Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring in Cowboy Country

We decided to play it safe today, away from the big mountains where avalanche conditions remain considerable to high, and ring in spring in cowboy country.
I prefer to call it "Mantracker" country! If you have ever watched the TV show Mantracker then you know what I am talking about. We were infringing on his territory. After arriving at the trailhead, gearing up and setting off, it wasn't long before I wondered maybe it would have been safer in the big mountains today.

We saw that the stables were empty of horses, portions of the gate had been destroyed and if that wasn't enough there were even danger signs to warn us! But it was when we saw bullet shells and trail signs shot out, we decided to take cover and check out our surroundings making sure we picked the safest direction to head.
Once we deemed the coast was clear, we trekked on our merry way. The dudes I was with such as Adventure Designer, Agent X, Ms D No Stopping Me and G-Force are a force to be reckoned with so we were safety in numbers.

Yet, just to be on the cautious side, we decided upon a route through the forest. We know horses have issues with this kind of terrain and surroundings.

We made considerable elevation to higher country through the forest and when the forest opened up we arrived at amazing, colorful rock formations.
Our plan was to summit a hump we could see in the distance where we would have a view and could take a lunch break. Along the way, we could see the big mountains off to the west which were spectacular and would make for a great lunch spot but there was the possibility this could be Mantracker's hitching post and he would no doubt be looking for a lunch spot with a view too!
Our choice spot was wide open, where we could spot any movement, had amazing views, with the sun shining down on us. We took an extra long break, no one was in a hurry.
We officially rang in spring at noon! Everywhere you looked, there were signs of spring! After a leisurely long lunch, it was time to let our guard down and trek on. During our six hours, we covered 16km and finished up pleasantly depleted!
As spring carries on, it will soon be time to conquer big mountains again! In that territory, one can physically be "on top of the world" where as today, I felt "on top of the world" coming out a winner in Mantracker country!

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