Thursday, January 28, 2016

getting out

I love the rain. We need the rain. (my current mantra, repeat as needed)

But I needed to get out! And so did Major! The rain had stopped for a couple days. The sandy trails should be drained. But I'm also tired of the close trails, as that is all I've been riding. I thought a ride up to Auburn would be a fun diversion, in nice weather, with good footing and be more scenic.

I was wrong on all counts except the scenic portion.

The day was sunny when I left home, but gray skies hung over the stables. SO took my trailer up to Auburn to await our arrival. It took us a bit longer than usual to get ready (to clean off most of the mud), but we were heading out at 9:30am. C and Friday were joining us, the horses were happy to be out. The trails were mostly drained, a few mud puddles here and there, but nice.

nicely drained portion of the trails

the water is rising, yeah!

The water was pouring from the power station, and the Bridge of Death (Mormon Ravine) was as always, scary when halfway across. So Major did his tap dancing act, and all was well. Then the trails got slippier and worse. Red mud was bad, but the wet leaves on trail were worse. That's ok, we can walk. Then a big tree branch, That's ok, we can go UP the steep, soft hillside (good trail horses). And other branch down. That's ok, we can go around this one.

rushing creek

Mormon Ravine (Bridge of Death thinks Major)

Until we got to the tree that blocked the trail. In a steep-sided ravine. Next to the river cliffs. Even if I had remembered my branch saw (note, keep in saddlebag during winter) this was too big of an oak to tackle. And though I diligently looked, there was no way around (I didn't take photos, I was too annoyed, and holding my dancing, pulling horse). It was only three or four miles to Auburn. But eight miles back home. Damn.

old portion of the canal, getting green

some very early naturalized daffodils

Fine, now we'll turn for home. Already pent-up ponies turned it up to full-blown naughty. Trying to walk nicely on slippery trails turned into an argument. Slow trotting on straight, dry places escalated into trying to bolt for home. All the way back. For eight miles.

Plus, I really wanted my sandwich (that was in the trailer. In Auburn.)! By now I was hungry and ready to be done. Got a hold of SO and asked if he could bring the trailer back (he did, and washed it at the car wash, how awesome is that! Not an entirely wasted trip!)

Rattlesnake Bar heading home: now the sun comes out

very fun playing puddle

The horses did stop pulling long enough to play in a puddle at the Rattlesnake Bar staging area. Which was fun until it became a water/mud-splashing contest, so we headed for home again. The horses were not tired in the least, and the trail was a little better in this section, but since horse behavior had not improved, it was still pretty slow going.

happy ferns and moss

determined Major heading home

Back home in one piece I was more tired from 16 miles of walking (farther than I'd planned, we're not training right now!) than a 20 mile trotting ride. But I had my sandwich! Best PB&J ever. And a happy horse, clean and turned back out into the pasture, who promptly dropped for a muddy roll.

I reported the downed tree (though it's far from an easy access, and few foresters are allowed to trim in the state park). I think I'll be staying on my very local but well-drained trails for now. Except it is raining again. I love the rain. We need the rain…

1 comment:

  1. bah, frustrating. Boy that is a loooong walking ride, amazing how they can sore you up more than a faster/longer one.
    Doing that self-convincing rain chant right along with you!