So all the drama of Mother's Day ended up costing me several days delay, and I was so very grateful to Carol and Rusty Pauli for helping me out during those days. They trailered me back to their home in Truckee on Sunday, and Mom left to drive back to L.A.; now that I'm so far north, it will be a while before she can come up and help me again, so I am entirely reliant on other people now. With my truck and trailer waiting for me at Belden, I had no way of getting the horses moved to safety (or back to the trailhead) other than through the kindness and generosity of the Pauli's.
It also turned out that there had been some damage to the pack saddle (one of the bars that hold the panniers had broken) so I had to call Wade at Outfitters Pack Station and order another one to be mailed to me. Wade and his wife have been so helpful thoughout the trip and before, both with the equipment that I've purchased from them and with their packing guidance, especially the wonderful book that they suggested, "When Mules Wear Diamonds" that taught me all about the knots I'd need for packing, and also kept me laughing with its humorous writing. For example, I learned the one all-purpose word necessary to communicate with stock on the trail: "Goddamnsonnovabitchmule--whoa!" which works universally under all conditions to convey every emotion easily and efficiently.
Long time family friends Mel and Judy Hein also dropped by while I was at the Pauli's; they have a house at Tahoe and just happened to be visiting during the time I was there. Mel brought me some hay for the horses (so they wouldn't eat Carol and Rusty out of house and home) and I also got to go see their ginormous house--what a beautiful home! I hope I get to go back sometime and enjoy it when I don't have two horses as luggage.
The tree bar arrived and Rusty put it on the pack saddle and on Wednesday I was finally ready to hit the trail again, although with a little trepidation regarding the snow given our trauma the previous weekend. So it seemed best to avoid the higher parts of the trail out of Sierra City by taking the road between there and Graeagle instead, which parallels the trail on the other side of a ridgeline. Carol took us back to the trailhead and we loaded up and headed out, hoping for better luck this time.