Remember my first trip up Sykes Ridge Road? Click SYKES RIDGE to read that post. Well this would be my second trip up this road. I was still nervous, but really wanted to do it. Our plan was to drive all the way up Sykes Ridge Road and then down Burnt Timber. I wanted to finally drive the entire Sykes Ridge Road. Last summer when I spent some time on the mountain with Jared Bybee, he said that I was really missing a lot by not seeing Sykes Ridge. I have to agree. I was really happy to take it all the way up the mountain. The land is so beautiful and photos and words just can not explain its beauty. It is something that needs to be seen in person. I do not know how anyone would drive it in a vehicle. I really think this road should only be accessed by an ATV. It is that bad.
We were on our way up Sykes Ridge by 6:45 am. It was another sunny beautiful day.
As we began to climb, I stopped and looked back. I could see Kitalpha, Bristol and another horse. I took a photo. As I was looking through my photos I realized the other photo was Liesel. Liesel is the yearling daughter of Bristol and Greta. She had been with Greta who is now with Garcia. I wonder how that happened.
A short distance up the road we saw three bachelor stallions. They were: Medicine Bow, Johan and Joseph. I had just seen Medicine Bow and Joseph 2 days ago in the Dryhead. They really get around!
As we walked back to the ATV I saw a little bit more wildlife!
We continue up the road several miles without seeing any horses. We were about 10 miles up when we saw some horses in the distance. I stopped and took a quick photo. I really like to do that for record. I can zoom in pretty good later and see who it was. Even if it is not a good photo, it is good for keeping record.
We got in the ATV and continued up the road. It is pretty much instinct trying to decide where they might be along the way. If you have ever gone up there, you know what I mean. I drove a little bit and stopped. I just wanted to look over a hill and see if we were there by this horse or if I could see him again. I looked over the hill and I saw this:
I was really surprised to see Jewel with Belle Star and Fools Crow. My first thought was that Belle Star had a foal. Then I saw her nurse from Jewel. I had never seen Jewel in person. The last I had heard was Jewel and her foal were with the stallion Hidalgo.
We spent a while with this little band and then decided to move on.
We could see some horses way off in the distance. So we were hoping we would get closer to them by driving down the road.
We had not gone far when I saw Horizon, Juniper and Fiesta. They were grazing next to a wood area, right along the road.
We continued up Sykes Ridge Road. We were entering an area where there were a lot of thick trees. No more looking for horses at a distance now. The trees were thick on both sides. We came around a little bend in the road and this is what I saw:
We were very surprised to see horses in this thick wooded area. The last time I had seen Cloud and his band was in April and they were way over on Burnt Timber, down by the first guzzler. Cloud seemed fine with us there. We got off and took a number of photos.
We continued up the mountain, came around a bend and saw this. I immediately decided to call it “Castle Rock”. It sure looks like one.
Just a little way past Castle Rock and to the left, I saw a lone horse. I thought it looked like Prince and sent it to Matt for a positive ID. It was Prince. I was glad that he seemed OK. Prince just lost his entire band to the young stallion Galaxy. Prince will be 19 this year.
We reached the top of Sykes Ridge Road! I had finally driven the whole road! It felt good. There were horses in the meadow below Penn’s Cabin. I will tell you about them in my next post!
13 thoughts on “Mountain Update, Sykes Ridge, May 20, 2012”
I’m happy for Fools Crow with his newly extended family. When I first saw them together I was excited at the posibility of Jewel having a Fools Crow foal next year. But then I remembered that Jewel is being removed in the upcoming gather. Just another reminder of how much these round ups affect wild horse society. And I don’t think Belle Star will be having any more foals, but maybe she will surprise us. Hopefully one day we’ll see a Fools Crow foal on the mountain. On a positive note though, I can not get over Mica’s adorable little face! He has such expression 🙂 In the picture you posted of Dancer she looks big and kind of almost stocky. Is she pregnant or is it just the angle of the photo? Thanks again for sharing your experiences with us!
Yes, A Belle Star and Fools Crow foal would be really great, wouldn’t it!? Damsel really needs to choose darker colors to wear. No, I do not think it is the angle of the photo, I do believe she is pregnant. Hoping for a healthy one this time. But I could be wrong. This last winter was pretty mild, so a lot of the horses really look hefty right now. Hope it is the good green grass and not a bad batch of PZP. Yes, Mica is quite the sweet boy!
Since Damsel is a coming 9-year-old and has no living offspring on the range; do you know if she will be be put on PZP after she turns ten. She will most likely be taken out of her father’s band during this round up. I really hope she accepts the band they put her in. She needs to have a healthy foal with another stallion.
I don’t know the answer to that. She was in Jackson’s band in March when I saw her, along with Jasmine and Innnocentes/Lynx. But she was back in Cloud’s band not to long after that.
I’m hoping for a healthy baby too! She was such a good mother with Arrow and Image. And of course her two healthy babies from other stallions were removed. (I think since she was young they figured she would have many more foals).I’m really hoping for another healthy one as she is the only offspring of Cloud and Sitka together. Maybe another bay roan like Arrow 🙂
When you took that picture of Dancer and Breeze, did you notice that Dancer was very round?
Interesting how some of the Dryhead horses are moving up the ridges and the mountain. Glad they all seem to be doing OK, and it’s also interesting to note that the stallions seem to be leaner than most of the mares this year. Perhaps the mild weather led to more competition for mares activity earlier this year. It’s all so interesting. Did they not change Jewel’s foal’s name from Mercuria to Morgana? Or do I have that wrong? She sure is a little beauty, whatever her name is! We can hope that Damsel had a romantic escapade with one of the bachelors roaming the mountain, if she is pregnant. She is another beautiful mare and deserves to have a happy experience as a mother. It is so great to be able to see and know about the wild horses—and you are so helpful with that, and gracious to share your experiences. Thank you, thank you! I am really getting excited about my next sojourn to the Range, anticipating all the pictures and wonderful memories I will bring back with me. My visits to the PMWHR are so very spiritually renewing.
Hi Linda! Thank you! Icara’s foal was the one that was changed from Mercuria to Morgana. Matt decided to name Jewel’s foal Mercuria. 🙂 I am looking forward to your photos from you next trip! You really take some great ones! I might ask if I can use some for my blog!
I need to be making a written record of these foals and their dams for myself. : ) I’m glad they’re using Mercuria, ’cause I like the name. It brings forth an image of a wild and free horse with wings on its feet, like Mercury. I’ll be happy to share my photos if there are some you want to use, and I really hope, between all of us, that we’ll be able to see and photograph all the ones your bloggers are wondering about. On looking at your pics again, I’m thinking that Kiera is one beautiful girl, too. I see something more to love every time I look. : )
I wonder if we’ll be able to guess at who Dancer had a romantic escapade with based on her foal’s looks like 🙂
I think Dancer is either put on a lot of weight or she is pregnant. I hope she is pregnant this year because Im hoping for a healthy foal this year