The forest is still incredibly green.
One thing that really struck me as I got back on to ride for a bit is how much more relaxing and rejuvenating it is to be on horseback. You can lift your eyes from the dirt and really enjoy all the beauty around you. There's nothing like having a good horse under you, happy, making his way skillfully on the mountainous terrain.
The next day we went huckleberry picking. We found the best huckleberry patch ever! It was wet and rainy but it was still super fun. I took some friends from work with me who had never done anything like that before. John saw a moose, but it ran off before anyone else got to see it.
Hiding under a tree works pretty well to keep the rain off:
Yesterday my sister and I went out to Gold Hill and checked out a branch of a trail we'd never taken before. We always thought it was a short spur that wasn't worth taking. Boy were we wrong!
The trail was really nice and the views were wonderful. If you look closely below you can see the cone of Steptoe Butte in the distance. Normally it towers over everything around but it looked tiny from up there.
This is on the other side of the mountain. No houses or towns in this view. Scout heard some huckleberry pickers on the hillside though.
We both really loved the rugged, rocky mountaintop trail.
Scout thought this was the best part, at the end of the ride.
My tracking app wasn't working right, but I figure we did about 10-12 miles based on how long we were riding, with a 2000 foot elevation gain. Not bad! Absolutely worth the work. I feel pretty lucky to have such a beautiful place to play, right in my back yard. Staycation is just fine by me! I don't go back to work until Tuesday, I wonder what adventures we'll have by then.