Camping/Driving Trip with Molly!


I took Zorro and my dog, Samson, and ran away to the mountains this last weekend to camp with my friend Molly and her ponies! The first night it was just me, Zorro and Samson and it was so peaceful and quiet. I rested, read my book and took the dog and pony for a nice walk. I slept in- after a restless night- and then we went for a short, solo drive before Molly got there.



I was trying to keep track of the things I saw on our drive:

  • Chipmunk

  • someone's old wet boxers on the road

Keeping track of what Zorro and Samson saw:

  • bears

  • bears

  • bears

behind every tree and in all the bushes. LOL! Luckily, I was armed with both bear spray and my hand gun. But there weren't any bears in the bushes. Though we did see quite a lot of bear scat over the course of the weekend.


When Molly came and found us, she took us to a new campsite that was near some awesome driving trails. These were old logging roads that meandered over 100's of acres in the forest. We explored and had so much fun! The first day we got a little lost which only added to the exploring vibe. lol The roads would wind around, climbing the mountains, then open up into a clearing where there were would be 4 more other trail/road options, then we would make a choice and hope it would connect with a road that we recognized. Sometimes it did and sometimes it didn't!

The trail shown below was amazing. The trees had grown over it and it looked like NOTHING had used it for a long time, not even animals. The ponies had to do some climbing and there were a few trees they had to drag us over but they were rock stars! And it was so beautiful. It was like a fairy tale forest.

This trail popped us out in a clearing were we chose another trail that took us up quite an incline. We climbed and climbed and then got to a road that was improved some, fairly recently. Then we came to a pipe gate firmly shut. We weren't going to turn around so, we went around it. The joy of driving minis and small ponies and Hyperbikes! Then, we had a choice. We could see that the road was a good one, meaning that it probably connected to another good road at some point, but we didn't know where we were, how far away we were from camp and we didn't have GPS because we didn't have cell service. So we made an educated guess and thought we knew where this road would come out. We just crossed our fingers that this road wasn't 10 miles long!

The creek below is the same one that ran past our camp spot, so we figured we were kind of following the creek back down. We were so HIGH up on this road that we were above the tops of the trees!

At about the 8.5 mile marker Gracie- Molly's dark mare, who she was driving- whinnied a loud whinny, then tried to turn around and go back the way we came. LOL! It was so funny! Molly said she does this when she is done. Except, the way back was going to be so much harder than the way forward. She was very persistent but Molly was more so, and we kept going! We were relieved when we came out on the main road and were about 3 miles from our camp! That day we drove 12 miles. I didn't start the Strava app at our campsite that first day:

The second day Molly drove Goldie. We didn't want to do as much hard climbing, since she is a little smaller mini. So we explored the roads that were lower. We did go back on the pretty, over grown trail because we wanted to drive on a road that we spotted the day before.

I'm so glad we did that because that road was gorgeous! If you have ever seen the movie Anne of Green Gables, the scene where they are driving the horse and buggy down a road with cherry trees on each side and the petals of the flowers all over the road is what came to mind as we drove down this road. Except it was the Montana mountain version of that! These beautiful pine trees lined the road and they had dropped inches of pine needles that we were walking on.

We went on another over grown trail that took us to a beautiful over look. I swear we could see to the Bitteroot mountain range from up there!

Then we took another overgrown trail where the grass was taller than our ponies! LOL! They LOVED that trail and ate a ton of grass as we wandered down it.

This trail also gave us another option... It was hot and we were all getting tired so we went to the right. We knew this trail connected back to the main road. But next time we will go left!!

And, I was able to open and close the gates on this drive without getting out of my bike!! It was so exciting. Zorro was a little confused about what we were doing and argued with me at first but the last time we opened and closed this little gate he did it perfectly. I guess the 3rd time is the charm!

We drove 10 miles the second day!


This was such a fun trip! I can't wait to go back. It is a 4 hour drive for me and a 2 hour drive for Molly, so staying at least 2 nights is a must at least for me, but it's totally worth it! We would like to go back in August and again this fall. There are so many trails we can explore!! We will never get bored up there. I'm so happy that I get to live here and explore the mountains with my pony and my friend. I am so blessed.


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© 2023 by The Essential Horse. Mindy Schroder.