Wednesday, April 17, 2013


(This post was written before I knew about the cancellation of the American River ride. It still holds true...instead of "will I be ready in a week?" it is "will I be ready in three weeks?" for another ride!)

My brain goes weird places on a longer ride. Just me and my horse, out on the dull backside of Olmstead Loop, wandering in body and mind.

this is the pretty (not dull) part. Didn't want to bore you with those pictures!

Goldilocks ate porridge. First too hot. Then too cold. Then just right. This is my training dilemma. How much is enough? Or too much? Or just right, but in time for an upcoming ride? I don't have the experience to know yet.

nice cool creek, after this is a few miles of dry, rocky trail

And training alone has its own issues. Major isn't that motivated if we are not heading home or with a friend. He'll trot along just fine, but none of the speed and silliness of other situations.

coyote friend

On our ride this weekend we only saw one other rider. She was having difficulty getting her horse (who she said kicks) off the trail. I sidepassed Major off the trail into the bushes, and let her pass. We headed back up the trail, the opposite direction of the other horse, and Major kicked it into high gear. "I'm winning, it's a race!" he thought for the next 5 minutes. Then he figured it out, and we were more sedate the rest of the ride. We did play leapfrog with a mountain biker, Major is inspired to chase them too!

Froggies didn't even try to move, just sat there. Major ate some of their habitat. Sorry guys.

I was hoping to just do the canyon, Auburn to Cool. Except I missed my trail turnoff. Not that bad though, not like the Training Hill episode! Just 23 miles instead of 17, about 3,800 feet of elevation gain in 4 hours.

Wildflowers. See the barely there trail? This was the wrong turn. Not bad!
short cut trail wasn't so bad

Major was having flashbacks of last ride, and when we were heading home and I got off to hike he was quite suspicious, thinking I was again dragging him somewhere awful. Luckily most went well.

this is my suspicious face

I did have a boot failure, but it was definitely operator error. I had a frayed cable. I thought it would last one more ride. And I didn't take my extra boot. There was a very strange person at the staging area, yelling at trees, the water spigot, trucks...I pretty much left there a little too quickly, forgetting my boot, and my sandwich! I attached boots to saddle (love having extra caribiners) and luckily 10 miles barefoot is no problem.

Major again didn't drink. Not out of the creek, not at the lovely trough in Cool, not at the waterfall. But he did in Auburn, finally! Didn't wait till we got home, but right as we finished the ride. I wish it didn't take 23 miles...

finally drinking in Auburn!

I love the staging area right now (since the strange person seemed to be gone): lots of green grass to eat and convenient water hoses. Horse was now clean, I was sweaty, dirty and eating my pb&j sandwich and chocolate milk. I've figured out my eating pretty well, I like the simple things. Like porridge. Maybe I need to remember to keep it simple. And stop worrying.

a bath + grass + warm sun = good.


  1. Lovely photos. Sorry about the ride cancellation but the extra time will allow you work out a few more kinks. Looks like your really upping the miles. I love the part about the crazy guy yelling at inanimate objects. I thought I was the only one who ran into people like that!

    1. Yeah, I'll try to look at the change as a positive. My new entry is already sent in. It is completely lovely tight now, and quickly drying up, all the grasses already have seed heads!

      The crazy guy was a bit scary. There was only one other car in the staging area, I was trying to get my horse ready and keep an eye on the strange man. At least we horse people are prepared: I could get out that lunge whip! 8-)

  2. You have the most gorgeous views out there, I swear...

    1. I agree! Especially this time of year. Though I do envy green open fields and a few less rocks...

  3. I'm trying to figure out how to post on a blog....! Just wanted to say "Yay Major"! Good job on Cache Creek - and helping to build your mom's bicep muscles during the ride...! :)