Monday, April 5, 2021

monday moment: poppies!


a few along the trail…

a colorful hillside ahead…

A short (and steep) hike was more than worth it. Poppies filled the landscape (these are tufted poppies, not California poppies, slightly different a bit more yellow). 


more wow, now with river…

These poppies are growing on a burn scar from last year. Recovery in progress…

yes, there were this many!

enjoy the view.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

gone green

picture yourself here

though hold on, he was very sassy that day!
I've been quiet the rest of March because it is too nice to sit in front of computer on non-work hours when the world has gone green! For anyone who is still muddy, or slushy, or still brown, this is for you!

Generic green? Nope, I love that I can tell exactly where this is!

pausing in the fern forest to be annoyed at me taking photos
We've had long and short rides, many a bit fast while the spring zoomies take over, but also some we-can-contain ourselves walking and behaving. Major (and I) need the balance of both to be sane. 

these fern rocks are my favorite

snack break

This is truly an amazing time on the trail. The lack of rain means no mud (no rain is a bad thing, but might as well think positive), the grasses and trees have exploded. You can see the oak pollen floating through the air, or maybe it is leprechaun gold dust. It is amazing once the buckeye trees have leafed out how shady the forest trails become. Not all is positive: a lot of the bright, low green in the forest is unfortunately poison oak, stay clear even this early in the season!

blooming tunnel of pretty but foul smelling ceanothus

the lake is still low until the snow melts at higher elevations

Sidenote: One of my favorite science fiction short stories is called "Dream Gone Green" by Alan Dean Foster and features a horse, I always think of it (and re-read it) this time of year. A lovely story. It is in the short story collection "With Friends Like These…", very accessible sci-fi.

miners lettuce, tasty for all!

closeup of cool moss rock

Major in the part of the pasture we call the Tree Fort
I'll try to remember all of this in summer, when we are brown (or on fire…). but for now I'll celebrate the green. How is the green on your trails?

bridge ahead, almost can't see it for all the green

Saturday, March 13, 2021


windblown and scattered
I've been feeling a bit scattered, which is why it is the middle of March and I haven't even written! I was thinking "well, I haven't done much", then I looked back on my photos. And while I am not going to go into too many details, there have been some good (and not so good) rides, the photos can mostly speak for themselves!

didn't even care about snow

snow + mud + silly horses = walking

I had fun training ride with friend S up on Gorman Ranch road in Foresthill. This is near (and a small part of) the Tevis trail, often used for training. We were not expecting all the snow, but luckily we go down to the river and only the first half mile at the top was snowy! Both horses were good, until they became competitive jerks and we got to work on walking and listening. Oh boy, still silly after 15 miles and a big hill climb…

take the bypass down, quite nice

weirdly overexposed but I liked it!
 I had a good ride in Auburn near the dam site, and two days later a ride in the forest where he was just so full of it and could. not. walk. but thought slip-and-slide in the wet forest was a good option. It was not. We had much disagreement, and came home not happy. The next day I just took a day off from riding and Major had a spa day with grooming and grass. We needed a reset. Our next ride and since have been fine. I guess we all have "those" days…

spicy ridiculous on this day

annoyed at Beau splashing in his river

following Beau, annoyed although we had led UP the hill…
I've been helping friend S by riding with her as she puts some miles and training on her hopeful Tevis horse, Beau. Major is very annoyed at his antics, and wonders why Beau can't just settle down, and then they get into a speed war. They're good and bad together, so it is training for us both! We had a nice time and luckily only got a flat tire right as we were getting home. 

got to practice changing my tire, drive-on trailer jack (not shown here) was great!
And our home trails are really green! The buckeye trees are neon, the ferns bursting, the moss like a green sponge, and I've seen a few early wildflowers.

green explosion
I have to ride under this death tree, cracked branch is bigger around than me

With daylight saving time this Sunday, I'm looking forward to more rides after work, but I have tried to take the time some nights just to sit and listen to Major eat and watch the sunset. A good reset.

sunset haybag

chance for scattered clouds…

Monday, February 22, 2021

monday moment: crocs

Major got some new shiny shoes for Christmas.

shiny shoes and dirty winter fur pony
I thought maybe the busy trail wouldn't be so bad this early on a Sunday.

If one more person says "How fun, that horse is wearing crocs!"…

I might just run them over.


at least not as shiny now…

Sunday, February 14, 2021

a valentine for you

 Major wants you all to know he loves you. 

A lot. 

Happy Valentine's Day from us both (though only one of us will invade your personal space for a potential carrot).

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

acorn creek


quiet staging area

I love that the official map says "approx. 5 miles"

Maybe it is not a good sign when you fall off before you even start your ride?

Luckily, I only fell off the rock I was using for mounting (note to self: check to see if rock is stable first!), teetered around a bit then fell on my ass, but didn't let go of the reins! Major just looked at me. Why must I be so embarrassing to him…

oak woodland starting off was pretty
Luckily the day did not get any worse, and we were off on a new-to-me trial, Acorn Creek. This is exactly opposite the lake from where I usually ride, but heading upriver.

This trail connects to Cronan Ranch, where I have ridden before, by using the South Fork American River trail. This is all on BLM land, so open to all users. The trailhead was empty on a mid-week day (I took a day off so I could ride in the relative peace and quiet, and sun!)

of fun, rocks!

The trail started off through oak woodland with informative plant identification signs (I learned the shrub that is everywhere is native Buckbrush, a type of Ceanothus which is why it smells so awful when it flowers!). Then the trail started up a very rocky hill. We went up and up, then leveled off, just basic up and downs, for the next 6 miles. 

a bit boring
One of the few view places

I liked this open oak bit
I thought I'd have epic views of the canyon and river, but most was obscured by tall bushes, I could see over sometimes (not an interesting trail to hike on foot, you'd barely see anything!). Some areas were steep cliffs with views of rapids far below, but there was a lovely section that went away from the river and wove through oak woodland that was gorgeous.

The few bikes were met were very nice, though one did come around a corner very fast. Luckily Major has no concern for bikes, but the guy sure looked like he spooked seeing a horse there!

getting closer to the river

lovely picnic spot

I am done with this resting break…

You can keep riding this into Cronan ranch, and go pretty far, but we stopped at a river picnic spot as our turn around spot. I wanted to relax and eat my PB&J, Major just wanted to go back to the trailer. We compromised, which means he ate half my sandwich so I was finished quicker, sigh…

heading home
and more of the same

dry creek bed

As an out and back this trail was not the most interesting. Maybe more fun with a friend, or after more rain (all creek were so dry, and I'm sure they'll be wildflowers later in spring). But it was still fun to explore somewhere new, and next time I know to look for a better mounting rock to stand on…

dated sign in the middle of nowhere: Schwartznegger was The Governator in 2003–2011!

welcome trailer snack