Loop Elderberry

Wild Blue Elderberry, a unique sight at Horse Butte

Saturday, July 11, 2020

I rode in the Horse Butte National Forest with my friend, Judy, who was on Sunni. (Unfortunately, our ride photos are in my camera, still in the horse trailer. I’ve too little time to retrieve and download before publishing today’s notes. So, Judy, with apologies for this oversight, I’ll publish pictures today on FB.)

Our goal was to ride that entire loop I’ve been trying to create. It’s designed to start at the trailhead and take a horseback rider to four specific Forest locations, and then loop back to the starting point. I wanted my design to have horses traveling more on forest trails than on roadways.

Easily, Judy and I found The Greenery before traveling on toward the Campground. There we found ourselves lost among many surrounding rock outcroppings. From the Campground, there’s a foot- or horse-trail, with very faint beginnings, that my horses have found and walked over. Both horses kindly obeyed Judy and me, they moved us into nooks and crannies that we hoped wouldn’t dead-end. Nowhere did our explorations reveal the desired trail. Finally, after simply stumbling onto that pathway, we cheered. We then continued toward our next destinations, finding them without trouble.

I left Horse Butte confused by not understanding a direct route from Greenery to Campground Trail. Other than Judy, the person to best understand my dilemma was Susie, who’d ridden over my loop. I texted and Susie later responded by riding to my home on her bike, bringing several mapped versions of Horse Butte. One map of her own creation showed the loop we’d ridden.

In navigating, I rely on eyesight and memory. Neither are terrific which is why my loop confuses. Moreover, it takes courage and patience to teach me technologies that I’ve already had difficulty comprehending, but kudos to Susie. She was undeterred by my resistance to maps and compasses, and long story short, after her determined tutorial, we downloaded area maps to my iPhone. Now, I’ve a sense of how to use them along with the phone’s compass.

Soon, armed with technology, I’ll return to Horse Butte and finish designing my horseback loop.

Dear Friends: Often, as in this case, progressing may be reliant on community efforts. Diana

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