Monday, May 22, 2017

Planning for a Mustang Ride

top for life in the field postWhen the original Americans first set eyes on a mounted Conquistadore, they originally thought they were seeing a new creature to this Continent.   An animal with the upper IMG_5270body of a human, with the lower body of a Dear, or even and Elk.   Only later in their encounters did they realize these new creatures were in fact actually humans, mounted and riding an animal they had never laid eyes on before, the Horse.

History, both Native and White, record that it wasn’t long for these talented skilled hunters to adapt the animal to their hunting practices, and ensure a more secure food supply for their Peoples. 

Today, in the here and now, as the debate over Public Lands rages, especially with a new administration that is still forming 18519428_1852834208310172_7365925130136580110_nit’s actual position on the subject, the outcome of the debate and the status of the lands the the animals that live on it are in question.  For many of us “Horse People” this is  a big issue, as on those Public Lands live the ancestors of the the horses of Conquistadores and the Native Americans, the Wild Mustang. 

Dave Herring of Colorado is a Master Farrier and Horse Trainer.  I will be accompanying him on a Ride to the Deerwood Ranch Wild Horse EcoSanctuary in Laramie, WY.  He will be driving two of the Mustangs he recently received and trained.  I will be mounted, with my camera to document, record, and video the ride.  I reckon I may do a bit of wrangling as well.

From his last Facebook posting, “"
Deer Wood or Bust wagon trip.  I am Taking Duck and Goose The BLM Mustangs home to Deerwood Ranch also Patches and Louie.  I am going To drive them the last 50 miles home Starting at Sheep Creek Ranch around to 1015097_1383719951888269_1515974425_oWoods Landing 18581910_1852834184976841_620797409386863916_nWyoming I am going to take 4 days To travel to Deerwood Ranch. will be leaving Sheep Creek Ranch On Tuesday May 30th and getting to Deerwood Ranch on Friday June 2nd. Will be camping Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday night. There are Two wagons Going For sure more welcome if you'd like to go And there are going to be Several horseback Riders if you would like more information on the trip PM me for more details it should be quite an adventure”.

Quite a time indeed.  I will be posting from the trail, connections allowing. 
Wish us good luck. 

If you wish to show your  support, you can here … here.

 

 

 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Tools of the Trade.

Fire for topHaving and using the right tools in the field can be a matter of life and death.  The size and weight of these tools are of concern as well.  A tool that has more than one purpose is also a good-un.  SomeIMG_6163_143compressed tools are basic.  A good hat (BYOS stands for “Bring your own Shade” out here) and a good pair of boots IMG_6091are not optional, but mandatory.

Practice makes perfect out in the field.   In the High Country, experience makes the difference between life and death.   The beauty of the territory, and it’s inhabitants, can be misleading.    Ignorance and carelessness can quickly lead to death in the High Country. 

In upcoming posts, I will be covering my experiences with specific pieces of gear and equipment, and in some cases reviewing products and their performance in the field under the most extreme conditions.  On certain really big items, a video review may be in order.  Be sure to stay tuned in. 
          Show your support for this endeavor at

https://www.gofundme.com/makslivingwageaffordablehousingride.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Classic Grand Junction Hospitality … Berkley’s Automotive

IMG_6121 for top postingOnce in a while something comes along that cannot be ignored.  When I IMG_6116heard of the “Free Coffee” in the mornings at a local gas station here in Grand IMG_6115Junction, I was fascinated.  There is always a back story… but the most important thing here is that a continuous act of kindness and hospitality is always offered at Berkley’s Automotive here in Grand Junction.  As well as really great automotive repairs service.    Thanks Guys!!!

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Friday, April 21, 2017

In the Field.

top for life in the field postPreparation is the key to success in the field. Just as important, is rehearsal.  Actually getting out there and doing it is the only way one learns the hard lessons of life in the field. IMG_5118 Of course, there is nothing better than waking up to camp coffee.  Cowboy Coffee.   IMG_5456
Having a warm bag, a warm dog (on a Three Dog Night) and a horse that will go fast in the morning, is kind of a big deal in these parts.
This is nothing.   Once the ride starts, the real views … and photos, start. 

