Who knew the U.S. Forest Service has a Remount Depot? The Missoulian has an interesting article about how the agency overwinters 214 horses and mules at a facility 20 miles northwest of Missoula, MT. The mules are used to resupply fire lookout towers, bring supplies to firefighters working on remote lightning-caused fires, and assist with trail maintenance.
Here is the first part of the article:
NINEMILE – As the sun was rising on a cold, quiet morning, 214 sets of ears tipped forward in the same direction, listening with anticipation as a hay truck started.
Tendrils of steam drifted from the many nostrils in the giant group of mostly mules as they stood statue-still, concentrating on the sound.
When it was obvious the truck was headed their way, hooves set to motion in an eager trot, kicking up freshly fallen snow as the long-eared herd moved to meet its breakfast at the pasture gate.
“Every year they come together here from across the Northern Region to winter,” explained Laura Johnson, the resources assistant with the Ninemile Remount Depot and Historic Ranger Station.
Smiling at the sight of the gentle giants, Johnson said, “They are all really friendly and get along well with each other…
Thanks go out to Dick