Back Country Horseman Memorial Day Weekend 2023

By Patty Wilber

The Pecos Chapter of the Back Country Horseman camped at the Panchuela Administrative site and rode out from there to work on Windsor Trail 254, Windsor Ridge (271) and Cave Creek (288). Kevin, on foot, (yes, we are happy to have members that walk instead of ride!) worked on his own on the trail to Mora Flats (241?) and Dockweiler (259).

Cometa in a pen with Penny and LT at our camping spot. He is looking good for 26!

We brought Penny, LT and Cometa, and we set up our campsite in Mary Ann’s spot since she was unable to come. We brought the dogs, too, but Lani was bad.  She tried to eat Bain’s dog (noisy, but no broken skin) and she nipped Anne AFTER she’d met Anne and acted like she was fine. Lani was therefore on a leash or in the trailer a lot of the time.  Coulson is much more relaxed. Lani is 10, and has some eye issues, so we will have to continue to be extra careful with her!

Our set up! We finally used our canopy and it was very pleasant! Coulson in the front and Lani behind the chair.

On Saturday, we broke into three groups. The Kingsbury group worked Windsor Trail (254).  They cleared over 30 logs without even making it on to the ridge. Our group rode Windsor Ridge (271) and we cleared 38 logs and ALMOST made it to Skyline Trail (251). Kevin was a group of one and drove to Iron Gate and worked on the trail to Mora Flats (241?). He cleared 8 or 10, I think.

Colleen borrowed our horse, Penny, and Andrew, the iron man, hiked. He kept up, too, which was very impressive since we covered over 11 miles (round trip) and climbed from about 8300 feet to just over 10,000 feet (and then came back down.) It was Colleen’s first project and Andrew’s second.  We did not scare them off! In fact, they may have even recruited some new members! And even better, we are talking new members that are under 50!

Colleen and Andrew sawing a log on Windsor Ridge Trail.

The Butt Push. An easy way to get a log off the trail. Bain, Peter, Jim, Colleen and Andrew.

Colleen, Andrew, and Peter all went home Saturday night.  We stayed, and enjoyed a potluck dinner and campfire with the Kingsbury crew and Kevin..

Heck of a sunset!

On Sunday, we stole Anne Marie from the Kingsbury crew, and went off to work on Cave Creek Trail. Peter had packed for our team on Saturday, so we needed a pack animal for Sunday. Penny was free since Colleen had  gone home, and Penny packed our tools on Sunday. Anne Marie practice packed. I am proud of Penny!  She can do anything. 

Penny hauling tools. She is such a solid mare and I appreciate her versatility and steady nature so much!

We cleared to the caves (which are almost completely underwater due to the high run off).  We took off about 12 logs in three miles.  Our other crew did another 35+ on Windsor (254).  I don’t know how many Kevin got on Dockweiler, but all told The Pecos Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen cleared more than 100 logs off trails! Well done, us!

Anne Marie and Jim working a log on Cave Creek Trail.

A most interesting log was across the horse path in a creek crossing! Jim cut it (from the upstream side so as not to squashed by a log being pushed by the current!). Once it was free, it floated down to the people log-jam bridge and was out of the way of horse traffic. Jim loves water and it was a warm day, so he claimed it felt nice, even though his boots got a little waterlogged.

A new one–cutting in a creek.

I love doing back country horseman projects! I get to be in the wilderness, with my horses and people I enjoy, doing a public service that is satisfying and challenging! If anyone is interested in joining us, please contact me via FB messenger or leave a comment!

Cancer Treatment Update. I started radiation last Tuesday and go daily, but the machine was broken last Friday so I only had three treatments last week.  I did have fatigue–my muscles just feel weak and lacking in endurance.  Luckily, I was still okay to participate in the work project!  We had to sign a form that asked if we understood the physical requirements of the project…I understood them…and I was able to complete them as well, at a slightly slower pace than usual!

On Thursday, my radiologist increased the field of radiation to include more lymph nodes.  She decided this was necessary because of the skin involvement in my initial diagnosis.  Twenty-five percent of people get arm swelling as a result of irradiation of the lymph nodes.  Folks that are physically active are less likely to experience that, so that bodes well for me.  Also, the swelling is manageable with a compression sleeve, if necessary.

In order to calibrate the new field, I had to lay still with my arms above my head in my custom made form for a long time and my right arm went completely numb.  Fortunately, daily treatments are normally quite short, so I don’t have dead-arm every day!

I thought we were also going to increase the treatment length to six weeks, but I was mistaken there and are still on the four week (20 treatments, total) plan. I will be done around June 22. Thank goodness, because that six week thing was going to interfere with Appaloosa Youth World.

I start the Kadcycla (antibody + a cytotoxic agent, so precise delivery of a killing agent to any remaining cancer cells) infusions June 8th and will go every three-ish weeks for 14 treatments. The major side effect of the Kadcycla is low platelet counts so we will be keeping an eye on that. If the Kadcycla doesn’t agree with me, there are other options, which is nice.

After the 14 infusions (so next year) we will be looking at estrogen suppressor pills for five years.  I have heard bad things about those pills, but won’t have to worry about them for at least a year!

We are going white-water rafting Saturday in the Taos Box (with an experienced guide).  The water is really high due to the good snow pack we had this year, so that will be interesting. Fortunately, the radiation has not incapacitated me (six treatments in), so I can still have fun adventures!

Happy Friday!


About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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4 Responses to Back Country Horseman Memorial Day Weekend 2023

  1. Carolyn Meinel says:

    Thank you for your news on Back Country Horsemen and your successful cancer treatments.

  2. Richard Kingsbury says:

    Where do I join!!!!

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