Saturday, July 9, 2011

Oregon Basin And Spirit Horse

The other day while I was running on dirt roads close to the house that led down to BLM land I was very pleased to again come across my Spirit Horse who greeted me along the fence line.
I first saw this horse only a few days after moving into our rental home in the country.
I was walking with Jamie.  It was early April and had snowed the night before.
The morning was very foggy and cold and unbelievably quiet as days always seem to be after it has snowed, and Jamie and I walked down a number of roads while exploring the area.  
Me taking pictures along the way and Jamie (as she always does) investigating by sticking her nose deep into every snow covered sage bush we came across
At the end of a road we crossed over an icy cattle guard and headed along yet one more slushy and icy and muddy road eager to see what was down there.
Unexpected movement caught my eye to my left and immediately broke the silence that we had been experiencing from the moment we had left the house that morning.
We had the entire area to ourselves to that point - no-one wanting to venture outside on such a miserable day, that to me was not so miserable at all.
So the unexpected and sudden movement startled me.
I looked to my left and at first only saw a flash of something running towards me.
Startled I stopped and focused on the movement and quickly realized that it was a horse.
Brain still moving quickly I saw that there was a fence separating us.  OK.  Good.
I watched this beautiful grey-white horse enthusiastically run towards us and she looked ghostly against the backdrop of the snow.
When she reached the fence line she stopped and looked at us in greeting, and Jamie and I looked at her and she was very beautiful.
I named her Spirit Horse that day.
I had even less experience with horses then than I do now so did not approach her, but I did speak to her.
My dog seems to attract the attention of animals and Spirit watched Jamie very closely.
After talking to her and taking pictures of her, my dog and I began to walk again and the horse followed us along the fence line for as long as she could.
When we turned around at the end of the road and made our way back to her she again followed us along the fence.  
Enamored with my dog and curious about both of us, this wonderful horse made a lasting impression on me that day.
The picture above was taken in early July.  
The picture below was taken on that late wintry day in April...........
About a month ago I rode my bike up into the hills of BLM land in back of the house, eventually dropped my bike and headed further into the hills on foot eager to explore.
After following a trail for a while I unexpectedly came across another trail.  
I picked up the second trail expecting it to follow a ridge line, but it instead dropped down into Oregon Basin.
I explored the basin area close to the trail before heading back up the steep trail, making my way down a second trail and picking up my bike again to head for home.
Link to that quiet adventure:
I had a great time exploring my unexpected find, and a few weeks later LC, James and I drove down the Greybull Highway until we found a road that led directly onto the vast and wide open and incredibly flat basin area..........
These wildflowers were seen along the side of the long dirt road we drove down as we headed towards the rocks I had seen from a distance during my excursion down into the basin earlier in the month.
Early June in Wyoming seems more like early Spring in Tennessee.
By June I was more than eager to see green things - to see leaves on trees, to see grass growing, to see flowers blooming.  
To see growing things.  
And Summer comes late to Wyoming.  
Thankfully it does eventually find its way to this state.
Beautiful wildflowers for someone happy to see beautiful things growing.............
The only other person we saw out on BLM land during the couple of hours we were out there that day...........
We had initially planned on driving the long and flat dirt road all the way to the place I explored when I was down that way last.
But unexpectedly this trip turned into a trip about rocks.
We came across these hugely interesting rock formations and when my Mountain Boy asked me if I wanted to explore here I eagerly responded yes.
We stopped the truck right in the middle of the double track dirt road, climbed out of the truck and walked up to the rocks.............
On a very warm and sunny and windy day I was surprised to find this child's toy partially covered on the trail............
Pictures looking down and back over the huge and flat Oregon Basin..........
Looking up at an ancient rock overhang..........
I was extremely surprised to see these.
And the broken beer bottles close to these things.
My retired cop looked at them and said "maggot tracks"..........
And then I looked up and saw this color blue and one lone tree valiantly growing along the edge of the rocks...........
We drove a little further and again stopped on the dirt road.
LC grabbed for his jacket because the wind had picked up and was now both very cold and very strong.
As I took this picture of him and James beginning to climb up this very large and flat rock face I realized that I had seen this rock face before.
From about half a mile away.
Against the sharp rock formations surrounding me at the time, this large flat surface was interesting and I was very glad that we had inadvertently found it on this trip............
Way cool and very fun to explore up close...............
Everywhere I looked I saw large spans of not only flat rock and rocks, but also large round circles on each of those rocks.
The end result of eons of wind and sand blasting against their surfaces.
I have no idea why only this place.  But there was no other place like it in this area that I have seen.................
My baby-girl following us and loving the exploring as much as we were.............
I was amazed that large round areas of rock had been sand blasted away over time, and that trees were able to grow here...............
A wind-twisted gnarly tree.
BLM land looks extremely desolate from a distance but I have seen some of this open land up close and it is far from desolate.
It is land filled with antelope and jack rabbits and deer and hawks and cougars and domestic cattle and horses, sometimes wild horses and yes........even rattlers.
It is filled with unexpected water sources, trees at higher elevation, abundant wild flowers in the Spring and Summer, sweeping wide open spaces, grand mountain views, wild grasses and sage brush, valleys and ridges and ancient rock.
It is beautiful and interesting in ways that are still new and foreign to me, but I like it..............
Standing close to the edge the strong wind swept my ball cap over the edge.
We looked for it later, hoping that it had gotten caught in a sage bush down below instead of getting swept up in the wind and landing somewhere in Meeteetse or Greybull or some point in between.
We never did find it...............
We spent a long time exploring the flat rocks and then began to head back the way we had come.
On the spur of the moment we veered onto another side ride that looked like it led higher into the hills.
And I was very surprised and very pleased to see purple and yellow and blue wildflowers and high green grass growing along the side of the road.
Growing season was just beginning at this point and this unexpected lush growth on BLM land without an obvious irrigation source was a welcome surprise...........
Tired of being wind swept we did not spend long up here.
But it was interesting enough and pretty enough, and very close to home, so we resolved to visit again soon.
LC asked me how many times we have said that (that we need to come back here again) and truthfully I have lost count.
Every time we see something new it seems.
There is no shortage of new.  No shortage of beautiful or interesting to see here................
One final picture of wildflowers and blue sky and snow capped mountains on anything but desolate BLM...........

No comments:

Post a Comment