Posts Tagged With: Reservation land

INDIAN PONIES

The drive into Blue Lake State Park was kind of desolate. The country really opens up with few signs of human activity.  Much of the land around here is Indian Reservation. We saw Indian Ponies and cows eating the green grass along  the roadside. We could see fencing, but these animals seemed used to vehicles and had free range.

As we drove into the park, we saw this rancher and his dog riding a quarter horse and leading another horse  into the park.  This is a primitive park with no water or amenities save the lake. It took us some time to find a suitable level site away from the sand where  sharp wind gusts that come up push in that grit.  I was able to get my bike out and ride for the first time and it felt great. It’s quiet here and the peacefulness soaks into your bones after Albuquerque and Grants.  We are headed for Gallup then Canyon de Chelly.

Two hours later the quartet came back from their journey, just passing our camping spot. The horse on the left, Mash, is part thoroughbred and quarter, Paiute is a quarter horse. And Mattie, the herding dog, is part border collie. The quarter horse reminded me of my daughter’s horse and I asked if he rented them. No!  The horse on the lead is young and in training. “I just took ’em over some rough country,” he told me.  I love to ride but I hate those nags in the rental outfits.

I got to pat them down, remove a few burrs from their blankets and fur and they went on their way.

About dinner time, we saw the Indian ponies come in for a drink at the lake.  They seem used to people and ignore them.

Then more came, headed for a drink. Two colts were among the adults.

After their drink, they settled in to graze.

We watched them and some hunting raptors until the sun went down.  The motor home is outfitted with solar and we read until bedtime. We are tucked in for a quiet couple days before we move on.

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NETTING SALMON

On our evening walk yesterday, a point of land that is normally deserted was alive with activity. We walked over to see what the encampment was about.

The land here is part of the Swinomish Indian Reservation. Thousand Trails leases from them and all fishing rights here belong to the Swinomish.  When we got to the top of the point, the fishermen were gathering in a huge net.

We watched for about a half hour as the gathered net got smaller and the pile of floaters got larger. They periodically tossed crabs back into the water that were caught in the net.

These two men pounded a huge stake into the ground to affix the next net being spread out while the fish from the first net were unloaded into bins on the beach.

All hands worked swiftly to free the fish from the netting and toss them into bins.

The catch is pink salmon.

It they happen to net a king salmon, like this prize, they set it aside. Maybe for the harvest celebration party. The Swinomish own a fish company and all proceeds are shared. This point is not the only spot they net salmon. The catch was not big this year according to one local observer.

This is a once a year event and we were glad we just happened to catch it.

The bin was loaded on a truck to be processed. From the number of bins, the work must have gone on all day. Then surprise, when we began our walk back, the tide had come in and we had to slog through water to get back to the park.

I will resume my China blog tomorrow.

 

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