Wednesday, November 19, 2014

trail work

The early darkness has again turned me into a weekend warrior. During the week I might squeeze in between work and dark a short forest bareback ride, but for now the weekends are the only time I have for a nice long ride.

And this weekend I took grand advantage and took Major and his favorite new non-best friend Tux to Auburn. He would not share his hay bag like with Barkley last excursion, and spent most of the tacking up time making crabby faces. Whatever. Deal with it.

We headed out down the canyon and pretty quickly came across the trail work sign. I'd read they'd been doing some, but Major needed to read it himself.

Major being cautious, just like the sign says!

Then we saw evidence of the actual work, small tractors (not so scary) and many rocks (in the wrong place Major thought). Walking down to the creek crossing is scary black plastic right next to the trail, and straw-filled wattles for diversion. Lovely. Major got through it ok, then we waited while my friend safely walked Tux through.

tractor ahead

rocks in the wrong spot
looking back at the awful trail work

Now I don't mind them fixing up trails, but this work is supposed to be for making a bridge over the crossing. Now this trail already isn't that easy coming up or down, and has always seemed just fine. But I think since the "waterfall" (really, it's never that spectacular, it's just too small even when full!) was published in a few hiking books, more people are hiking, and maybe the powers that be decided to make something easier for them. It's a hiking trail, not Disneyland. There are rocks and trees and rough stuff. OK, rant over.

We headed down and over to Cool. I have enough pictures of this that I've grown complacent and forget to take out the camera, no matter how lovely the view. Plus we were cantering across the bridge. But my friend had a GoPro, the video is pretty short but entertaining. (linked in picture caption).

watch the video here

Up to Cool but a different way for me: Pig Farm trail. Very steep and slippery, we made it up, only to discover it comes out on the dreaded Training Hill! Luckily almost at the top, where we waited. Major thought I'd drag him down it, but we turned to head for the troughs.

blurry Pig Farm trail, luckily no real pigs in sight

Training Hill: longest .9 miles ever

waiting "patiently" for Tux (love those crabby "why are we waiting" ears)

Major did some epic snorkeling, but little drinking, and the Olmstead Loop troughs. He was more than happy to head home, back across the bridge and up to Auburn.

snorkeling and making a watery mess

heading back on dry trails, but green is appearing!

Major was not as happy going through the construction on the way back. There were about eight people and kids sitting on the lower rocks, black plastic, straw wattles, muddy water: he thought we should just skip it and proceeded to back himself about 10 feet, and into Tux! (that embarrassing moment also captured on video, linked in picture caption below). With enough encouragement we walked suspiciously through. It'll be interesting to see what the trail ends up looking like, with a bridge, supposedly still creek access, signage, and whatever else they do.

watch the creek crossing video here
Luckily the rest was uneventful, except for losing a boot. While I'm glad he just keeps going and his feet aren't sore, I really didn't want to buy a new boot! Damn. I'm hoping to hike the trail this weekend and look for it.

Back at the trailer the sun came out even more, and Major found a great dirt spot to roll in before getting back in the trailer. It'll be another weekend till we can get out again, and I want the rain but maybe it can just rain on weekdays? These weekend rides help keep the darkness at bay, getting out in the sunlight. I know there will be enough days when there is no sun, and no ride, and it is too wet and cold, but for now I am enjoying the time we have to play.

the end


  1. Wow. That's a pretty steep trail going forward...I couldn't imagine being on it and on a horse that was going backwards. Hopefully you'll find the missing boot. :)

    1. it's not so steep on the bottom, but I am also glad I've trained him to back on any trail, at least if he's being naughty he is surefooted about ti!

  2. The part of the trail you were riding is part of the Tevis, right? And that was No-Hands Bridge?

    Nice pics. Looks like a great ride.

    1. Yes, the last 4 miles of Tevis, and that is No Hands. It used to have no railings (hence the No-Hands part). It's an old railroad bridge.

  3. watching your videos the phrase came to mind, "ride em like you stole em" - you sure can maintain speed for great lengths of time on that trail!

    1. ha! Major thinks I should always ride him like that! The trail is an odd mixture of flat wide go-fast road spots and steep single-track twisty go-slow areas. And often has too many people to be this fast. But with few people, no mud, open trail, we let 'er rip!