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A Horse Tale

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On the Memorial Day 2016 weekend I set out on a wild horse adventure to an area in western Nevada known as the Pine Nut Mountains. I knew the area where I would have wild horse encounters were only accessible via 4×4 vehicles. I rented a Jeep Cherokee.

The first night on the Pine Nut Mountains I camped out on the range, but the weather conditions made for an uncomfortable night. So the next two nights I made my base camp Crystal Springs campground nearby, but it was across the Nevada/California border.

My first night at the campground I was able to get on the range by 8am. That was when I had my first wild horse encounter. I saw the band or group of wild horses alone in the desert seemingly having a meeting. I stopped and photographed that moment.

This is what I determined through research and knowledge of their behavior.

img_7104This wild horse caught my attention because he was waving his tail dramatically and making loud whinny sounds. The sounds coming from that horse were not sounds I heard before from other horses. This horse was also hoofing at something in the desert. I later discovered this horse was hoofing at one of his deceased band mates.

 

 

 

I observed and watched and tried to read the scene. I scanned around and realized a notorious stallion named Zorro by wild horse advocates was barking at a group of horses.
Zorro was seemingly trying to take a horse away from the group?

I then sat still and again tried to figure out was going on, but then I suddenly realized their was a deceased horse on the ground, and the horse who was whining loudly and waving his tail wildly pointed me to the carcass.

I then retreated and tried to process the scene, but I wasn’t smart enough, but after observing them for the remainder of the year and then using what I learned and returning to my photos I then concluded what I witnessed.

In the end a horse named Zorro, who killed more than his fair share of fellow horses, bowed down to the one horse on the range who allowed him to claim a dame.

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Camping in Mendocino County during an El Nino Event!

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One day me and a friend had made a decision to go off-roading at the Lost Coast in California during a weekend when a major El Nino event was going to drench the state. We talked and then we prepared for it. My friend has a Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4, and he was very familiar with the Lost Coast.

We chatted back and forth on FB for a week. However the day before we were heading out Caltrans District 1 posted a photo online of a major landslide that occurred 5 miles North of WestPort, CA, on highway 1. That was the road we’re supposed to take to the Lost Coast, but the scene was so bad a truck driver had almost gotten pushed over the slide of a cliff from the unstable hillside, so they closed the road indefinitely. When we arrived in Fort Bragg we thought the road would be open by the time we got there, but a big road side sign said “Road Closed Ahead.” Our plans were thwarted, but we quickly came up with another plan. That plan was to try to camp at one of the area campgrounds, BUT turns out they were also closed. Online it indicated that Van Damme State Park was open, but it said nothing about no camping. So my friend happen to know people in that area, so we went to their ranch and camped in the rain.

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Trail blocked by downed trees.

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This is the set-up we used to stay dry.

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Cooking bacon on the BioLite stove.

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Mendocino County is God’s Country.

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Off-roading during an El Nino event.

 

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