Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2014 Big Valley Ride

Story by Betty Wagoner, photos by Julie Johnson
On October 10th several of the riders who had been on the "Latte Ride to Mazama" and the "Cutthroat Lake" rides on October 8th and 9th with Betty Wagoner joined her again for the 3rd consecutive ride in the series: The Big Valley Ride. Once again, they had beautiful weather and an abundance of fall colors. They had a great lunch spot by the Methow River on property owned by Tina Heath. The riders joining Betty were Dick and Lainie Smithson, Kathy Bader, Julie Johnson, Fran White, Ann Port, Jackie Iddings, and Marc Rae.

The group had such a good time on the 3 rides that they decided to make it an "Annual 3 Day Event" with overnight camping again next year! 
Dick and Lainie and their horses enjoy the sunny day

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cutthroat Lake Ride

Story submitted by Betty Wagoner, photos by Julie Johnson
Betty Wagoner was a busy trail boss in October! On the 9th she led a group on a chapter ride to Cutthroat Lake just west of Washington Pass. After riding to the Lake, most riders continued on up to Cutthroat Pass. Cathy Upper, Julie Johnson, Jill Calvert, Dick and Lainie Smithson, Therese Ohlson, Ann Port and Fran White enjoyed the ride, which turned out to be a work party as well! 

Many thanks to Cathy for bringing along a chain saw in her back pack on her horse. The group had been alerted to a log across the trail to the Lake, so she brought her chain saw to "take care of business" while still enjoying the ride! Turns out there was a second log further up the trail that had to be cut out as well. Dick, Jill, and Therese helped Cathy as she cleared the logs from the trail.
Amazing fall colors along the trail!

Just for Fun!

Story and photo submitted by Mary Pat Bauman
Two chapter rides in late September were canceled due to fire and flood damage, so on September 23rd Mary Pat Bauman, Joe Hebert, and Kay MacCready decided to enjoy the day by making some tracks up to North Lake. The ride started out a bit rainy, but during lunch the skies cleared and the return ride was sunny.
Joe on "Summer" and Kay on "Mac" rest their horses

2014 Latte Ride to Mazama

Story submitted by Betty Wagoner, photos by Julie Johnson 
It was a great day for the October Ride to Mazama this year! On October 8th Betty Wagoner led 8 riders from Brown's Farm to Mazama for a tasty lunch. Fran White, Kathy Bader, Lainie Smithson (guest from Peshastin), Ann Port, Joe Hebert, Jackie Iddings, and Mary Pat Bauman all joined in the fun and relaxing ride. The weather was great and the fall colors were in abundance. As there were 3 rides in 3 days, Ann, Fran, Betty, and Julie hauled their camper rigs to Goat Creek Sno Park to spend a couple of nights and extend the fun into the evenings!   
(L-R) Fran, Kathy, Betty, Lainy, Ann
(L-R) Julie, Ann, Fran, Betty

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

LOST! Have you seen these horses?

A rusty-brown and white paint mare and a Palomino gelding with a "V" brand on his left hip fled their corral near Benson Creek (Methow Valley) at the approach of the rapidly moving wildfire on or about July 18th. They were seen briefly on July 23rd, but tragically, they have not been found or seen since that time. Though the surrounding hills have been thoroughly searched, no remains have been found. It is hoped that someone kindly picked them up as they tried to escape the fires or has seen them somewhere in Okanogan County--or perhaps even farther away by now. They may be far away from the area, or perhaps they are in someone's corral being taken care of, waiting for their owners to come get them. They are loved by a family, and are deeply missed. If you know of, or have seen these horses--or their remains--please contact Ginger Reddington at 509-995-2471. We would appreciate your spreading the word amongst your friends ("horsey" or not!) and/or fellow hunters who may be in this area during the days/weeks to come. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Check out the latest trail updates!

Our MVBCH members have been hard at work hiking, riding, assessing for damage, and repairing our local trails after the "Summer of 2014" fires, high winds, and flash floods. Check out the "Trail Conditions" tab (above) or click here for members' findings and the latest information.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

2014 Hamburger Ride

The 2014 Hamburger Ride took place on September 18th, hosted by Jan and Bill Ford. There were 12 members and 1 guest riding. Some folks chose not to bring their horses, so there was a total of 25 who enjoyed the hamburger/pot luck lunch after the ride up on Big Buck Game Reserve. A small shower arrived just before lunch, but disappeared in time for all to enjoy the array of pot luck dishes that MVBCH members are so good at! The hamburgers were ably cooked by Tom Cornish.
(L-R) Jackie Iddings, Joe Hebert on "Sunrise", Bill Ford
(L-R) Bill on "Kaycee", Ann Port, Dolly on "Penny"
Jackie Iddings with her eager-to-get-going horse!
"The Guys" having a chat before the meal
"The Gals" having their own chat!

