Friday, August 19, 2016


sunset over Major

There was still some light to see by as we headed down the road. But the forest under trees was deeply shadowed already. The dark is coming more quickly each day. "Get out, move while you can!" my mind wails.

portrait in gathering darkness

So the full moon was a good motivator for a night ride. Choosing the wider trails with less tree cover, not only to see the trail better, but not whack our heads too much! Major and I were joined by C and Friday on a perfect August night.

We trotted while we could still see the trail, the horses completely unconcerned by the night. They hadn't particularly wanted to leave dinner, but once on the trail thought it was just another fun ride. Down to the lake access trail where the footing goes from bad to worse: tough big and small rocks and logs in a downhill gully. And this is why we trust our trail horses: Major and Friday (who could probably see just fine) just picked their way down the trail like it was nothing.

Then the moon was reflecting off the lake. There were no other lights to be seen, and there were no boats to mar the stillness. Crickets chirped, night-blooming flowers were open. The trail glowed in the moonlight. A scene my camera cannot capture, but my mind holds like a treasure.

grainy moon and lake reflection: but in reality it was perfect.

As we turn the corner a few bright lights in the distance; the top of the distant dam. But we headed the other direction, with just the moonlight on the lake as our guide. We had flashlights and glowsticks just in case, but no need.

The horses would stop for grass, or we'd do a short trot on a smooth sand section of trail. But mostly we just enjoyed the night. Our moon shadows on the rocks followed us, usually by our side but sometimes ahead, leading the way.

Too soon we headed back. The forest was so dark, with the moonlight unable to get through the dense tree canopy. Trust from me, and not a single false step from Major.

A perfect full moon ride.