Valley, She is very strong and seems to like to pull, it givers her focus! We turned on to the TroutLake / Laurel Road and it was pretty much down hill all the way. Only one car passed us when we were taking a break along the creek near Laurel.
I was feeling a little depressed; thinking about myself, Nina and Kya and our struggles as a family unit. Our friends Vicki and Kevin who were staying in the Yurt, didn’t even want to pick up the road kill deer I saw on my way out of the Valley. What was this world coming to, all that venison going to the coyotes? So there is fortunately nothing to do but keep on keeping on and tending to the present situation at hand; me, Taboona and our Cart!
The weather was turning hot but nothing like the hot I experienced on my first cross County trip! Now that was HOT; 100+ every day!
Just a little ways past Laurel on Krepps Lane we encountered a Black Bear moseying down the road toward us! My mind was racing back and forth on what to do, I watched Taboona and here ears were perked and pointed at the bear but she just kept moving forward so I went with her decision. Pretty soon the bear spotted us and ran away carefully retracing its steps. That was a relief but it was fun to see the bear very confidently strolling down the road obviously knowing it rated high on the food chain!
Then four dogs that were harassing ground squirrels in an old slash pile dropped that venture and came over to visit us, then just as I suspected their people showed up and called them back. They came up on horses riding bare back then quickly disappeared into the woods and fields.
Then not much farther down the road I came to the last farm in Laurel and the whole family, it seems, were standing in the road. Taboona stopped and seem to enjoy the people and the rest. The father asked me if I had seen his daughter on my way up and I said I saw a couple of people riding horses and bare back at that. Yea he said that was his oldest daughter and she could ride anything! It turned out they were waiting for her so they could all go to town together. We had a good visit and they had lots of questions about my cart and my adventure and I learned that camping on the wildlife refuge was forbidden! And one of his younger daughters suggested I start a blog and record my adventures! (Imagine that!)
Taboona seem to not want to leave there and I must say it is a beautiful place with lush pastures, a horse’s dream. She was very “doggie” (slow) but we kept plugging along down Krepps Lane. After a mile or so we came to a cattle guard, one that I did not remember when I scouted this route on foot the fifth of June, and as we approached I could not tell if there was a gate on the side as there should be. Even after we stopped and I tied her up I could not tell if we could get through. Some bad thoughts of how far we would have to go back, started to enter my brain! Then I saw that in stead of a gate there was a heavy panel, I could open. It was not made to be opened much, it was heavy but I got it opened. But our inconvenience was not over! Just opposite the opening was a large pile of dirt/gravel! So I took her half way up the dirt pile so the cart would clear the edge of the cattle guard and the cart nearly tipped over but luckily it did not! A horse with out a cart would have been no problem.
So I put that panel back and we went a little ways farther then I noticed some gates on the left (north) side of the lane with a curled up no hunting sign. Well at this time the only thing we were hunting was a place to camp for the night so we went in there and I found a likely spot but Taboona did not like it so we went to where she liked it and I unhitched for the evening. I have to admit she picked a better spot with a nice breeze to keep the bugs off and better shade!
We were just starting to relax there when someone drove in with a large piece of equipment. So much for piece and quiet. A fellow names Chris came and talked to me, he seemed a little worried. Then another rig pulled up and Keith Krepps came up and talked to me he seemed happy to see me and we had a good visit, he said I was not getting very far and I countered with; well I got this far! I meant that and he got a good laugh out of it. But I think he got the fact that it was no small feat going by horse and cart when you have spent most of your life driving in a car!