Kory and I continued to wander easily down the trail, both of us greatly enjoying our walk, our time alone together, and the place that we were sharing.
As I snapped pictures quickly, pointing my camera in all directions, I kept one protective eye on my dog.
She wandered easily from one side of the trail to the other, down the trail, and wherever her nose happened to take her (often into the center of random sage bushes).
We were both loving the silence, the wilderness, and the freedom.................
When I saw these trees hidden in a draw I stopped for a moment, regarding this unexpected site.
Arco Pass proper was almost completely treeless.
The higher mountains surrounding us were filled with evergreens but none immediately on the pass, so these yellow trees were a surprise.
And then I remembered a draw we had stopped at the last time we were up on this pass.
There was a huge draw not far from here. A draw with trees. A draw right off the dirt road we would follow all the way down the pass.
And in early fall, it was a draw that we needed to stop at once LC and Gary picked me and Kory up again......................
Right around the time that I was beginning to wonder what had happened to the guys, I heard a noise behind me.
Turning I saw an old, light colored, beater of a vehicle slowly making its way down the trail towards us.
Turning to find Kory I called her over to me, and together we stood on the side of the trail as the guys approached.
It was time to move on...................
A few minutes later we pulled off the dirt trail, drove a short ways down a side trail, pulled the Suburban over to the side of the trail, and all four of us eagerly climbed out of the vehicle one more time...................
The last time LC and I were in this place was one day last summer, and even in the dryness of mid summer in SE Idaho, this low lying place had running water.
Instead of running water on this day there was a whole lot of mud and Kory quickly found it, sinking up to the middle of all four legs.
Happily she roamed in the mud as I inwardly cringed and then conducted a quick internal conversation.
Karin - let it go.
That's what the Suburban is for.
Let it go.
Instantly I let it go.
That's what the Suburban was for.
Hell..........earlier in the summer she had stood in the back after a trip to Cedar Butte, completely covered from head to tail in rolled-in cow manure.
That's what the Suburban was for...............
With my inward cringing now done I turned away from my muddy (but oh so happy) dog and took in the world around me.
Lots of trees. All hard woods and all covered in bright green and brightyellow leaves.
A trail straight ahead that I was enormously curious to explore and for the second time in two visits I wondered where it led.
Pine trees in the higher hills.
Mountain views that went on forever.
We were in a beautiful place......................
30 minutes later and almost off the back side of Arco Pass.................
After coming down off Arco Pass we slowly meandered our way back to the two lane highway.
Once we hit the highway we had two choices.
If we turned right we would quickly hit the tiny and very isolated community of Howe.
From Howe, home was about 20 minutes away.
If we turned left we would travel further into the Little Lost River Valley.
About 30 minutes later there was a turn-off to the left.
That turnoff would take us to Pass Creek Pass, which crossed up and over a series of mountains, before eventually dropping down into Mackay in the Big Lost River Valley.
LC and I had been talking of doing that drive for three years but had never done it, so had no idea what we would find, or how easy or difficult the traveling would be
Gary was getting on a plane the next day, headed home to Minnesota.
We gave him the two options and expected him to be tired and in need of rest.
LC and I both expected him to be ready to go home.
Instead he said............let's go see Pass Creek Pass...............
It was nothing like what we expected.
Will post up soon about this extraordinary place.................