Thursday, March 21, 2013

ride along

You know how cops will take a kid on a ride along, to maybe scare them straight? This is like that, a reality ride. Not the pretty "Oh, I had a fun ride" (though it was, nevertheless). But what a real ride is actually like when things are…interesting. Come along for a mostly internal monologue about a recent ride. Ride along at your own risk…

To set the scene: Major and I were joined by C and Friday, still taking it easy after the series of unfortunate events at Cronan Ranch. We were going to try and not do too much, just ride from the stable, maybe a good hour, but I wanted to get some hill work in. Hills around here are interesting, They're either nice short hills, or 1000 foot climbs. Not much in between (in this general area). We're just doing short climbs on this ride. And by the way, lots of landmarks have names, that we've made up through the years. Do you do this in your area?

Heading out, up the first good hill out of the staging area. Major trots up, poor Friday is not warmed up yet and thinks Major is going to kill him. Walk through the poison oak forest. Down Mini Cougar Rock, across Sewer Road. Over to Beginners Hill, steep but fairly short, three sections. I know that new rock, which has been there for at least two years, is suspicious. Just trot Major, no cantering, just trot.

I hiked this hill this week and almost died. Good thing the horses are carrying us this time! Down Red Dirt Hill, over right. Trot along, turn, easy over to the rocks where M saw the cougar. Down the steep slick rock, don't jig, watch out for the branch, good boy, need to bring my clippers.

Over to Ridge Trail, now turn. Trot, we are not going home Major, don't be silly, over this way. Green glowing grass, don't stop. Up to Inspiration Point. Watch the branch, watch the stump, duck right, duck left. Just trot, dammit, trot, rocks, damn, cantering, circle, knock it off. Walk down to the bottom of the hill.

Nice view. Turn around, up the hill. TROTTING. NOT cantering, trot I said, seriously. Cantering, knock it off, up at the top, now circling. Could go back and do it again, while Friday waits up here. That would make it worse. One day I swear I'm coming out here and just doing this hill 50 times.

Away from home, down the other trail, leading to the lake. Found some lost mountain bikers, suggest they take the lower canal trail home, it's easier, plus the upper trail just for hikers and horses. Head back up the hill. HOME! Just trot, Major you've completely lost your mind, knock it off. NOT going home, slow, circle, around the tree, circle again. OK, you're lost leading privileges, Friday in front.

Down, with more sensible C and Friday leading. Follow ridge trail, how is Major in front again? Over the t-post trail, to Lookout Rock. Never tired of this view. There used to be a floating outhouse on the lake years ago.

Let's keep going on this trail. Left, left! Up this smallish hill, oh this doesn't go anywhere. Stop jigging, just walk. Now wait for Friday. Along the trail, across the stream, is this hill safe? Sometimes if it is wet this hill is nasty, but it is dry. We are just walking this hill. Good boy! Evil laugh, this is HARD on the horses. Even Major is working hard on this one. Friday took a break halfway up, completely convinced now Major is definitely trying to kill him.

Down the trail where I found the head of a creepy doll, left. Jigging, knock it off. Now turn on center trail, walk, stop jigging. Circle if you can't listen, oh, you can listen. Fine, we'll go straight. Right up the hill trail, slow down, watch out for the stabby bush.

Easy, slow, SLOW! Stop the manic trotting, just regular, circle, listen, back, down the trail where the bear pulled apart that old tree, across the mud, up the little hill, duck right for the branch, careful over the small slick rock, hey, slow down, we're leaving Friday behind. Oh, you won't slow, fine then, we WERE going home that way, turn right now, now up this hill, watch the rocks, I suggest slowing, No? OK have it your way.

Circle, listen. See, didn't that make life more difficult? You have lost leading privileges again. Friday to the front. Go this way or that? Where does this go again? Oh yeah, to the shortcut trail. You mean with Sacrifice rock? Yeah.

Do you want to go up Stabby Hill or Beginners Hill? Stabby Hill is the one C got poked and ripped her shirt. Lots of bushes to poke you. You lead C. Not so stabby when a sensible person is in charge, and not careening around the corners. Major you're fine back here, stop being crabby, just walk. Good boy.

Around the bend, take it easy, trying to cool the sweaty horses. Cantering, seriously? Friday is only trotting in front, you didn't need to catch up, pretty sure you can keep up with him. Truck ahead, probably out to do something nefarious. Lovely, ripping up more trails, let's go this way.

Down the side trail on red dirt hill, middle trail home. Good Friday is leading. Friday trots around the fallen tree, new trail is more curvy, watch knees! Let's take the hill way home. Down, duck for the head-high branch that is getting lower.

Wow, nice spook Friday. Really, at the decomposing log? Fine, Major in front again. Power walk home. Across the rock, oh cool, pretty coyote. Stand Major, good boy. Sorry to interrupt your dinner coyote, trying to stalk turkeys, good luck buddy, they're a lot bigger than you are!

Down down the hill, just walk, do NOT jump that little creek, good boy, into the field, you don't need to eat right now. Cross the street, now I'll get off. No you can't rub on me. Loosen the girth, take out the bit, now have a snack, turn off the GPS. Gross tick crawling up my shirt, better than my neck like last time.

Walking home, this is much nicer and calmer, see, not so bad a ride. Too cold to hose off the sweaty beast, brush this sweat off, quick towel, go eat dinner, you'll survive. I feel like ticks are crawling on me, shower needed!

Great ride. Problems? What problems?

1 comment:

  1. Great as usual..especially because I know the trails, hills and pokey branches you speak of ;)