It was decided that regardless of how sound LP was that I would not ride today. I did not need to further injure anything he might have done. Janie found a ride for him with another horse so we did not have to take her house apart in the horse compartment of our trailer. Lori was worried how the other horses in our group would take it with LP, the go to leader horse, not there. As it worked out her Hopper took over. She said it is like they all knew. Reports of the day were that the terrain was very rocky, and everyone was glad that I stayed “home “ with LP.
It was actually fun for me to see how fast camp packs up and moves, kind of a modern day version of the Nez Perce packing up and moving everything each day. It actually takes about 45 minutes from the time the riders leave to the time the trucks start rolling out. Rather amazing, the kitchen, dance floor and equipment, water tanks, outhouses, all start moving out.
When the horses got into camp we did our daily look at their shoes. These shoes had done a marvelous job for the horses. However, they had worn the toe grabs completely off of them, and what was left of the heal grab was ground down and rounded off.
Friday night camp is always fun, but somewhat sad, as it is the end of another year’s ride segment of “The Jo” is over with. We have already started planning next year’s ride as it will be the 50th ride. There is an older couple that has been on every ride since it started. 2012 was the first year they did not bring a horse and ride. God willing I hope they make the 50th next year.
It was load up time for the last time Janie took down her house in the horse compartment of the trailer and Darlene started piling up her belonging that had been in Big Bear and Sandy’s truck all week. We ate breakfast and packed our lunch one last time for this year.
Our ride home was rather uneventful. We stopped at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Lori has done a lot of reading on the Indian wars and wanted to stop. Lori and I walked the trails and Doug stayed with the horses. He met a man on a motorcycle that was following the Nez Perce trail as good as he could on his motorcycle. What a coincidence, those 2 had a good time looking at maps and telling where they had been.
We made it to Kenebec SD and pulled into the rodeo grounds, found pens for the horses and went to bed. Everyone was tired and we all needed a rest.
We were home by 930 AM on Sunday, no blown tires on the way home either.
As I look back on this great trip I have a much larger appreciation for the flight of the Nez Perce and what the people and the horses went through. I am looking forward to the Chief Jo Trail Ride next year already. There are approximately 300 miles left to go, so will take another 3 years to finish the trail., then start over in Joseph Oregon.