Piceance Creek/Sand Wash Basin trip, #3 – 4/12

June 8, 2012

Onward. We continued on the Cathedral Bluffs road stopping at one point to check a water hole. It was dry, but we found a treasure that Diane was able to take home to her son. 🙂

Deer shed (antler)

There is so much to see, find, explore and enjoy in the horse ranges. This antler was still in good shape. Not yet chewed up by little critters.

Further down the road is a memorial with a variety of survival supplies within its structure that’s dedicated to a hunter that was lost in a storm. There’s also a place to sign a notebook telling folks that you were there and anything else you want to write about. We always stop.

Almost like they were placed there, we came across some horse bones at the memorial site. Having a Vet along with us was so much fun and interesting. Diane collected the bones and put them together like a puzzle and then demonstrated how they functioned together.

We dropped out of the Cathedral Bluffs area and decided to venture down Duck Creek where there is a large water hole with lots of horsey traffic. On the way, we told Diane that last summer, Melissa Kindall of the Meeker BLM had shown us an endangered plant that is found only in the Piceance Basin and it was on the way to where we were going. We were hoping to see it in bloom this time.

Melissa (Meeker BLM) points out the tiny Dudley Bluffs Bladderpod (a mustard plant) to us last summer and tells us to be sure to look for it while it’s blooming in the spring.

I’m sure Diane thought we were crazy when Tom and I got excited when we found some in bloom. (Information about the Dudley Bluffs Bladderpod can be found here:  Bladderpod)

After walking very carefully back to the Jeep (those Bladderpod’s are tiny!), we drove to the waterhole. Our timing was good. There were horses.

I spot the black boy first – he’s pretty close to the road and is the look out for the others.

He looks towards the waterhole.

As I get out and follow the direction of his gaze, I spot another horse. I believe this one is known as Henry.

And another horse joins him…

And then they were off.

Streaking across the road to the north.

I’ve always liked this boy. I have often wondered if he’s Handsome’s offspring. They used to share close proximity when this guy was a satellite stallion for a big bay band stallion.

Feeling like they’re a safe distance away, they turn to look at us. A group of 5 bachelor stallions.

This little guy is “Kindall” and he was easily spooked.

Our first day was coming to a close. We decided to quickly check the pasture again on Yellow Creek before heading back to town.

And there at the north end of the pasture is HANDSOME. Greeted by my favorite boy first thing in the morning and then wrapping the day up with him – several miles from the original sigting too. Doesn’t get much better than that!

He’s not alone this time. There is a another bachelor stallion following behind him.

Handsome enjoys a good, dusty roll.

And off he goes. Take care boy.

This had been a great day and there were still two more days to go. 🙂

Part One of the trip can be viewed at the link below:
http://wp.me/pqR49-2RG

Part Two of the trip can be viewed at the link below:
http://wp.me/pqR49-2TD

Photos are for viewing purposes only. Most images available for purchase at: http://www.NickolesPhotography.com. Images by Pam Nickoles Photography, along with all site content are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. Photos and/or text may not be used, downloaded or reproduced in any form without express written permission from Pam Nickoles Photography. Feel free to share, but please respect my copyright.

11 Responses to “Piceance Creek/Sand Wash Basin trip, #3 – 4/12”

  1. Jim Westin Says:

    What a wonderful adventure. Thanks for taking us along. A lot of it is deja vu for me thanks to the kindness of you and Tom.

  2. mariejessjones Says:

    beautiful photos as usual

  3. Diane Wagner Says:

    Excellent recap of this leg of our trip! I love the series if the bay galloping. He should be cavorting around the perimeter of your living room. Your photo documentary is a wonderful keepsake from our trip. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. Amy Says:

    Your “Handsome” and his bachelor buddy are gorgeous! I really love the big, stocky greys with solid confirmation and big shaggy feet. I love dapples too! All of these boys look healthy and shiny. It’s wonderful to see them thriving! Thanks for sharing.


  5. I’m curious what broke the horse’s leg bone? Is that why he died? Possibly? Loved the rolling sequence…and the bachelor boys.

  6. Kim Michels Says:

    I really enjoyed reading this Pam 😀

  7. judilee325 Says:

    thank you so much for sharing! it’s great to see some horses still thriving in the wild, no thanks to our “friends” at the blm! god bless you.

  8. Craig Downer Says:

    Thanks for sharing these stunning shots of the wild ones. Living in their free and natural manner, they are a blessing to the Earth!

  9. pnickoles Says:

    We need to get back there again Jim. 🙂

    Love that Diane – “cavorting around the perimeter of our living room.” Now wouldn’t that look nice? 🙂

    No way of telling Puller. I’m not sure if Diane told me or was able to tell whether or not the bone was broken before or after the horse was gone.

    I’m a sucker for the grays too Amy. Of course, I guess I just love them all…

    Thanks Marie, Kim, Judilee and Craig for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  10. Sami Says:

    Am a new fan! I love to watch the wild horse’s threw other’s that take such great photo’s of them. I also follow BarbaraWheeler’sPhotography.com/blog. Thank you for doing this for us not so easy to travel people.


  11. […] From 84 Mesa, we took a quick side trip down Duck Creek so I could show TJ where the Dudley Bluffs Bladderpods were located. The Bladderpods “are limited or endemic to barren white shale outcrops and specific soil tongues in the Piceance Basin of Rio Blanco County, Colorado” and are quite rare. (More information here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie/5716434206/) I also wrote about them before and have pictures when they are blooming (click on the link, scroll to the pictures and then hit your browser’s back arrow to come back to this post): https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/piceance-creeksand-wash-basin-trip-3-412/ […]


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