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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
A Short Day For The Lads


7/23/12, Lochsa River & Sherman Creek, ID - I’m currently on the Lochsa River, 52 miles from the summit of Lolo Pass.  In spite of an early start, I only made 13 miles today before calling it quits. The lads needed some rest and good grass, so when I found an old horse camp that was loaded with excellent grazing, I pulled in at 10:30 AM and set up camp.

This morning, I was on the road by 6:15 AM (Pacific Daylight Time).  Traffic was very light for the first two hours, so I took advantage of it and ‘made some tracks’.  The first break was five miles down the road at a River Raft launching spot.

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The Lochsa River is crystal clear. In the background, rocks in the water look like they are right under the surface.  Actually, the water there was five or six feet deep.

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My Main Man Billy. He has become an incredible horse. He gives it all until he runs out of gas.  He really looks up to me. When he gets excited, a soft word or two will calm him right down.

The morning was cool and the temperature never climbed above the low eighties today.  I had Bill and Doc hitched and they pulled well.

At 10:30 AM, I stopped for an early lunch at an old horse camping location.  The place was deserted and looked like it had only been used once or twice this year. At first, I was only going to have lunch there because I didn’t see a source of water. So while the horses munched their oats I looked around.  At the back of the campground a found a really nice mountain stream.

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With water and lots of good grass, this place was just what we needed.

After putting my steeds in an enclosure, I grabbed a beer and headed for the creek. There were plenty of nice rocks to sit on, so I didn’t have to bother with the lawn chair.

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For all the people sweltering in the summer heat - You’re right, this is just as cool and relaxing as it looks!

I figured to save a little water and take care of my evening shower. The pools below the little falls were just the right size and depth to make a good bath tub.   It even had built-in jacuzi jets!

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“I know, those leaves got in the way of my shampooed head.”  I didn’t particularly wanted to do “Take - 2”, so “Take - 1” was it.

The beauty, coolness and clarity of these mountain streams is truly amazing. Being in a rain forest, they abound, and roll down the mountainsides towards the river everywhere.

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This creek dropped about a foot in elevation for every 4 feet it traveled. As such, it was cooler than the one I was in yesterday. Even though it was refreshing, I didn’t lounge in my whirlpool bath as long as you might expect.

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A trail bridge spanning the creek, right below my bathing location.

This afternoon, a very nice lady and her two little girls stopped by to say ‘hi’.  She was from Missoula and on her way to upstate Idaho to visit family.  While the kids fed the horses some treats, she gave me a watermelon, which I’ll enjoy tomorrow. Maybe I’ll spit the seeds at the horses’ butts as we go down the road!

Supper tonight was a backed potato and a steak cooked over a campfire. On most nights, I don’t bother building a campfire as it takes quite a bit of time. But tonight, I had plenty of time, so it was a welcome treat.

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Like wolf-dogs of ancient man, the horses enjoyed gathering around the fire as they munched their oats.

In summary, today was very restive and just what the lads and I needed.  Tomorrow, we continue our trek down the valley.

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Mr. and Mrs. cowbird decided to visit B.O.B. and become ‘Horsebirds’.