Loup Loup Campout

On September 11th, 12th and 13th, six gals decided to have a campout at the proposed Loup Loup Horse Camp. Cathy Upper and Cathy's friend "Cathy", Carla Lange, Fran White, Ann Port, and Betty Wagoner enjoyed beautiful weather--with no smoke or scorched/burnt terrain in the ride area--Yeah! Great pot luck dinners with lively chat sessions were the evenings' entertainment and everyone relaxed and had fun during the brief respite.
(L-R) "Cathy", Cathy U, Carla, Fran, Ann

Goat Creek Ride

From Bear Creek to Goat Creek! Due to fire damage the Bear Creek Ride with Carolyn Bronson was moved to Goat Creek. On September 8th Carolyn led a small group with Ann Port, Julie Johnson, and Betty Wagoner from the Goat Creek Sno-Park to the Mazama Store. Louise Stevens, not to be left behind, decided to join the group on her bicycle! 
Riding out from Goat Creek Sno-park
"Parked" at the Mazama Store
(L-R) Betty, Carolyn, Ann, and Julie

Sunday, August 10, 2014

2014 Summer Fires: Trail Access in the Methow Valley





Sunday, June 1, 2014

Soldiers Love Horses Too!

Suekii Cornwall and Mary Pat Bauman rode into Winthrop over Memorial Day. Visiting soldiers from Fort Lewis were in town and were eager to take pictures with a couple of cowgirls!                       (Photo courtesy of Mary Pat Bauman)
(L-R) Suekii on "Colie", visiting soldier, Mary Pat on "JJ"

Fraser Creek Ride

On May 29th Suekii Cornwall, Cathy Upper, Ann Port, Fran White, Kathy Bader, Julie Johnson, and Betty Wagoner had perfect weather and a great time on their ride at Fraser Creek. Surprisingly, the group encountered Honeysuckle in full bloom in the hills (see photo below). (Photos courtesy of Julie Johnson and Betty Wagoner)

Betty on "Koda"

Best view!!

Honeysuckle along the way...

Suekii on "Colie"

Julie on "Sunny"

President Cathy relaxes during a break

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Huge Ponderosa Across Twisp River Road is Removed!

There was a big old ponderosa right across Twisp River Road (NF-4440) near South Creek! We can't camp if we can't get there from here, so...

Joe getting ready to start cutting!
On May 19th Joe Hebert and Bill Ford cut out enough to get through. A Fish and Wildlife biologist who was going up to check on a wolverine trap waited for them to cut it out and took the photo of them on Bill's camera. Bill says it's the biggest he has cut (it was measured it at 33" diameter at the last of the three cuts they did)!
                  (Photos and story by Jan Ford)
(L-R) Joe Hebert and Bill Ford
Bill with the tree after the cut...

Patterson Mountain/Moccasin Lake Ride

On May 16th six riders had a beautiful day on Patterson Mountain. Cathy Upper, Mary Pat Bauman, Kay MacCready, Julie Johnson, Betty Wagoner, and Dave Stephanson rode three "meadows" covered in Lupine and Arrowleaf Balsamroot with snow-capped mountains off to the west. The scenery was spectacular! 

(L-R) Mary Pat, Cathy, Betty, Julie, Kay
This ride was on the privately owned property of Moccasin Lake Ranch, which our Chapter had permission to enjoy.
(Thanks to Betty Wagoner and Julie Johnson for story content and photos)

Bear Creek Gate Project

On Wednesday May 14th Kay MacCready, Willie Kemper, Ken Shannon, Cathy Upper, Carolyn Bronson, and Betty Wagoner formed a work party to  build a "people friendly" pole gate replacing the existing barricade that blocked ranch cattle from crossing the trail onto Wildlife property near Bear Creek.

Willie rode one mule and led another pack mule to carry the gate-building supplies.
Ken up front, Willie follows with the pack mule.
Ken digs the post hole for the gate.
Ken also rode, and he and Willie made the gate while Cathy, Kay, Carolyn, and Betty brushed the trail as far as the Creek (above the new pole gate).

Willie wires the gate, while Carolyn and Ken admire the work.
To access this trail, head to Bear Creek Campground and turn left just before the Creek. Wind around the camp sites and pick up the trail on the west side by the Bear Creek drainage. 
(L-R) Kay, Carolyn, Cathy, Ken, Willie try out the new gate.
(Thanks to Betty Wagoner for story content and photos)

Golden Doe Ride 2014

On May 13th 8 gals had a wonderful time on the Golden Doe ride. The yellow Arrowleaf Balsamroot flowers, so enjoyed in the Methow Valley in the springtime, were prolific!
Kathy Bader, Julie Hensley, Sue Robbins, Deborah Whittimore, Betty Wagoner, Julie Johnson, Mary Pat Bauman, and Brie Ware rode up to the old broken-down cabin and back. The ride has beautiful vistas of the Methow Valley, the river areas, and beyond.

We were fortunate to have a most amazing rider with us: Julie Hensley.
Julie Hensley followed by Sue Robbins
Even though Julie is totally blind, she is a cheerful and enthusiastic member of any group and goes riding at every opportunity. One rider makes sure to go behind her to let her know of obstacles, but she mainly trusts her horse to keep her out of harm's way. She listens to the horse walking ahead of her so she can determine a safe distance to follow, and wears sun glasses to keep any low-hanging leaves or branches out of her eyes. 

