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Mules got a work out #14098709 09/03/19
Joined: Jun 2001
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saddlesore Offline OP
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I packed some friends into the West Elk Wilderness north of Gunnison,Co this past week end and then did about 40 miles of pleasure mountain riding.

Up near timberline, the amount of avalanche damage is tremendous. Some areas I could not get thru.Old growth trees 20-24" in diameter up rooted and thrown 50-60 yards leaving a root ball crater 6-8 ft across and 5 foot deep.Some areas look like it was logged.Tree all stacked up in a line 4-5 deep.I expect it is the same all over Colorado high country


If God wanted you to walk and carry things on your back, He would not have invented stirrups and pack saddles
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Re: Mules got a work out [Re: saddlesore] #14099830 09/04/19
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Windfall Offline
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The West Elk Wilderness north of Blue Mesa Reservoir is where I chased my elk around for a few years. We had horses, but they couldn't go straight up those mountains like the mules that I saw. Some rugged, high country back there to be sure. I remember one day hiking cross country between roads up there and I heard an elk coming and I said to myself, please don't be a bull because I'd never be able to get you out of here. We were having a beer at the Cattleman's in Gunnison and overheard some elk guides lamenting that there were 10,000 elk standing around in Soap Creek Canyon and they couldn't get to them. There is just so much that a horse or a mule can do. Beautiful country, but too high for this flat lander.


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Re: Mules got a work out [Re: saddlesore] #14102122 09/05/19
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ironbender Offline
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Sounds like a fun trip Vince. Lots of mountain snow last winter.


If you take the time it takes, it takes less time.
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American by birth; Alaskan by choice.
--ironbender
Re: Mules got a work out [Re: saddlesore] #14102217 09/05/19
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byron Offline
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Forty miles. Excellent! We did something close to that this past weekend.

Whats the old saying? The outside of a horse.....(or mule) ; )

The trails we found impassible were from beetle kill blowdown. Thought about going back with a chain saw, but the one darn trail would take a week, I swear!

Re: Mules got a work out [Re: saddlesore] #14110342 09/08/19
Joined: Jan 2006
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Rock Chuck Offline
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Avalanches do some tremendous damage. Last summer I took our church's scout troop on a llama pack trip to a high mtn lake. I'd been there 2 years before and there was a beautiful meadow behind the lake with a good spring for water. It was a great place to camp with good feed for the llamas. Then we got hammered with a rough winter, over 200% normal snowfall. Now the meadow is covered with deadfall and you can't even get to the spring.


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Re: Mules got a work out [Re: saddlesore] #14112100 09/08/19
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Gristle Offline
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We rode this past Monday in the Big South Fork recreation area. My buddy brought his 3 mules and I rode Jubal for 12 miles. He's the mule I have ridden all the time and he's about the easiest going one of the 3. His only problem is that, in his mind, EVERYTHING is out to eat him. We had 4 river otters jump into a creek we were riding beside and Jubal lost his mind for about 5, fun filled rodeo, seconds. I was actually able to stay in the saddle this time as he has dumped me twice due to my inexperience. I am slowly getting the hang of ol' long ears.

Cannot wait to get out to Colorado in October with Jeanne.

Re: Mules got a work out [Re: Gristle] #14112625 09/09/19
Joined: Jun 2001
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saddlesore Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Gristle
We rode this past Monday in the Big South Fork recreation area. My buddy brought his 3 mules and I rode Jubal for 12 miles. He's the mule I have ridden all the time and he's about the easiest going one of the 3. His only problem is that, in his mind, EVERYTHING is out to eat him. We had 4 river otters jump into a creek we were riding beside and Jubal lost his mind for about 5, fun filled rodeo, seconds. I was actually able to stay in the saddle this time as he has dumped me twice due to my inexperience. I am slowly getting the hang of ol' long ears.

Cannot wait to get out to Colorado in October with Jeanne.


Jeanne has a couple of new mules. She has one, that was mine on her string, that she has had for a few years. Ask to see Jewel. I am riding one and packing one I got from her. I am leaving Wednesday to ML hunt and will stop and see her for a visit for awhile.I camp about a mile up the road from her base camp

When mules go to bucking they can learn to do it a lot faster than the man riding them can learn to stay seated.I can only remember being bucked off 4 times in 45 years or so. Each time was complete surprise.I don't ride those types of mules anymore


If God wanted you to walk and carry things on your back, He would not have invented stirrups and pack saddles
Re: Mules got a work out [Re: saddlesore] #14124980 09/14/19
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 5,248
keith Online Content
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Amen to that, Saddlesore! I broke both arms on one hunting trip due to a surprise mule, one arm in a cast, the other in rods and screws.


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