9.03.2012

adventure found, check

We went looking for an adventure yesterday, and found it! We loaded Koda & Nemo up and headed out to explore Yellowstone Wildlife Area for the first time. It was an adventure just finding the place. Good thing we had the fire number, they jumped so we knew to turn around, and it was then we saw the sole turn sign.

A family was leaving as we pulled in, and we never did see the only other trailer riders in the area. I was expecting it to be busier on a holiday weekend. Just us in the middle of no where, we loved it! However, we were lost more then we were found and that was with a map. The problem was the trail markers, or better said lack of. They had a couple old wooden signs at the very beginning telling you which of the four loops you could head towards, and then the occasional orange snowmobile diamond signs. You would get to a Y intersection, and guess - should we follow this orange sign, or that one? I know, let's try the orange sign!

It was a warm sunny day. The rolling hills and uneven terrain had the boys working up a sweat. We were all thankful for the steady breeze. Not much shade to be found, at least not on the paths we traveled, altho we were riding in the woods. Sunny trails are great for cool weather rides. The area was sooo beautiful, and serene...


yellowstone
riding grassy trails

...we ended up on a trail that suddenly had a no horse sign posted in the middle of the trail, huh? Still not sure if it was meant for the trail, or maybe they meant the meadow, but we backtracked regardless and went the other way. We want to be good land stewards, and follow trail rules. The new direction we headed, following the other orange diamond signs, dumped us out on this beautiful rolling field...

fieldride
looking for paths
...we weren't sure if the field was part of the trail, or not. There was a strip along the edge that looked like it was mowed differently, we saw some tracks...

yellowstonefield
are we heading the right way?

In the end, we believe the field edge was one of several intersecting routes on our map. There was a rifle range off in the distance, that we used to reorient ourselves. We got back onto the first "no horse trail" in a different section. It was clearly a horse trail, by evidence of droppings and where it took us....

koda
everything was such a pretty view
...eventually we rode down a hill to explore a bridge indicated on our map. We found a raised wooden bridge, with a big step up/down. The boys did good! As soon as we crossed, we couldn't believe what we saw on the path above us...a large black team of fully dressed drafts (looked like percherons) pulling a big covered wagon! I thought Koda's ears were going to touch the sky. He's never seen a team of horses, and the wagon had a huge white cover. I was stunned, it was so pretty to see! You could hear the clippity-clop and jingling, as they rode along the tree lined path. Wish I had taken a picture, but I was busy trying to figure out if they were coming down the path by us, and if so, where it was safest for us to be. Definitely not on the bridge. There was a cute little boy jumping off and on, running and pushing the wagon. I think they were a little surprised too, as I overheard the driver praising his team as they passed us. What a sight!! They continued on heading towards a green loop that was indicated at the trailhead as closed for the remainder of the season. Hope they didn't run into a jam, then again maybe that's why they closed the loop. We assume they are a local hitch, and rode into Yellowstone off the rural road.

We decided to take that same path, but towards the trail head. We hit another intersection. The turn we took was starting to resemble an unpaved road, so we found an intersecting path and rode that instead...

yellowstone2
Such a pretty area to ride!
Nemo turned into a (sweaty) grey horse.

With Fall colors coming, and hardly any bugs, we'll go back before the trails close in October. There are a lot more areas to explore at Yellowstone. I want to find the rock tunnel I've seen pictures of, and ride through it. We had a great adventurous day riding parts of three different loops, for around 3.5 hours. I think we've kinda got the trail system figured out, all we have to do is follow the orange signs!!

9 comments:

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

That's gorgeous. Glad you didn't get too lost.

Dreaming said...

Now, that's my kind of riding. It looks ideal!

fernvalley01 said...

What a great ride

Wolfie said...

It looks beautiful. I am envious that you can load up your horses and ride in such a gorgeous area. Ever lucky!

Anonymous said...

After several phone calls I found out the Yellowstone Wildlife area does NOT have a tunnel! So that is why you didn't find it :)

Christine said...

What a gorgeous looking area to ride! Reminds me of being on trail in South Africa - love it!

C-ingspots said...

Just did a bit of catching up on your posts. Your rides have been just lovely, and I'm so happy you got a much-needed little vacation from work! I'm in need of that myself...I'm hoping to take some time in October, before it starts raining. Not sure we'll be able to do much, with my hubby out of work, but still, time off is a wonderful thing!!

jaymie williams said...

Great adventure just like in the movie. I've never ride a horse before but looking at your photos makes me feel I'm a part of it. Thanks for posting.

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aurora said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting, sorry I've been MIA and didn't make it back sooner!

Funny, I was going to resort to calling listed numbers to ask where to find the tunnel that is pictured on the Yellowstone page in the WI trail book...the rocky areas sure look like it could have one. Maybe it's on neighboring property? If not at Yellowstone, the tunnel has to be somewhere - but where?! I'll be sure to post if I find the location - and I will, someday.