Articles



Camp Smoke at Twilight- Good News for Horse Riders in Washington

Camp Smoke at Twilight- Good News for Horse Riders in Washington

As published in the March – April 2013, issue of The Trailhead News.

A new season of prime riding and camping weather is being heralded by our annual Rendezvous in just a few days and of course the Methow Spring Ride. For many people the task of deciding where to ride and camp during 2013 recently became much more difficult with the construction of a new horse camp and another (hopefully) on the way.

In a time when we so often hear disheartening stories about the loss of equestrian riding and camping areas there is also good news to be heard, we just have to look for it. In each these cases we’re gaining new trails and new campgrounds that are not only horse and mule friendly: they’re being built especially with equestrian riders and campers in mind. These new riding and camping areas are the direct result of riders like you and I making our voices heard by land managers across the country who are increasingly seeing the importance of equestrian usage in their areas.

Already popular, Riverside State Park, near Spokane, will now be even more of a destination point since it can now accommodate overnight stays at the new horse camp. Over 5 years of planning, working together with numerous agencies, over 300 hours of BCHW volunteer muscle and labor, and a pile of persistence, have combined to create a new horse camp complete with corrals, arena, restroom and even more features on the way. Bravo to the Inland Empire Chapter for their hard work and dedication to this project.

Just as we did with Riverside we can create another win for horse camping with a brand new horse camp at Loup Loup, in the Okanogan Valley, if everyone who reads these words would take just a moment to send a brief, short, and concise, email of support for the proposed Loup Loup Horse Camp to the Methow Valley Chapter at wpjzford(at)centurylink.net. They’ll gather and send them to the Forest Service and we’ll be that much closer to riding the trails through the area, camping at a horse friendly campground, and enjoying some excellent dutch oven meals together. Riverside happened because we joined together to advocate and build, let’s do the same for Loup Loup and gain yet another spot to enjoy the scent of camp smoke at twilight. Please take a moment to act.

As we gather at Rendezvous for the largest BCHW gathering of the year with chapter members from across the state sharing ideas, information, and of course a great meal, let’s remember to keep this sense of bonhomie alive throughout the year as we work together on the trails and on preserving our access to them. Whether our version of camping entails a wall tent and a pack string heading deep into the wilderness or a LQ trailer with a micro wave and hot showers, we’re all Back Country Horsemen and we’re all striving for the same things; to enjoy our horses and mules on the trails and in the back country, to keep that access alive, to help maintain the trails, to help others learn to protect these resources, and to spread the word about BCHW. See you around the camp fire.