Started the trip like always stopping at the water trough on our way out to see if anyone was around. No one was in sight. These cute flowers were blooming this morning right in the middle of the road.
|Horses! On Shinn Mountain, the group at the bottom (yellow arrow) is the White Stallions, the Chestnuts is to their right. The 2 groups up higher we had not seen before.|
While parked alongside the road a BLM Rangers Truck stopped beside us. They asked if we were "scouting horses" we told them we were and that we were really having a great time watching them, having never seen horses in the wild before. They were from the Alturas Field Office and had been brought in to help patrol the area making sure no activists were messing up the trap sites. They showed us their maps, comparing them to ours, we talked about the road conditions, trap sites, wild horse management, hunting, trucks, tires, birds, antelope, deer, etc... it was a very pleasant and informative conversation. They told us another great place to visit and watch Mustangs was by Cedarville, CA (managed by their field office) and outside Winnemucca, NV was a good place to see a lot of Wild Burrows.
|This is to the left of the previous picture, the Bay Stallion with his band, the ones we saw the first day on the other side of Shinn Peak. Their Pic|
We estimated there must be about 50 horses in the area.
As they were departing they said the were headed to Painters Flat to make sure no activists were camped there as they were expecting things may turn violent. He said people were really up in arms about this roundup and that the roundups are now the second priority of the US Dept of the Interior, second only to the oil spill, and CA Senator Dianne Feinstein has taken a special interest in the Wild Horses. We continued on toward Shinn Ranch road.
|This type of damage was all up and down both sides of the creek. All around the creek was heavily over grazed also, many places down to the dirt, didn't take a photograph though.|
|There were hundreds, couldn't fit them all in one shot. They separated into smaller groups and ran in different directions.|
We were trying to find a trail into the springs on the back side of Shinn Peak, hoping the herd would come over the hill to water soon, but it was really rough and hot so we decided to go to Painters Flat instead.