(Thanks to Betty Wagoner for story and photos)
(R-L) Kathy on "Ace", Julie H on "Rocky", Sue on "Angel, Deborah on "Thor"

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Our 30th Spring Ride in 2014!

Our 30th anniversary Spring Ride “went off without a hitch". Our rider count was down some this year from last year, but that was mainly because the North Cascades highway was still being cleared as we gathered at the Beaver Creek Campground for the event. We still had a strong attendance, however, and this favorite ride of many equestrians across the state was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

We started off with rain during the earlier part of the week, but the flagging party on Monday managed to get all the markers up without any problems so everyone would know the trail.
Betty Wagoner, Kathy Bader, Julie Johnson, Julie Hensley, Mary Pat, Willie Kemper, Sue Robbins, Betty Ruff, and Dave Stephens did a great job, but the very next day a group of runners thought they were their markers and believed they should remove them as they passed them—so they did!! Well, our riders managed quite well anyway... 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Trail Maintenance Crisis!

"Our trails won't take care of themselves, so collaboration and leveraging resources and volunteer power is the name of the game" says Jim McGarvey, Chairman of Back Country Horsemen of America. "With or without more dedicated trail dollars from Congress, more robust volunteer partnerships are essential to preserving America's access to the great outdoors." Read more about this crisis and what we can do about it by clicking here.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

New Process for Volunteer Hours

Kay MacCready, MVBCH Volunteer Hours chair, announced that BCHW is making changes in the way we collect and report Volunteer Hours (VH) data.

To prevent "end of year craziness and forgetfulness", we will now be turning in our volunteer hours to Kay on a regular monthly basis. No more waiting until the end of the year to turn them in! Kay will compile the volunteer hours data and send it in to BCHW on a quarterly basis. 

Please document ALL your volunteer hours (excluding hours spent in monthly meetings or time spent for purely social planning/events) on the new state form, and turn the forms in to Kay. Examples of hours that might be included (in addition to those related to work parties) are:
  • Collecting donation items and related travel time.
  • Shirt selection, ordering pickups and deliveries.
  • All business planning meetings and phone calls.
  • Food planning, purchasing, and preparation for the Spring Ride.  
Kay asks that members estimate and record the hours daily, weekly, or monthly--whatever is the best that you can do. She will take what you send her and "make it work", as long as you get the information to her monthly. She will also work with members on finding the best collection method for you as individuals.

The new forms are a bit simpler than the old ones, but Kay asks that you not be concerned about any codes you don't know or understand. When you don't know the codes, she recommends that you write a brief note on the form describing what you did and where you did it so she can apply the appropriate codes in her quarterly report. 

It is predicted that we will see a huge increase in our volunteer hours. This is important for our political clout in keeping the trails open! 

More information and resources for tracking/recording on the updated VH form can be found on the Forms tab in this blog, or on the BCHW web site.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

2014 Back Country Horsemen Day

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee Declares March 15, 2014 to be Back Country Horsemen Day

As stated in the proclamation (see below), Back Country Horsemen of Washington (BCHW) is a statewide non-profit organization with chapters in communities throughout Washington that provide volunteer services to federal, state and local government agencies in the common effort to maintain recreational trails, trail heads, campgrounds, and other facilities on public lands.

The Methow Valley is home to one of the 35 chapters of BCHW. The Methow Valley Back Country Horsemen (MVBCH) has been in existence for 29 years. Over that time members have accrued numerous volunteer hours working with public land managers and other trail-user organizations to build, clear and maintain trails, to develop and maintain campgrounds, and to assist in constructing bridges and other trail structures. MVBCH also seeks grant funding and donations to help pay directly for certain projects. 

The volunteer trail work provided by BCHW and other trail-user organizations is becoming increasingly important for the Forest Service, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Parks and the Department of Natural Resources, and other public lands agencies as their budgets continue to decline. 

On April 26, 2014 MVBCH holds its 30th annual fund raising Spring Ride. Members are currently seeking donations from the community for the Spring Ride auction. In the past, in addition to members of BCH, local businesses and individuals (particularly artisans and crafts people) have been generous in their support of the auction. We very much hope that all trail users, and those who benefit from visitors who come to enjoy the wonderful array of trails in the Methow Valley, will feel able to contribute items for the auction when our collectors call by in the next few weeks. (Text contributed by MVBCH member Jan Ford)

The proclamation as presented to BCHW...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Emergency Dismounts

Picture this: You're on a ride and your horse gets a hornet sting or, worse yet--has just decided it's time to act like a real jerk. He's completely out of control and you know you need to get off his back quick, but don't know how. Take a look at this short video of the proper technique by Julie Goodnight, and stay safe!

Emergency Stops

Not all of us have the "Perfect Horse". Or, some of us actually do have that perfect horse, but unusual or especially challenging circumstances change our bomb-proof natural wonder into a freaking maniac charging ahead like a race horse and blowing through our every effort to call a halt. This little video by horse master Julie Goodnight shows us a rescue method we can call into play when (or if) the need ever arises... Please remember that this is a "rescue" method for your and your horse's safety; it's not for your average everyday "maybe we should stop and rest here" request.