Here are a few of the riding hazards of the desert. The picture on the top left was taken from the bed of a "wash". When the desert gets rain, it pours and floods causing these types of washes. These cannot really be seen from the road and as you can see, the walls can be quite high. We usually have to find a way into the bed of the wash...ride down the wash to find a way out. Our original idea of 3128 miles is going to be quite a few more miles than that. The second picture is a friendly little cactus named chollo. The static from passing too close can cause the spines to actually appear to shoot you, we give them plenty of passing room. People sometimes describe them as the leaping cactus. I had two more pics that just refused to upload. One was of barbed wire, we run up on strands all the time and they are so dangerous. Our route is often changed to find passes from old fences that the post have long since disentergrated and left only the wire behind. The other pic that just refused to cooperate was one of a rock bed. We had to ride through about 3 miles of nothing but rocks that varied in sizes. There was virtually no flat ground for the horses feet. It was a long, long ride as we gave the horse their head and allowed them to pick their way through.
You know all those cowboy movies where they are riding wide open in the desert....I say bull!!! Ain't no way. The most common thing is gopher holes that causes a hoof to sink anywhere from 4 to 8 inches. I know if we ran, all four of us would be eating dirt.
I don't want to sound like I am complaining..I am not. There is still plenty of rugged beauty as we pick our way through. As we are riding, we can see more distance between us and the snow covered mountain tops. At night as the sun sets behind it, I say a prayer of thanks for keeping all safe and a magnificent close to our day.