My buddy Tim and I, along with our horses, spent last weekend riding in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, located within the Wenatchee National Forest. Smokey was his usual trusty trail self, and the ride was event free. We rode in about 12 miles on Saturday, with the weather warm and alternating between clouds and sun. Rain started around 8pm, and continued non-stop until around 4am Sunday morning. Sunday was blustery and chilly. Thankfully we were outfitted with proper raingear, so we stayed warm and dry when the skies opened up on us during the last two hours of the ride out.
While only 35 miles from the Norse Peak Wilderness, the terrain and vegetation are vastly different. The terrain is very rocky, and is covered with enormous boulders deposited by the glaciers thousands of years ago. The vegetation is mostly alpine scrub.
I never really cease to be amazed with Smokey. The horse who can be a complete idiot in the arena, was a calm, surefooted, trusty steed the entire weekend. Riding in the lead, he was surefooted, kept a good pace, and never balked at any obstacles. Occasionally he would just stop walking, and look back at me as if to say "I think this is a good place to camp", but a gentle reminder would set him to walking again.
The view from the top of the Polallie Ridge Trail. (Elev. ~5500ft). My pitiful Nikon Coolpix does not do justice to the sheer beauty of the views from up here. I must return in the summer time.