In this case, the family was mine – literally. My mom and dad’s 40th anniversary (!) was last weekend, so they decided to come to Colorado for their first summer visit ever. My uncle T and cousin K also came – for their first visit to Colorado ever! Naturally, a visit to my four-legged family was high on the list.
It would have been top of the list but for the rain the visitors pushed into Colorado ahead of their visits from points southeast and west. We waited a day to allow the basin to dry out, and except for the washes across the Disappointment Road as we drove there, all was otherwise dry …
But almost immediately we saw the most beloved horse – of this family, anyway! – in the basin: Grey/Traveler’s band, still shadowed by Chrome. They were very near the road to the old trap site, and Kreacher and the girls were also close by, closer to the shallow pond – the only pond that has water currently.
The boy with his girls and one little boy. Yes, yes, you see only two little bodies; our dear Jif is taking her own sweet time.
There’s Chrome at right, looking pretty worn out. I guess his plan isn’t working against the old man of the basin. The horses were considerably calmer than the first time I saw Chrome with them. Ahh … the young men, always thinking their youth is more than a match for wisdom – usually wrongly.
After we had watched the horses for a few minutes, Kootenai decided to leave, so she turned and led the horses toward the pond. They paused there but didn’t drink. They ended up at the catchment, followed by Traveler’s band.
This is one young man who knows who the boss is! He followed his girls, lickety split.
Traveler’s band looked quite calm, so we headed on to see who else we could see.
Steeldust’s band was up on the northeast hills – we could see them through the binoculars. All was looking good for us getting to where they were … until we came down the hill and around the curve and stopped dead at the wash of mud and boulders where the road had previously gone over the first Spring Creek crossing. Uh oh. To be sure, there were only four boulders, and none were very big – except the first one, closest to the Jeep side of the crossing – but the whole situation stopped us as if we’d been facing a raging river. There was a bit of water still flowing from previous rains, which is always good for the horses, so it was hard to be totally upset that I’ve been able to take everyone else out to the basin to see the horses, but then when my very own family comes, I get stymied at the first major arroyo!
I do have to mention the bet my uncle lost. He bet that the dry pond by Flat Top would have water in it from the recent rain. Unfortunately, I won.
But of course, all was not lost. Grey/Traveler and his band and Chrome and Kreacher and the girls were calmly grazing west of the catchment, so we got to see them again as we drove out. (Oh, and Cinch and Bruiser were up on the hill with Steeldust’s band.)
We headed down the Disappointment Road with the high hopes of seeing the pintos. Not too far into Dolores County, my dad sounded the horse alert: David and Shadow RIGHT inside the fence RIGHT off the road! So we had a nice little visit with them while they grazed and browsed on greasewood. Shadow barely looked up, and they eventually let us slide on by while they kept on doing what they were doing! Cool!
This was our view – David looking at us and Shadow … well, not.
Ah, and there they are, both looking at us calmly. You can see the fencepost at right. We didn’t get out of the Jeep – just shot right out the windows.
Just a little farther down the road, we had the other great good fortune to spot the pintos back in the “valley” below their old favorite hill. Mesa was on the east side of the arroyo, and the rest of the band was on the west side. We couldn’t see everyone because of hills and trees, even when they crossed to the east side of the arroyo, so I wasn’t able to get a good look at the as-yet-unnamed colts, but it was good to be able to point out those ponies that are seldom within view.
Mom and Dad, T and K, thanks so much for “meeting in the middle” and allowing me to show off my “other” family.