Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Heading into the Bob for the Fourth

It has been such a busy summer so far that I haven’t had much of a chance to get out on the trail, but this weekend my stepson, Kevin, and I are taking a pack trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. And it should be a great time. The weather is finally starting to clear up (feels like it has been raining for a month straight), so we should have no problems that way.

So we are headed up the South Fork of the Flathead River. We will be leaving from the Meadow Creek Trailhead and riding about 12 miles in to an area known as Black Bear. I haven’t spent much time in there over the years. I always seem to be riding past it on my way to some other location. So this seemed like a good time to check it out. We will probably be camping at a spot called Kelly Point right near the river. We are hoping to spend most of the weekend fly fishing for Cutthroat Trout.

We are going in with two saddle horses, Marley and Rusty, and two pack mules, Rosie and Violet. We are not packing the mules with my TrailMax Not-A-Knot system like I usually do because Kevin wants to practice his cargoing skills. So we are packing strictly manties on this trip. We are going a little easy on the weight this trip since it is the mules’ first trip out. And the horses haven’t gotten a whole lot of use yet this year either. At the moment I am feeling generous enough to offer my new trail horse, Marley to Kevin to ride since we haven’t bought a horse for him yet. Rusty likes to be in front, so Kevin will be leading the pack string.

I also chose this area because it was a reasonable distance in. Not too much for a first trip for the pack mules and trail horses and not so close that we would be guaranteed lots of company in our camp or feel like we hadn’t really left civilization behind. This is what I call a tune-up trip where we start getting everyone ready for the mountains. So taking into account the criteria that I discuss in my article on how much weight can your horse carry, we’ll watch the weight in the packs on this trip. We are also going to be taking lots of breaks because the girls in the office want me to take lots of pictures for our catalog and website.

So I won’t be blogging for a few days, but we expect to have a good time and have loads to tell you when we get back. Have a great 4th of July, Everyone!

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