Monday, 22 August 2016

Avoiding Echo Canyon

We were now near the head of Echo Canyon, where there had been a Pony Express station referred to as Head of the Canyon, Castle, or Frenchie's.  I had realised that negotiating the canyon would involve a nasty narrow section where it was completely filled by Interstate 80.  Although the re-ride uses the canyon, I did not relish taking two horses down the hard shoulder with semi-trucks careering past on a downhill run, so had secured permission to detour through land to the northwest owned by Ensign Ranches.  They are a sizeable concern owning extensive properties including the abandoned ranch where I had just been staying.

On the morning of Wednesday June 15th, we crossed under Interstate 80 at the head of Echo Canyon onto Ensign Ranch land.  Jeff turned up to make sure the gate was unlocked, but in fact there was already a handcart trek being organised, and what a lovely day for it....
.. people were arriving as I set off up the Suttons Creek valley.  A superb day's ride through some lovely scenery, best described in video clips.  A herd of antelope scarper down Sutton's Creek valley..
Riding over the top from the Suttons Creek valley to Heiner Canyon....
...Echo Canyon runs parallel and off to the left.

Riding down Heiner Canyon ...
 
 Uninhabited cowboy cabin near the entrance where I was able to sleep overnight on the sofa while the horses grazed in the overgrown garden...
No electricity, but the boiler was working so I was able to treat myself to a shower after two nights catlick.

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