Lori’s report from yesterday! Thanks so much Lori.
When Shawn Ivie asked me if I wanted to go up Burnt Timber road on Friday, I jumped at the chance since
I don’t have a vehicle with high enough clearance to make it up that road! I was excited about this trip.
We met at 7:45 AM and headed up Burnt Timber road. It was a cloudy day for the most part, but there were a few times
that the sun did appear. Some of my photo’s did not come out too well because it was cloudy, and it was impossible to get in a position where the sun was behind me.
The first band we spotted was Cappuccino and his harem. He still has Gabrielle, Blanca and the two youngsters, Moenkopi & McKeahnie.
They all appeared to be in good shape and were grazing on some of the new forage. Blanca and the two young ones were down in a ravine, while Cappuccino and Gabrielle were up on top grazing. They did not mind that we were there.
I have to admire Blanca for taking care of the two youngsters, she is a good “sub” mother or Aunt whichever fits her best.
Gabrielle is definitely pregnant. She probably will foal next month.
We spent some time with them and when Blanca whinnied to make sure that Cappuccino was still up on top, she gathered the two youngsters and joined the rest of the family! We decided to move on and let them all graze peacefully.
Further up the road we spotted some horses, way off in the distance down by the water guzzler. We saw that it was White Clouds band, but decided to hike all the way out to that on our way back down, so we continued up to Cheyenne Flats.
We could spot some horses near another water catchment way over on Sykes. It appeared to be Horizon Juniper and Fiesta. We could not see them very well as they were so far away, but we knew it was those three.
I did not even take a picture because you would not even be able to see the three horses at all. There was another two or three horses just down on the next ledge or finger of the mountain, but we could not tell who they were.
As we continued into the trees after Cheyenne Flats we came across Two Boots and Santa Fe. When they saw us, they continued on into the woods.
We quietly got out of the vehicle and hiked a little ways so that we could get a good sighting of them. Two Boots will be 25 this year and Santa Fe is 18. They were shy and I don’t think they wanted us there, so we left them alone after we took a few photo’s. They both look good, but Two Boots seems a bit on the thin side.
We climbed back into Shawn’s vehicle and drove up a little ways to eat our lunch.
The first night that Lori and I spent on the mountain was really quiet. No horses running around or whinnying.
Today, they would not be trapping the horses. Lori and I were looking forward to a quiet day.
The next morning, I headed down towards Krueger Pond. I saw several horses in the trees on my way. It is almost August now, and it seems the horses spend a lot of their days in the trees. They start to come out in the later afternoon.
I saw Chino, Topper One and Topper Too. I could almost see the Topper’s rolling their eyes. They looked at me in disgust as if to say “Great, a perfect morning, ruined”. Then turned their back ends towards me and stepped further in the woods. Chino stayed where he was, obviously used to their behavior. I looked to my right and saw Gringo and his band. They were out a little way from the trees eating. Grijala and his smaller group of Special K’s along with Quelle Colour were not too far away from them.
After a few minutes I returned to my camp site, sat and had a second cup of coffee and watched a bear run along the ridge, not too far from Lakota.
An hour later, Lori and I decided to head back down to the pond. We found Tecumseh in one of the pens, eating. Tecumseh looks a little rough. He seems to have some back-end/ hip problems. It is very apparent when he walks, especially going down a hill.
I looked past Tecumseh and saw Topper Too in a pen with Chino. This was as close as I had ever seen them before. She did not notice me right away. But when she did she quickly left the pen. I got the best photo of her ever. But as soon as she regained her composure she and Topper headed quickly down the hill to the pond. Chino continued to eat in the pen.
After a few minutes Chino ran to catch up with them. He is 21 this year, and looks amazing.
We only saw these 4 horses. I knew others were in the trees surrounding the pond. But I did not bother looking for them. I thought they deserved a quiet day too, and I did not want to disturb them. They would show themselves when they were ready.
On our way back down the road I saw Duke’s band tucked in the trees. Little Maverick was sleeping in the sun just out of the trees. We stopped and watched until he got up.
Lori headed back to camp and I continued on to spend some time with Lakota (bear spray in hand). I thought about how great Chino looked, one year older than Lakota was. I knew that if Lakota had not broken his leg, he would have looked just as great. But for whatever reason, it was Lakota’s time to go and I tried to accept it.
We ate lunch and headed back to the pond.
By now it was starting to get pretty active. We watched several bands coming down to drink and play in the pond.
Dove was lagging a bit behind the rest of the band. She looked huge, I thought she might be pregnant.
Several of the horses enjoyed a good roll in the dirt after playing in the pond.
Once they drank, they headed back into the trees.
Bolder’s band was hanging around the pens. Bolder was in one of them eating.
The next band to head down to the pond was Blue Moon’s and Mecalero’s.
Part of Bolder’s band got tired of waiting for him to get out of the pen and decided to head down for some water.
With Bolder no where to be seen, Mescalero decided to visit with the mares and Killian. Celt decided she would have none of that and quickly chased Mescalero off.
Bolder decided to finally head down to his mares and came running. They stopped half way to greet each other and then headed back to the pond.
By now Duke’s Band and Teton’s Band were coming down to the pond too. I got to get a closer look at Missoula. He sure is a beauty!
We saw Morning Star’s band and Doc’s band come down before it got quiet again.
I will miss Jenny, the next day she would be removed. It seemed like she was a bit of an outsider with this band for most of the spring and summer. Broken Bow was pretty hard on her, it seemed, and she always stood a bit off most of the time. In fact I got the feeling Jenny wanted to leave this band. The last time I was here in early July, Doc had to keep snaking her back into the band. But this day she seemed content and one of the band. I was happy for her.
We watched Tecumseh slowly make his way back up the hill from drinking.
As we headed up from the pond we saw White Cloud and his band come running in. In the three weeks since I had seen Mica, he had grown and changed so much. He ran next to his father, and then passed him.
Shortly before sunset that day Lori and I drove back down towards the pond. We saw 4 horses as we approached the fence. They were Two Boots, Jasper, Garay and Santa Fe.
I am happy that Jasper was not removed. He is the son of Galena and Jackson, Lakota’s grandson. He has been hanging out with Two Boots (his grandfather) for a few months now. I hope he continues to do so. Two Boots is 24 this year. He will be able to teach the three year old Jasper a lot.
Jasper was a “Tier Two A” removal. I am not sure why he was not removed. But if I was to take a guess, because Jasper was with Two Boots, I would bet that they never even saw them.
Jasper has a lot going for him, Jackson’s son, Lakota and Two Boot’s grandson, being shown the ropes by an old and wise stallion. I am looking forward to watching him grow old on the mountain.
That night Lori and I had a band of horses lie down right by our trucks. It was too dark to see who they were, but it was a comfort and a peace to have them there.
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.