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[pct-l] Re:Effects of horses

Thanks for your in put Jim! I have been passing information on to many
riders to be very careful where you camp. I wish you could see one of our
camps. They are usually far of the trail in little hidden areas. They may
not have the view but they are cozy. One tiem I forgot my butt pack with
$1500 in it at a camp. I rode back on the PCT and had the hardest time
finding the camp site we made. I was getting might scarred.An old snag was
my only clue. My wife thinks I am too picky about camp sites. I fear that
the great spirit watches all in the wilderness. You get messy or
direspectful, you will pay!! I do not think it would be just another new
campsite to add to the horde. I doubt anyone, even other riders would camp
there. This keeps the smell of urine away from people who do not like the
smell. I personally am immune to it and it doesn't bother me. On the other
hand, I see much more problems with people not burying their crap and I ride
by popular lakes that smell of human urine and crap. I do not get up tight
though. I really try not letting others take away what nature has to offer.
There is a wilderness shelter by MT Ashland in S. OR. A beautiful shelter
with spectacular views of MT Shasta. We put the horses far off in the
distance and went back to spend the night at the shelter. The smell of human
crap was nauseating! I couldn't sleep there it was so bad. This is also
yuppie land with so-called nature fanatics who are rude to horsemen! To me,
they were a bunch of city day hikers who do not know the first thing about
nature and etiquette. 

<Where trees were down the horses had gone off trail.

Oh man, I have had to do this before. One time my pack horse slipped and
rolled down the mountain from trying to get around trees. Sorry dude,
sometimes there is no choice. If I were allowed to carry a chain saw, nobody
would have to step over a log. Last year was full of blow down. I know saws
are noisy, but I do not have the time to spend two hours on one log sawing.
Each Spring, I do my part in clearing trails. This year I helped clear about
20 miles of trails in Southern Oregon. Hard work! I figure that if I cause
damage each year, I should at least help with trails. This is one thing that
most horsemen in this part of the country practice. I would say 80 percent
of the trails cleared are by horsemen in WY, MT, ID, and OR. There are horse
clubs every where and spring time is trail maintenance time. 

<It was like hoof shaped bites where the trail had just given way underneath
the weight of the horse and <rider.

Boy, guilty of this one too! I try and catch it and repair the hole.
Sometimes it is impossible to see what is happening below. The PCT is pretty
well packed and seems to hold the weight well. 

Personally, I see many more backpackers than riders. I have only met one
lone packer on the PCT. I so far have only seen a few hoof prints since most
mountain riders stay in horse camps. Southern CA may be different. In MT, WY
and ID the trails were fairly vacant and there were few backpackers. Most
ride. I never seen real bad damage to the trails. Most of the damage I have
seen from Montana to Northern California has been from non-horse people.
This is because out of every one rider, there are 100 hikers. The lakes show
the most. I have never camped at a lake with horses and never seen a horse
camped at one. I am guilty of swimming a horse though. This is the ultimate
fun! But normally I stay away from lakes. My only suggestion is to try and
ignore the damage and see the beauty that is away from the trail. I always
forced my head away from the trail when backpacking. It is so easy to just
spend your time looking down. Now that I am horspacking, I have to tell
myself to quit watching the horses so much. Jus want to make sure all is
well. I remember hiking in the Mojave Desert feeling like I was the only
person in the world. I found solitude when I heard a dirt bike. The bike got
louder and louder until it roared past me. I started to get angry and
thought, This guy is having the time of his life and is really not hurting
anyone. Why should I bitch! The anger went away and I was able to once again
enjoy my desert outing. Oh boy, I better stop. Thanks for the response.


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