Packing in a trail crew…or not.

By Patty Wilber

The plan was to meet at Jack’s Creek at 9 am on 7/26 so members of the Pecos Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen could pack an ACE (American Conservation Experience) crew in about nine miles to Rito Azul in the Pecos Wilderness.

We were ready with our three pack and three riding animals.

But the trail crew did not appear…Found out they were to arrive 7/26 pm to be packed in 7/27. Oops.

Amber opted to go home and Peter and I decided to ride into Beatty’s Cabin so he could check it out and possibly make a bid to the Forest Service for future repairs.  Also, neither one of us could come back the 27th.  Amber gave us the key to the cabin.

It has been sweltering at my house, so being at over 8,000 feet on a semi-rainy day was a welcome change.  I even wore my Muddy Creek rain coat for part of the day! The ride to the cabin never disappoints!

The trail was fully clear until pretty close to Noisy Brook.  From there to Beatty’s were 19 logs we had to step over; most will require a two man saw to remove. There were two logs half over the trail, one tree I got off to lead under and one higher log that we went around. Not bad.  We did not do any clearing this ride.

We arrived at the cabin and tried the key in the padlocks and …it did not fit! Well, par for the course.

So, we ate lunch. 

Peter then did find a way in, and he was able to do the assessment he had wanted to do.

As he was finishing up, a state of New Mexico Game and Fish guy rode up, a bit suspicious of our activity, but it was Shawn Carrell, who I had last chatted with (about the Pecos Wilderness) at the Appaloosa National Horse Show in Oklahoma!  Shawn gets to do a lot of work in the Pecos and maintains the State Game and Fish Cabin that is quite near the federally owned Beatty’s Cabin.  We had a nice visit, then Peter and I packed up and headed out.  Shawn’s crew got to stay the night and ride again the next day!

The 2013 Jarosa burn scar. The aspens are coming back strong.

On the way home. Almost to the junction of Jack’s Creek Trail and 25.

When we got back to the trail head, the ACE folks were there, and Richard and Amber were slated to pack them in 7/27. Back Country Horsemen will go back to get them out 8/1 or 8/2, but this time we will quadruple check the date!

We at least accomplished the cabin assessment, and I got a little ego boost when I realized that I had trained all four of the horses that we used!

Speaking of horses and training, Rip who was with me since January and who almost sold, like three times, really did find a lovely home this week. I had hoped to be able to be there for the buyers, but they could only come 7/26-7/27, and I was to be packing in the Pecos 7/26 and at the cancer center 7/27, so his breeder (Whispering Spirit Ranch) took him home 7/25. They sent this picture 7/27 and I got a little choked up, because, look at it!  Rip and his girl have already bonded! I am so happy for everyone!

I am in the land of the two-year-olds now, and have three; two to get started (Gino owned by Christy and Teeter, owned by David) and Gette to keep working on!  They all seem really good!  Exciting!

The Cancer Chronicles. When we last saw our intrepid cancer patient (me) she was kind of down in the dumps about the numb thighs thing.

Ok back to first person.  I met with the oncologist 7/27.  She thought my symptoms were indeed drug induced.  My outer thighs are still numb but the needling pain and the stretchy/tearing pain are diminished to almost nothing, and the numbness is getting less.  I could manage like this the rest of my life and be just fine (that’s my criteria–could I live with this the rest of my life and be fully functional?–and yes I could.) We ended up deciding to skip this week’s infusion and in three weeks will check the symptoms and if they are still improving, stay with the same drug but at a 30% dose reduction.  Thirty to 40% of patients in the trial did take dose reductions.  And skipping this dose is fine.  I still have 12 to go.  In it for the long haul, is how my Doc  put it.

I also met with the radiologist and she rechecked my skin to see how it fared after radiation.  It is all recovered except the redder spot where they put a sticker and I got an unpleasant  burn.  Turns out in normal people the sticker is a place where the radiation effects are LESS, not more.  She also checked a lump on my neck that I went in for last week (omg, I worry about every little thing).  It is probably a lymph node and is resolving on its own.  If it is not gone by my next appointment (in three weeks), then she said we can do further tests.  It is super rare to develop new cancer in the middle of cancer treatment, so that’s good to know.

She was very funny and said that oncologists love to image things to discover what they are.  Then she enthusiastically listed things we could do: ultrasound, biopsy, MRI…!  This made me laugh.  I get it! I mean, I am the person who convinced the knee doc to let me stay awake during an arthroscopic knee surgery (I felt NO pain as I had a spinal) so I could see it (0n the TV screen as it was, as mentioned, arthroscopic.)  I doubt they ever allowed that again because I was a total pest.  They’d say, “How are you doing?”  I’d say, “Fine!  What’s that tool for?” They’d say, “Are you sure your are ok?” I’d say, “Yes! What’s that stuff floating around?  What are you doing now?”

It was fascinating for me, but I am sure they were ready to shut me up!

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.
This entry was posted in The Write Horse and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Packing in a trail crew…or not.

  1. Doranna Durgin says:

    Really glad to see you’re feeling better and have a good plan! (Totally envious of that ride!)

  2. Ellen says:

    You’re a great lady, Patty! Blessings always but especially now during your treatment! Love and prayers, Ellen

  3. Patty says:

    Thank-you! Look for mail pretty soon!

Comments are closed.