Monday, October 17, 2011

a horseless adventure

A real vacation, getting away from it all, but still I saw horses everywhere. I missed Major and a week of riding, but saw lots of great things, and dreamed of riding a few of the trails I explored!

One day spent at Hearst Castle. I had been there years ago, but was still blown away by the amount of amazing stuff this guy hoarded. More money than sense, and personally I think much of Europe would like their ancient, historic stuff back, but still wow. They did use lots of horses (it was originally the only way to get there), there were some historic riding photos of Hearst, and he imported some desert Arabians for his ranch (at a huge expense of course, why not?)

Huge tapestry with these pretty Renaissance (?) horses.

Loved this horse, think the man is Poseidon or something Greek. (nice butt)

Italian Palio flags decorate the dining room. (Palio is a crazy Italian horse race)

Just a ceiling was 3-D and probably 10 feet tall.

OK, not a horse, but Diana the Huntress. There were NO horse statues on the grounds, which was strange.

The remains of a mile-long bridle path. Once covered in vines and fruits, imagine riding here.

Leaving the castle a quiet drive up the coast is needed, just to relax your eyes. But keep a lookout for the descendents of the escaped Hearst zoo zebras, just alongside the road. We pulled over to take photos of these, and the next day we saw another bunch with a foal, who was brown and fuzzy and so cute (through binoculars).

Zebra herd, they really blend in so well to the dry grasses.

Later in the week we did a steep hike, along Salmon Creek in Big Sur. Awesome waterfall, even better views. And evidence of horses! It would have been a tough ride, and no trailer space at the trailhead, so I wonder where they came from? There are seemingly thousands of miles of trails throughout the area, so I'm sure you could pack in for a great trip. Maybe someday.

Just one view along a trail.

A few more days of hiking, then onto more civilization. Drove past some nice looking "ranches" in Carmel, so fancy to be beyond my idea of a ranch. But then onto the Monterey Bay Aquarium, to see the new great white shark (only 4 feet long, but impressive) and the very cool seahorse exhibit. I am not sure how they thought of horses for these fish, maybe some of the crazy dishy Arabian faces?

This is a local Pacific kind, looks the most horse-like, but still a stretch.

Major got a fun week off, with his caretaker walking him to eat special not-in-the-pasture grass, feed him apples, and do nothing else. He happily trotted up to greet me when I came back, and I'm glad to be home and to enjoy this great fall weather to ride. I am sure more horseless adventures will still manage to involve horses, one way or another.

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