Today was our last day in the Basin! Takoda and I only had to ride a short 15 miles to the nearest highway crossing where my mom would pick us up with the trailer and we would haul into Lander, WY, for a rest day. The day went well until Takoda and I found ourselves behind a tall (about 4ft) wooden fence that had no gate. Hikers were expected to crawl over or under it. But what about Takoda and me? I was so thankful that I had Takoda with me because I’m not sure Shyla could have jumped it. It took Takoda a minute. I stood on the other side of the fence holding his reins. Both Shyla and Takoda understand when I’m asking them to jump but Takoda is much better with clearing tall obstacles and has managed to always clear his jumps. Takoda is smart about it, too, and will often balance on his hind legs in these small rears as if he is gauging how high he has to go to clear it. After two small rears, Takoda launched himself from a standstill and cleared the wooden fence.
We were just 4 miles from meeting my mom and I figured that was the extent of our obstacles. And it was for Takoda, but not at all for my mom and me. When we are about a mile away from the highway, I got a text message on my InReach from my mom saying that the truck was acting very strange and to hurry because she thinks it’s the alternator and doesn’t know if the truck will restart if she turns off the engine. Takoda and I trot the last mile and my mom and I quickly load him into the trailer and set off for Lander, about 45 minutes away. None of the gauges in the truck are working so we have no idea what our speed is and no AC or radio or anything electrical. We decide to drive straight to the Ford dealership in Lander (and we were just grateful that there was one there!).
Once we get there, they inform us that they can see us first thing the next morning. My mom and I decide to turn off and restart the truck. Luckily for us, it’s miraculously now functioning properly, though we now know that our alternator is on the fritz and will need to be replaced to we decide to keep the appointment and return the next day. Luckily for us (yes we did have something go our way) the Toyota dealership next door has a welding shop and they are able to repair our trailer tack room door! Once the door is back on my mom and I swing by a feed store to buy some hay and then drive a short way out of town to a trailhead that happens to have horse corrals that were provided by the local Backcountry Horseman Association. It was a lovely spot along another river, so thankfully a nice ending to a stressful day.