We were heading up Burnt Timber Road by 7:00 am. It was a chilly but sunny morning. We had just started to go up the road when to the left I spotted Two Boots. I saw him in this same place when I was here in March. He had a sore on his nose, but otherwise looked good. Two Boots will be 24 this year.
I heard a sound to my right and looked down. There was Gringo. He looked a little thin, but it seemed that every bachelor stallion I saw this trip looked about the same as he did. They move around so much and goof off, that I think it is pretty typical for them to look like this. Especially in the spring. I want to remind you that we are at the very bottom of Burnt Timber. We would see Gringo again, several hours later, but then he would be several miles up the mountain.
We continued up the mountain. It had rained the day before. The smell of sage was strong in the air. We were the only ones on the road.
When we got to the first water guzzler that you can see from the road, we saw Cappuccino and his band. This is where I had last seen them a month ago. But this time I knew that Gabrielle had her foal. I was really excited to see him. Because of the new foal, they seemed to be on high alert. We walked slowly and stayed far back from them.
After a little while Gabrielle decided it was time to move on.
As we walked back to the road, I noticed a few wildflowers and decided to take some photos of them.
Continuing up the road a ways we saw Tecumseh (Chance) and his band from a distance. We decided to hike over to where they were. I had not seen this band since last July and I wanted to see how they were. Even in July I had only seen them as they walked by my campsite in the early morning, at the top of the mountain. I wanted to spend some time with them.
Tecumseh kept his head down the whole time we were there and seemed unconcerned about us.
Galadrial and LaSalle were over a ridge along a steep canyon and did not want to come up when they saw us.
After spending a short time with them, we decided to go and leave them to their grazing.
Down the road is where I would see Lakota. If you missed that post on Lakota you can click HERE to read it.
After hiking down to the almost-dried-up guzzler we continued up the mountain. Just as we were heading up the road we encountered the 4 bachelors. Hernando, Hamlet, Inali and Knight. We would see them again later in the afternoon.
There were beginning to be little patches of snow here and there in the trees. We did not see much sign of horses, but decided to continue up to the top. The road got really muddy and there was still snow on it. I took a few photos and we headed back down. There was a big snow drift, about 4 feet high where my summer campsite was.
We started to head back down. A couple of miles down the road we saw Jackson and his band to the left. They were a mile or so away. Down a steep hill and up another steep hill, both with thick trees. We thought about hiking over. I wanted to see the 3 new foals. As we were deciding we heard a dirt bike approach from down the road. As soon as Brumby heard the dirt bike, she took her foal and headed over the next hill, with the rest of the band following. We decided that it would not be worth hiking that steep mile (that would have taken us an hour or more). By the time we would get to them, they would probably be long gone.
We saw Lakota again on our way down.
As I looked down the road, I saw 3 black horses in the middle of the road. It must be the bachelor stallions up to something, so we headed down to them.
As we got closer I could see what they were doing. The 3 boys, Hernando, Hamlet and Inali were licking the minerals in the road. They were also pawing at it and making some pretty big holes.
They looked pretty silly with the red mud all over their lips. It was fun to watch them. Knight was the newest member of this gang. He was off a little way watching them. I figured he had not errand his way into the group close enough for them to allow him to join them in this ritual.
Knight will be 2 years old this year. He has had a pretty hard life in those two years. His mother, Guinevere died before he was 1. Last summer when I saw him he was with Lakota’s band, which then became Grijala’s band. I saw Knight still in that band in March. But apparently Grijala decided he no longer wanted him with them. I hoped that Knight had finally found a band that he could be with for a while. He really looked good and was growing into a handsome young stallion.
We stayed and watched these stallions for a while. It was pretty amusing.
I noticed some horses back up the road and we decided to leave these boys and head up there to see who it might be. It was Baja and his band. We headed up the road towards them. I had only briefly seen Baja and his band last July. They were missing one member, Juneau.
Looking back up the road again, I noticed a horse in the distance. I always snap a photo when I see a horse, even if is far away. That way I have record of it, in case they are gone when I get there. At first when I saw the color, I thought it might be Starman. I really wanted to see him. But when I saw his face I knew it could not be him. Was it Gringo? We had seen him early that morning about 8 miles from here.
We were making our way slowly down the mountain when I saw 3 more horses. It was Chino, Topper and Topper Too. I really like Chino. He will be 21 this year. I don’t see him very often. I first saw him in 2010. He was alone then. Having lost both his mares, Topper and Topper Too. I remember reading a post that Matt wrote telling about Chino getting his mares back in the winter of 2011. You can read that post by clicking CHINO. So I was happy to see him and his mares. The mares did not really like us being there (even though we were pretty far away). They still watched us and tried to get Chino to move on. He chose to come a little closer and look at us for a while. The girls hung back and watched.
We kept heading down and were almost at the first water guzzler when we saw Cappuccino’s band again. They were closer this time and seemed more relaxed with us there. I took the opportunity to snap a few more photos.
By the time we got down to the bottom of Burnt Timber Road, it was almost 8:00 pm. It had been a long day, but a great day. The next day we planned to start at the bottom of Sykes Ridge Road and make a complete circle, ending at the bottom of Burnt Timber again.