Journey America Part 2
Los Alerces National Park 05.15.17
From Cholila I rode south into Los Alerces National Park.
I probably said the word “wow,” a million times during our four day ride through the park. I entered with a light rain that created the most gorgeous rainbow that arched over the horses and I. Mountains raced towards the heavens to all sides and on our first night we arrived on the shores of the first lake of many we would ride next to.
When I untacked Sapo and Picasso, a torrential downpour hit us and I was so glad I had already finished the day. The next morning when I woke up and went to brush my teeth on the shores of the gorgeous lake, the mountain peaks that surrounded the sparkling water were covered with bright white snow. Making it a breathtaking moment but also leaving me worried about how early the snow had arrived in southern Argentina.
That day, I almost froze as I rode under the freezing heavy rain. The truth was, I was not ready for this cold, this early. My cowboy boots quickly filled with the cold water and my fingers went numb from my drenched work gloves. I was in pain. I was broken.
Luckily at lunch time I switched socks and boots and warmed my hands next to our little cooking oven. Eating a warm plate of hardy chicken soup, my spirit was lifted. And to help even more, the rain stopped.
As faith would have it, our first week on the road with our new dog Butch Cassidy, we crossed an area where dogs were not allowed. All throughout the park there were signs saying “no dogs allowed.” As a result Bucth was forced to hide in the van like an illegal immigrant trying to enter a new country. We would allow him to walk around a little in the morning, at lunch and in the late afternoon. But with his broken back leg, the rest in the van ended up being a good thing.
We followed the gravel road all the way through the beautiful park until we finally reached the pavement again on our last day. With the cordillera glowing with it’s white peaks behind me, I made my way out of the national park one happy cowboy. It was by far the most beautiful places I have ridden through thus far and it reminded me a lot of Glacier National Park in Montana!