by Gillian Larson | posted: May 22, 2016
Mt. Baden-Powell in the clouds

We spent a very cold and windy night at Guffy Campground, and when I woke up, the water in the horses' collapsible buckets had frozen overnight. The wind was howling with gale-like force, and unlike at Silverwood Lake, it was definitely not balmy but icy! I also once again had a lot of explaining to do to some of the hikers that I had camped with that night; as had occurred when my mom cached supplies for us at Fuller Ridge, they asked how long the hay and water would last us and were boggled when I told them it was all for a single night. I had two 5-gallon collapsible water containers, pelleted feed, and several flakes each of alfalfa and grass hay. It looked like enough to feed an army to the hikers, but it was all gone by the time I left in the morning. And to make matters more complicated, most areas require certified "weed-free" feed products, many don't allow hay, and some also restrict or even ban grazing by livestock (so you absolutely have to bring in your own feed, or the horses can't eat at all, although I've never found the grazing on the PCT to be sufficient or reliable anyway). Then there is also the additional necessity of making sure we can pack out everything we bring in, which is why I have collapsible water containers (so I can squeeze them into the panniers on the pack saddle); this time I was also carrying the 4 empty gallon water bottles that I bought at the gas station as well, and which the horses eagerly gulped down as we rode up north away from Cajon Pass yesterday. Anyone who thinks it is easier to ride than to hike has no understanding of the responsibility involved in caring for the horses; it's like having two 1000 lb. toddlers who have to be watched and attended to at all times. You can't trust them to stay by themselves without potentially getting into trouble, and they are constantly demanding to eat and drink (and pooping a lot too). Sometimes I'm up two or three times in the night just to make sure they aren't tangled in the highline or thirsty or hungry, and if I don't get up on my own, Shyla often nickers if she hears me rolling over in my sleeping bag, just to let me know that she needs something. So much for sleeping through the night . . .

Coming down the other side of Baden-Powell


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