In which I describe recent adventures in the backcountry mountains

Part One: Packing Up & Packing In

I drove down to my friend Sky's house last week so that we could embark together on our Annual Adventure. This year we planned something new: a trip away from roads, ridecamps, porta-potties, and other people.

We wanted to get as far away as two women and two standardbred mares could go, comfortably, in a few days. Our goal: Eileen Lake, in the Three Sisters Wilderness of Oregon.

The map below shows the area--those three splatters in the middle are the Sisters Mountains, which show up prominently in all of my photos from the trail (stay tuned--I'll start posting trail photos soon, I promise!)

View Larger Map

We planned to be gone four days and three nights, and so we threw everything together that might possibly come in handy on a trip like this....and then started to eliminate stuff that wouldn't fit in our packs.

It's been a really long time since I've done an overnight with my horse away from ridecamp and the storage capacity of my horse trailer!

As always, I rely heavily upon a combination of ziplock bags and traditional camping gear. I got the rifle scabbard from another distance rider when she gave up hunting. On this trip, we found it terrifically handy to carry tent poles and the axe.

Fiddle is accustomed to carrying trail tools, so it wasn't a surprise to her when I kept piling on stuff and strapping it down. She's so patient with my crazy notions.

A lot of my gear has been inherited from other folks. The orange thing in front of my saddle is a Thermarest pad that originally belonged to my dad, and has his name written on it from at least 20 years ago. That pad has been up and down the Pacific Crest Trail, over parts of the Klondike, and who knows where else. I was happy to take it out for a few days and show it a good time. In return, the pad agreed to travel tied to Fiddle's breast collar and to stay inflated for four days.

The biggest challenge of the trip was leaving enough room on the saddle to squeeze myself into it. It was comfortable enough, but getting into that little space was a challenge that required a mounting block--fortunately, the Sisters Mountains provided plenty of rocks and stumps to help me mount up.

Sky has been backpacking in these mountains for a long time...but this was Cricket's first overnight in the wilderness away from her trailer. We had plenty of adventures....details coming soon!


  1. I can't wait to hear more!! I have never done overnight camping, by packing in, with the horses. I think it would be so much fun!!

  2. This is great. How can camping go wrong when you've got your own horses? Fantastic. I imagine two women and two standardbred mares could go pretty far.

  3. Bring on the pix, mountain woman! The idea of camping with my horse sounds lovely, but the reality of no shower and sleeping on the ground just aren't part of this gal's makeup. Just a pansy, I guess.

    WV = britymen
    English guys

  4. What an exciting trip - can't wait to hear more!

  5. Let me add my 2 cents... firstly, I am NOT a big nosed woman... but Aarene begs to differ. Maybe a big butt woman. Ok, that taken care of, we had a GREAT time! But to remind you: adventures are what happens when things go wrong. While Aarene took fabulous pictures of our trip, we do not really have any pictures of our "adventures". All's well that ends well though, and we came through all our little "adventures" with flying colors. We learned alot and had so much fun! Can't wait for next year! Looking forward to the next few parts of this story... keep writing Chicken! --Sky


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