Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to the Beginning

Way back in August 2001, yep, just before the world changed, Brenda and I got married out in one of our favourite places on the planet. The Yaha Tinda ranch is a little piece of heaven about an hour and half west of our place here at Dogpound North.

Here we are back at the spot and I think the horses are checking for footprints from our wedding.
And the actual day
Long time readers will have seen this landscape many times as we have made a pilgrimage back to this spot on at least one occasion every year since.

I stumbled on this video, now these guys are probably not heading for Nashville but the pictures are beautiful and we too are forever Yaha Tinda Bound.

This year because of the floods we decided rather than camp right on the ranch we would stay at the Eagle Creek campground right on the east ranch boundary and ride in. We found a beautiful spot there right along the Red Deer River and enjoyed 5 beautiful days roaming the ranch and surrounding countryside.

The view downstream

And a look upstream

And here is a panorama of the view from our campfire
The first day we just took a ride over to the Bighorn camp to see how the repairs from the flood were coming along, a lot of changes there this year.
For those who have been here before this is the centre site down by the river, Bighorn creek has made it a creek bottom property now.
Once we checked out the camp we headed up to the spot we got married at then on up to Eagle Lookout for a look around the countryside.

Upriver from Eagle Lookout
For those who have been here, Dave and Sherry, you will notice the big swing to the north the river has made in the meadows east of the Bighorn Camp. The circle that was carved into the grass by folks "round penning" their horses is gone, probably somewhere out where you can see the gravel bar now.

Day two we just took a short ride up to Eagle Lake and although I didn't get a good photo, the water level is so high that the trail around the south side of the lake is under water, a couple of feet at least. We went in on the trail on the north side of the meadows from Eagle Creek and when we came out the same way we discovered a new trail heading off a little more northerly than the other. We have dubbed this the "Knee Knocker" cause the fellow who pioneered it must have been riding a pretty skinny horse as ours were just able to fit between a lot of the trees. We needed to exercise extreme caution to make sure Brenda's bad knees were intact when we got through those spots. It eventually came out on the old seismic line that headed NE from Walker's old camp and although we headed up there the next day we couldn't find a way across to the Poplar Bluff trail without some major bushwhacking. And with those aforementioned bad knees that is not in the cards.

Day Three we headed over the Hump out of Eagle Camp and did a little exploration east of Eagle Creek before heading around the Poplar Bluff, High Trail in our camp, trail. This is one of our favourite rides and the vista's are stunning.

And this from our lunch stop for the day
The view above is one of my favourites on the planet. It is always hard to leave this spot, no matter what the weather or season.

Day Four we just headed up river through the meadows checking out the changes along the riverbed up to the top crossing to Hidden Falls. I think a fellow could find his way across there but you would have to make your way through a lot of driftwood to do it. From there we headed north bushwhacking our way through what Brenda calls the soft trees, Pine and Spruce, and hit the meadows right about where the old telegraph line went through. We followed the meadow back down and stumbled on a new elk trap just as we got to the big meadow southwest of the ranch. For a lot of our readers some of this will mean nothing but for some others I am hoping I am painting a picture that brings you back to the ranch.

And this brings us to today, another beautiful day, but one we knew had to come. We had to pack up and head home today. Our rig needs some attention from our friends at Allandale Industries, and we have to drop it off tomorrow morning early to get those things looked after. God willing and the creeks don't rise we will be back on the trails soon, after a little resupply stop and some repairs.

For the Google Earth fans amongst our readers here is a view of our tracks on this trip.

Light Blue or Cyan is Day 1, Dark Blue for Day 2, Red is Day 3, and Magenta is Day 4.

This was our sunset view last night from our campfire


  1. Love the pictures and the story! Sure wish we could see you two again. It wont be long we will be visiting out your way!

  2. You two are such incurable romantics with a fairy tale story. Ain't love grand? :c)

  3. Like that sunset photo & it looks like you still got the same hat today as your wedding day almost.

  4. We truly enjoyed reading this blog. Your photos were wonderful. Reminiscing about your wedding day was captivating...and the scenery was stunning!