Having a good crew counts too.  Who you ride with can be as important as the quality of the horses you ride.  The skills of the crew, and their experience and toughness will all play in to the success of the ride. 

Watch the video at the bottom of this posting for an explanation of the ride. 

All of this is in preparation of the of the Affordable housing ride.   To support the ride, visit the Go Fund Me page. IMG_5341
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Monday, March 27, 2017

Life in the Grand Valley 1.1

Monument Trip 1 Mak in the High Country.  (48)Life is short.  Those who ride out … know.   Some doMonument Trip 1 .  (26) understand when I say my beloved Colorado.  There are few places on earth that inspire me.  Colorado is one of them.
As my efforts Maverick MAK on Candy behind the stable.continue
in trying to get some funding for my Cross Colorado Living Wage ride,  I have discovered a hidden jewel in the Western Slope of Colorado.  Talk about riding territory.  Although now considered a prime Mountain Biking area, the real experience will only happen from the back of a Horse.  

Although the Western Slope is not generally considered the High Country, iMonument Trip 1 .  (50)t sill has the geography and weather of the  …. region within it lies. 

Former home of the Ute Indians, and their famous (among natives) mountain horses, the fore-runners of theMonument Trip 1 .  (88) now ever present Mustangs of the Grand Valley.     With the Grand Mesa at the eastern approach, and the Monument Mountain acting as the western border, the Valley is home to a variety of groves and orchards.  Intersected by both the Colorado and the Gunnison Rivers, which meet in Grand Junction, which also serves as a massive Railroad Junction and Amtrack stop.

These photos taken from within the National Monument Park are one side of the valley.  Within a few months we will ride to the top of the Grand Mesa, the largest flat top mountain in North America, which lies on the opposite eastern edge of the Grand Valley.   The view from there is pretty good too. 

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

The experimental Camp.

There is the rule of “P”’s.   There is the saying, “train like you fight, train hard, fight easy”. Mav Mack at test camp Crop We used to say ya’ll don’t know the swamp until you meet the mosquito.   Basically, to adequately prepare for an excursion, one must live and subsist in the exact way they plan to in the field. It never really works out, but with enough prep and practice the “Adapt and Overcome” thing becomes much easier.
At this time of year the weather in the Mesa Valley area is comparable
Living wage sign 1 black jpgto the weather conditions I will face in the high country as late as June.  If I am able to stay on the schedule I am hoping for, by late April I will already be or at near the Blue Mesa, and be getting ready to begin the first phase of the 1st Continental Divide crossing.  The nights will be as cold up there at that time of year as they are here now. 
Most equipment fails quickly.  Weeding out the few essential items that actually function in the conditions one faces in the High Country is a big issue for me, as I don’t like to carry a lot.  I don’t like to carry dead weight.  I am often surprised that the few items that do make the cut, often are antiques themselves.  The old saying “they don’t make’m like they used to” comes to mind.  Once I get to tack and equine care, the day to day routine of survival and self care will be second nature.  Train like you Fight. 
So help out at
https://www.gofundme.com/makslivingwageaffordablehousingride.  You can also help me personally here.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Working on the first stage, Departure Route

The first stage of the ride will set the tone, and act as a moving “staging area” to finerout stage one ... Old Spanish Trail close tune horses, tack, gear, and  us.  It will be base most likely in this general area. Hike Through Trails .. map of Colorado area Most Camping will be done on BLM land.   I contacted the Gunnison Valley Blm, and they were interested in a supportive way in the ride, and offered and help and advice I may need. 

The Ride will depart on the Trailhead of the Old Spanish Trail at Grand Junction, Colorado. 
It will bounce between the trail, and the Gunnison River as we complete our first phase, arriving in Gunnison after passing the
Blue Mesa ReservoirThere we will stage for a short week, and prepare for our first crossing of the Continental Divide.