Equus caballus caballus
Sight and Sound
Walking on gravel
Yellowstone to Yukon; Y2Y; Ya Ha Tinda Ranch
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
28 Sep 1998
- Ya Ha Tinda Ranch
- 51.772 -115.596
- Sennheiser MKH 40
- Sennheiser MKH 30
Stereo=1; Decoded MS Stereo
Y2Y DAT #9
riding into Ya Ha Tinda ranch on the last day of the trip.
Well, this is the end of day 4 of the ride. We¿re coming into Ya Ha Tinda ranch. Ya Ha Tinda is a Stony Indian word meaning¿¿prairie in the mountains¿. And we¿ve been riding across prairie and meadow here, and we¿re coming up to a ranch with about 10 horses here in front of us. This Radio Expeditions is about to come to a close. It¿s very beautiful country we¿ve been riding through, but, I guess I¿m going to be pretty happy to get off this horse. 3:32
ambi 3:35 - 11:30
the sound of horses walking. some horse snorts. In the background every once in a while you can hear a faint bird call. there is the sound of wind. Horses walking on grass.
ambi 11:30 - 17:13
talking about who is going to open the gate. You can hear the creaking of the gate and then the horses walking through. Horses stop and everyone dismounts. You can hear faint expressions of relief from the days of riding. A group of people hugging, laughing and talking about the ¿great trip¿.
ambi 17:28 - 19:22
contains different sounds recorded at the end of the trip. horses, people talking in background, and the sound of moving saddle bags and other things around.
ambi 23:45 - 24:13
sounds of walking across gravel.
Karsten, this is where we¿ve been coming to, but tell the listeners what it is, where are we?
Well, we¿re at a wonderful place called Ya Ha Tinda ranch, which is a Stony Indian name which means prairie in the mountains. And you can look around you here and see the mountains with aspens turning yellow and spruce and pine trees, and down in the valley here, just open, open prairies extending pretty far and beautiful natural grasslands. And what the Ya Ha Tinda ranch is, is it¿s where they breed, train, and winter, about 170 horses for the park service, for the park wardens to do patrols by horseback¿.
And this is kind of a stopover on the way to the north. We¿re going to quit here and go back to Banff, go back to town, but you¿re going to go on.
Right, so I¿m going to take a day off here, a day off from traveling. But doing some of the work that we have to do is part of this project on lap top computers and so on, and then I¿m going to pick up and continue walking north. And it¿ll be a five day trip to the next road where I¿ll meet Justin, and pick up more food and we¿ll do two presentations, and then it¿s a further ten days to Jasper. And I¿m hoping to get to Jasper by October 17th. And then I¿ll take off about four months, do some more detailed planning, and then pick up on skis, north of Jasper again, late next winter, in March.
So, you¿re going to start in March of next year. That¿s pretty early. You didn¿t start until June this year.
Right, but this year I was hoping to walk. We had to snowshoe for a week, but we were planning on walking. But next spring we¿re planning on skiing for five weeks. And actually we¿re going to try and cover some territory that might, in fact, be easier to ski because of river crossings being frozen and some mosque-egged swampy areas also being frozen.
And so, you¿ll be on skis for five weeks, and then what?
And then there¿ll be that in between time. Where it¿s difficult to travel in late Spring because there¿s snow, but it¿s rotten snow because it¿s heating up so much, yet there¿s too much snow to walk. So, we¿ll probably take a month break there and wait for the snow to recede enough to continue the walk to the Yukon.
And so you¿d be picking up in June again.
And how far will you have to go at that point, and how long will it take you?
That¿ll probably be about another 1000km, and that will take roughly 21/2 months¿ (background motor sound)¿probably. It¿s going to be significantly slower and making much less progress per day than have been on the southern section from Yellowstone up to Jasper because from Yellowstone up to Jasper there has been literally 3 or 4 days of bushwhacking. And the rest has been on old Jeep trails and old horse-pack trails and hiking trails. And so there¿s been a trail system to follow that makes it a lot easier. There will be significantly more bushwhacking and it will be more rugged and more logistically tough to get through the terrain north of Jasper.
But you think you can do it?
I¿m pretty confident, yeah. (he laughs). I hope I¿m not being brash about it. Yeah, I mean people have done different sections of it. And so, if other people have done different sections of it, if you have the patience and the flexibility and put your mind to it, you can do it.
Do you ever read the journals of the old explorers and pioneers and people who were here doing this the first time it was done?
Definitely. And that¿s a big inspiration for me, because here I have good leather hiking boots, polypropylene underwear that wicks away the moisture and keeps you warm even when it¿s wet, gortex , all these things that these guys never had. They would literally be carrying a wool blanket and a piece of canvas, crawl under a tree when it snowed or rained, light a fire and probably get next to no sleep, and continue completely soaked for weeks on end, no maps even. I have maps. So really what I¿m doing is much, much less difficult than what they were doing. And so, when I¿m having a tough time, I think of those explorers that were through these areas or the natives and that¿s good inspiration for myself. (faint sound of dog running and panting)¿.Webster!¿
Well, good luck on your trip Karsten.
Thanks a lot Alex, and it¿s been a pleasure traveling with you.
ambi 31:34 - 33:15
a horse snort. sounds of shoeing a horse.
This is just the beginning of a great new opportunity to explore the Canadian Rockies for Radio Expeditions. This is not the end, but just the beginning.
This is Alex Chadwick. Join us for our next Radio Expedition. We¿re going to the Y2Y corridor. That¿s Yellowstone to Yukon. A proposed great North American conservation zone. Join us in the Canadian Rockies, for our next Radio Expedition, on NPR¿s Morning Edition.