As we started the trail, we met a large group of riders. The lead lady pointed to Big Valley Trail and said they should take that back to their trailers.
I asked where they were parked. Where they were the ones on Cut Off Road by the Million Dollar Bridge? Yes, they were.
I noted that Big Valley Trail was really nice but they'd end up North of Rockton on Hwy 131 and they'd have to route to the 9-10 Trail, then to Dutch Hollow and then ride through Rockton on the road and ride back over the bridge.
The lady picked up her cell phone and tapped it while trying to hold her horse still. She stared at it and said she was trying to pick up the map on her phone.
[Ahhhh. Cell Phones are the bane of those at KVR. So many areas of the Reserve have no good cell service.]
I asked if she had a paper map. She did not.
I said if they went up Big Valley then they'd add about 4 miles to their ride and have to ride the horses over that huge bridge.
Anyway, I pointed them back to where they could hook up with Hoot Owl/Cut Off that would take them back to their rigs. It would back track for them, but they wouldn't have to deal with 131 traffic.
They all seemed relieved and of course they had to ask if Charlie was a mini Rottweiler. He isn't.
Charlie and I bid them a good day and off we went.
He was on a Mission:
The trail drops down into a valley on the second section.
And the Fall colors are showing on the Sumac and starting on some of the trees.
We got to the stream crossing. Of course I thought I was being so wise to take off my boots and drap them over my neck, pick up Charlie and ... I forged ahead.
In the middle of the creek I'd wished I'd left my boots on. The rocks were slippery and some were sharp. The water was frigid. If anyone would have watched, they would have laughed at us.
Me...tippy toeing through the frigid water, holding a 13 pound dog across my chest and telling the little dog that I promised not to drop him. He was clinging to me like velcro. He doesn't like water that is deeper than he is tall.
We made it and I walked out to County P barefoot as Charlie charged ahead.
In the end, I think it was a good decision to take off the boots. We had another mile and a half to go on the last section of the Hoot Owl Trail. We covered that quickly and ran into another group of ladies with beautiful horses.
Using Trail Etiquette, I picked up Charlie and talked with them as they approached and didn't jump around or make any strange movements.
I have yet to have a rude encounter with other hikers, hunters, bicyclists, or riders on the Reserve. [Other than that lady whose dog bit Charlie this spring]
Now I am totally finished with the Eastern section of trails, as well as all of the far south east trails and all of the North west section trails.
I was going to hike with my nephew and his wife on Saturday to complete one 2 mile section, however this is the weekend of the Dam Challenge. The trails I wanted to go on will be used for a 3.5 mile run.
The Dam Challenge has a 7 mile canoe trip, a 14 mile bicycle ride, and a 3.5 mile run.
I may take my nephew and his wife back to my favorite stomping grounds near the ice caves which will be far away from all the hoopla.
Sections 46, 47, & 48 Completed.