Friday, December 13, 2013

tour de forest

An epic ride adventure (no, but fun) into the wilds (near the stable) exploring miles (only 6.2) of all the peaks (highest elevation here, about 800 feet) at a blistering pace (umm, under 5mph) in the forest.

start the day by removing ice from troughs
Major annoying Friday: "I'm not touching you, not touching you..."

I wanted a simple ride, and so did Major. I convinced C and Friday to come along too! Cold winter riding is compromise: we didn't want to get the horses too sweaty, our hands were cold so we didn't want to put on hoof boots, it gets dark too early to stay out late. So what trails should we do? Tour de forest!

The forest trails are a spaghetti of unused roads (except by idiots, more on that later), smaller established trails and tiny almost unused sections. Footing is good, if a bit frosty in the shady spots. I know all the trails pretty well, but C wanted a refresher, so she got to navigate!

Cougar Rock

"Dude, are we going home yet?" "Umm, I think we just started."

First, set off for Inspiration Point, via Cougar Rock (obviously not THE Tevis trail Cougar Rock, but the rock where my friend actually saw a cougar!)

Inspiration Point

And we found Inspiration Point, charging up the hill like banshees. And decided to go down the hill on the other side and check out another scenic overlook, Three Oak Knoll. Then came charging back up, a bit out of control, but we worked on that.

Three Oak Knoll

After a slight trail miscalculation by C (but now she knows the correct way!) we took Ridge Trail, down the big hill, which has no name. I'm thinking Bad Dirt Hill seems appropriate.

Bad Dirt Hill

Onto glorious Lookout Rock. Such a beautiful spot, marred by idiots who trashed and burned a car, throw glass bottles everywhere and graffiti boulders.

Lookout Rock...and abandoned, burned car

Still a pretty view, just watch for broken glass

Look, if you're gonna graffiti, at least do it well. Is the top "art" supposed to be a drawing of a penis? Improve your skills!

really? That is art? I don't think so.

Onto the back trail, which gets nasty rutted. Trying to avoid that, went up the super steep hill (it's seriously pretty crazy steep, not passable if wet or muddy) and meander to Dottie's Hill. Vultures perch here, and there are at least five trails to get there. (I mentioned finding your way can be a puzzle!)

Dottie's Hill

We took a single track down the hill, and encountered a fallen, frosty tree. Can't go straight over (limbs on the other side to trap legs) so we found our way around.

Friday being all handsome

NOW are we going home?

frosty log

And worked our way home, taking the Sacrifice Rock trail. With nice scenery along the way.

awesome rocks hide under green shrubbery the rest of the year

Native gray pine, often with two trunks like this

I think we may have missed a peak or two: the top of Stabby Hill is pretty scenic, as is Beginner's Hill. Guess we'll have to continue Tour de Forest another day. Quite an epic adventure.

mmm, moss snack

Major doing what he does best


  1. Beautiful! Bad penis art and all ;)

  2. I'm so envious of your riding trails! And the gorgeous scenery! How many miles did you ride?

    1. We only did a little more than 6, which is the "outside loop" of the forest. You can make pretty long rides just by circling around, added bonus being it drives the horses crazy because they keep thinking they're going home, now not, now we are, great training. I chose this stable because it does have easy access to trails, I know if I had to hook up the trailer, etc, I wouldn't do it as often.