_Bread And Horse Wrecks

Serves: 5



One might think these two topics have little in common and under most circumstances such an assumption would be valid. However, on one occasion I observed the first cause the second! Here is how it happened. The last couple of days of August finds the trail heads into the Middle Fork busy, as sheep hunters head in to set up camp and do some last minute scouting before the season opens on September first. In order to kill two birds with one trip, so to speak, I planned to trail in with four head of stock and work sheep hunters for a few days. When finished, I’d leave two head with an outfitter and pick them up later during elk season. With miles to drive and ride, I left home before the grey light of dawn.

When I pulled into the trailhead and unloaded my stock, two fellows, already there, were sorting gear and making up horse packs. They had two saddle horses and two pack horses in various stages of undress. As I unloaded gear, they hustled over for a little conversation. It took just a few minutes to learn they were headed for Waterfall Creek. They told me they hoped to make it to Pole Creek that night and on into Waterfall Creek the next.

I’ll never be a unanimous choice for the “Packers Hall of Fame”, but it didn’t take an old hand to see these two guys qualified for “Pilgrim” status. (Volume Two of this series will deal with “Pilgrims” in greater detail.) Anyway, they were still within sight of their truck when the first of several wrecks occurred. I watched them try to balance and jury rig the two outsize loads so they’d ride. In order to give them a head start I made up my packs and ate a lunch of sardines and crackers before I packed up and headed out.

Going down the old two-rut road, I saw signs things might be unravelling for these guys. In two different places the tracks showed they’d stopped and re-set their packs. I don’t like to bet on someone elses misfortune, but this for sure didn’t look like a good bet!

For anyone who’s ridden the Camas Creek Trail, they already know Big Dry Gulch offers the only real good spot to horse camp in the fourteen miles from the trailhead to the mouth of Camas Creek. I caught up to these guys about a half mile short of Big Dry Gulch. Where I caught up to them, the trail was not wide enough to get my string past, so I pulled up and waited. Trying to repack kitchen boxes in the middle of a trail on a buzzed up pack horse will try the patience of any saint. Suffice it to say none of the adjectives or adverbs from the conversation between those two belong in a cook book.

I watched as one fellow rearranged canned goods while the other tried to tie a flatland version of a diamond hitch. Among the canned goods, I could see several “cardboard tubes” of store bought, taste like homemade, ready to bake biscuits. These guys knew they were holding me up and were hurrying as best they could. Within about fifteen minutes they were ready to head out again.

As they took off I held back a little ways just for a cushion in case they had more problems. Even from a distance I could hear the canned goods rattling in the bottom of their pack boxes. They’d packed their kitchen on a bay horse who, it appeared to me, had little experience as a pack horse. He kept trying to walk wide of the trail and get up next to his buddy. Within about 200-300 yards of Big Dry Gulch this old bay horse again went wide of the trail, it having slipped his mind, with his load, that he was now a couple feet wider than normal. When the off-side pack box smacked a big granite boulder several things all started to happen at once. He’d hit so hard he stepped sideways into the horse he was trying to pass. This horse, being ridden by the owner of the offending pack horse, responded by jumping ahead into the rear of the pack horse in front. The chain reaction continued to include the lead horse as well. Now, both riders began screaming various adjectives, adverbs, and non-complimentary nouns!

Up to this point, things weren’t too bad. Within seconds, control appeared to be within their grasp. Then the second stage ignited. The horse, who started it all, had just about calmed down when those biscuit-bearing cardboard tubes spontaneously began to explode. I’m not sure what it sounded like to this old horse, but whatever it was, he decided it wasn’t in his contract to haul. Every time another tube gave up a load of ready to bake biscuits, this old horse would buck a different direction. For the minute or so it took him to buck the whole load off, he looked like he belonged in a rough stock string on the rodeo circuit! Not to be outdone, the other pack horse got in the spirit of things and both loads ended up scattered over a fairly wide area. For the first five minutes after the dust cleared, the only word I heard either guy say which could be printed here is ”you”!

Fortunately, no visible injuries were suffered, but I suspect if those two guys ever get ahold of this cook book they’ll suffer flashbacks or latent mental trauma for awhile. Anyway... I pulled off at Big Dry Gulch, tied my stock up and gave them a hand. The pack box, which formerly contained the pressurized biscuit bearing cardboard tubes, now held an amorphous blob-like mixture of raw biscuit dough, eggs and egg shells, orange juice, maple syrup, and soy sauce covered cans. We dumped this mess as far off the trail as we could. If only the next party down the trail had been a film crew shooting special effects footage for a sci-fi horror film. In this case a picture would have indeed told a story worth a thousand words. It honestly looked like a quivering, glistening, gob of mutant protoplasm from an alien planet.

An in-depth analysis of this situation might well yield several “morals to this story”. i.e. Don’t pack pressurized containers on a green broke pack horse if you do pack such containers, make sure to pad them so they won’t release their contents prematurely, or if you want fresh bread in camp, pack the ingredients and bake it once you get there!

A Back Country Guide to Outdoor Cooking Spiced with Tall Tales - Bread in Camp

This _Bread And Horse Wrecks recipe is from the Cee Dub's Dutch Oven and Other Camp Cookin' Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

More Recipes from the Cee Dub's Dutch Oven and Other Camp Cookin' Cookbook:
_A Lasting Gift
_About The Cooks!
_About the Author
_As Close To Heaven As One Can Get
_Barbeque Texas Style
_Bread And Horse Wrecks
_Brother-In-Law Duck
_Camp Creations
_Camp Crock Pot
_Camp Kitchens
_Camp Robbers
_Campfire Cash
_Chicken ala S*#T
_Chili, The Controversy And The Recipes
_Common Sense And Cards
_Cookin' With Kraut
_Cooking From Cans - Menu For Day 16
_Culinary Bombs
_Don't Critize The Cook...
_Dry Camps
_Fanny Pack Snacks
_Game Meat
_Game Warden Dog
_Game Warden Scramble
_Garlic & Her Poor Cousin "Onion"
_Getting Bread In Camp
_Good Cooks / Bad Cooks!
_Good Humored Cook
_Hank's Spaghetti Sauce
_Hank, Jack And Me
_How To Cook A Coot
_Hungry Ridge Chicken
_Jerky And Smoked Fish
_Las Piedras
_Making Do
_Middle Fork Spareribs
_Modern Day Pilgrims
_No Name Creek Baked Beans
_Pitch In And Pitch Out
_Potatoes aka Taters, Spuds
_Redhot Rhubarb Upside Down Cake - The Story
_Religious Bedroll
_Roast Coot
_Rubs For Meat, Not Backs
_Shoestring Bull
_Something Soft For Dinner
_Sugar And Spice And Other Things Nice
_The Adventures of 'Two-Story Tom'
_Things I Don't Care To Eat
_Twas The Week Before Elk Season
_Two Reluctant Cooks
_Veggies For Camp
_Warden Stew
_Where Do You Buy Scratch

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