26. July 2013 · Comments Off on White Clouds – Frog Lake Pack Trip · Categories: Around The Campfire, Horse Camping
Panoramic view of Frog Lake.

Panoramic view of Frog Lake.

“Sawtooth’s or BUST!”

Eleven horses, nine humans, five mules and a dog pulled out of Rob and Linda Adam’s place in Sweet Idaho, Wednesday, July 17. The five rig caravan loaded with enough provisions for five days in the White Cloud recreational area looked like a modern day migration of homesteaders. Plans laid by our particular group of backcountry horseman are seldom strictly adhered to, but we try to make them anyway. Ours loosely consisted of driving to Livingston Mill trailhead two hours outside of Stanly Idaho, spend the night at the TH and be geared up and mounted early Thursday morning for the ride into Frog Lake. Rob Adams, organizer, project coordinator, self proclaimed “Trail Boss” and all around nice guy – doled out the individual responsibilities for the trip well in advance. Rob would plan and execute the evening meals.  Janine Townsend would take care of breakfasts. Robbin Schindele would do lunches. The Chicks, Bob and Lorraine, were responsible for the wine. Bill Selkirk and Kate Miller would be our entertainment directors for the week. I would do desserts. I don’t know if I’m becoming famous for my Dutch Oven desserts or everyone’s afraid they will get Beanee Weenees three times a day if given anything but desserts. My bet is on the latter. We arrived in Stanley shortly after 12:00 PM for fuel and a bite for lunch. What happened next was to unfold into every horseman’s worst nightmare. Willow, Rob’s trail horse of more than a dozen years, went down in the trailer with severe colic. The events leading to the tragic loss of a beloved trail partner and friend can be found by following this link written by Rob. I will not hash out the heart wrenching details of Willow’s passing further except to say that he will be sorely missed. Without Willow, the Squaw Butte Backcountry Horsemen are less than what we were. Though he cannot physically be with us, I know we will carry Willow within our hearts until the very last backcountry horseman draws their final breath. Willow will not be forgotten. We could quit and go home or figure out a way to continue on with one less animal. Backcountry horsemen don’t quit. I offered up my new pack horse, König, as a riding horse for Bill Selkirk. I’d recently acquired König and although he had all the potential for a great little pack horse, I had no idea how versatile he would turn out to be. This made us short one pack horse. The wheels turning in Rob’s head were all but audible. He could make this work. We’d cut down on the gear and take only what was necessary. Heck, we had twice as much as we needed anyway. I chuckle at what we chose to take and what we left behind. Left behind were fire starter, duplicate first aid-kits, extra  tarps, rope, high-lines, various cooking utensils, solar showers and duct tape – but damn it – we didn’t leave behind dessert or the wine. There is a limit to adaptability and ours ended with the peach cobbler and boxed Cabernet.

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