|a very foggy start|
And we kept going. More runners. "Hey, you know that horse is chasing you?!" a few exclaimed. SO kept going, I slowed for the steeper sections (which were also terrible nasty muddy) and more runners.
There had been no signage that there was a run. Turns out, it was just a huge group practicing running the canyon. For 15-25 miles. Running. For fun. I'm glad I was on my horse, though feeling a bit guilty (they can RUN this? Damn…).
We let most runners go by while we stopped. Major was a total gentleman, going from a canter to a dead stop, letting random people pet him. "He's so pretty!" they said, "Can I pet him" others said (sure, pet my sweaty beast). On wider trails I just stayed way to the side, telling runners Major was fine with them, they were safe. One group said "Ever hear of ride and tie?" to which I explained the horse would love it, me, not so much. Then the nice experience of hearing those runners say "There's someone who can really ride," as I sidepassed off the trail at a trot and kept going.
I think Major and I were both a bit proud of ourselves.
|little creek, hills turning green|
|relics at the old quarry|
|get on. Just get on so we can GO!|
|lime green lichen|
We turned for home. My crazy beast wanted to take off, but I kept it at a big trot and flew down the trail. I have no idea how his boots were even staying on. I hadn't done any adjusting and he'd just been trimmed the day before. But through creeks, mud and hills they were perfect. This is where I lost a boot last spring, so I'm pretty cautious. I don't want to hike this trail and look for it!
Coming back across No Hands and towards Auburn the runners were still toiling up the hill. They have the advantage when going downhill, but uphill, advantage horse. Major wouldn't drink from creeks, waterfall or trail trough, which is frustrating. He was pretty sweaty with his (light) winter coat and all the exertion. More regular people were out hiking, and kids. That shining look in their eye when they see a horse, and the cries of "Horsey!" are hard to resist. We stopped and Major was lovingly petted many times. He was sorely disappointed that no one offered treats.
We passed a few runners, coming up behind and waiting for a wider spot to pass. I stay back so they're not nervous, saying "We haven't run anyone over yet!" as we pass. We also kept playing leapfrog with a runner with a cute spotted dog, pass him on the uphills, he'd catch up in the mud or downhill areas.
Finally back at the staging area Major took a little drink from the trough. I looked down, boot gone! Damn! I know it was lost in the last 1/4 mile, because I remember making sure they were on at the last trail junction. I tried to get my SO's attention, he was working on my trailer (yes ladies, and you can't have him. Washed it out, installed a couple things, awesome). A couple of little kids ran over, "He only has one shoe on, that's so SILLY!" one exclaimed.
Yeah, not silly. Just as I was setting to tie Major up and go hike for the lost boot, here came the runner I'd been leapfrogging with, carrying the muddy boot! Love! I was profusely grateful. It felt like a good karma day, treat others as you'd be treated, etc. Every runner was nice, no one wearing headphones and oblivious to their surroundings, everyone sharing the trail, out enjoying our beautiful area.
Boot restored, horse cooling off, small unknown children throwing grass near his mouth, SO handed me some lunch and took Major to the trough again.
An excellent day.
|my new favorite photo, a man and his girlfriend's horse.|