Riding With A Packstring

Our ride with the packstring and guests going in to the Bob Marshall Wilderness with 7 Lazy P guest ranch was about to begin. Even the experienced riders were sharing a few insecurities – after all, 10 days is a long time.

We received a few instructions after breakfast and, I must digress…we also sang happy birthday to Chuck Blixrud who owns the ranch. What a guy. Happy birthday Chuck and many more!

Getting all of the animals ready was no small task for the wranglers. And, it was probably more difficult because we all stood around and watched!



After we got a ways from the ranch, we were on a mountainside trail and I bravely reached in to my saddlebags to get my camera so I could shoot a photo. I was getting accustomed to my horse and starting to relax on the trail.

The weather was close to perfect. I had a lightweight jacket on first thing in the morning but then the sun came out and warmed us all. There really was a sense of excitement and anticipation throughout the group.





Dave Hovde, a 31-year veteran of packing for 7 Lazy P, was in the lead. Dave knows this area inside and out. And, I suspect he could write a book about all of the adventures on the trail. I doubt that he ever tires of the view and the chance to share it with others.

In this location I would rather have been on my horse instead of perched on what looked like a rockslide with a trail through the middle!

I was so impressed at how the horses handled on this trail. Chuck had told me one time that the best way to experience this trail was on a horse because you can look around and enjoy the scenery while your horse is doing the work. And, you don’t have to watch where your next step will be. I wasn’t sure that I bought in to that theory until I did experience it on a horse. I can now say I’m sure he is right.


Here’s a closeup of some happy riders experiencing the sheer drama of an impressive and breathtaking view.

After the group passed by us, we untied our horses, mounted and rode ahead once again to shoot photos back as the group approached us.

What a incredible day!

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