Wednesday, September 18, 2019

summer's end

The end is near. I had to wear a jacket this morning. And it rained yesterday. Woe is me, the summer is over…

There are a few official days of summer left, but it sure seems like fall is upon us. I know some people really like the cooler weather, but that fading daylight and colder mornings just spell the end of the best riding season.

feather in his cap sign
no angle of No Hands looks good with the added chain link fence

I've recently fit in a few good rides, including a longer one down the canyon where Major was on fire (but politely had to stop for all sorts of hikers, walkers, etc.) It is such good practice. Then we did one of Major's favorite rides…home! He thinks it is grand to ride home from Auburn. Through the steep, rocky, nasty canyon with the river below, but it is going home (even if home is 15 miles away!).

side eye—are we REALLY going home this time?

oregon bar creek bridge

We saw no other horses or people for easily the first 10 miles. There were trail markings for the 110K around-the-lake run that day, but they would be going through that section at night (eek!).

not OUR trail markings Major…

We came down a hill, into a meadow, and looked up to see what appeared to be a benevolent Sasquatch running at us. Wild hair and beard, he was making hooting noises and jumping down the trail. We stopped and let him jump his way towards us, through the field of waist-high star thistle. We joked about how he was getting free acupuncture, but Major was not too happy himself walking through those fields (though star thistle is a great deterrent for a "run home fast" mentality!)

the river/lake and trail ahead

any visit to the lake is fun
We've explored the lake trail as the water level is lowering, having that whole trail open is one thing to look forward to.

evening river hike

epic Sierra meadow when camping
strange derelict river tower

This summer was quiet, with about 175 miles of riding in multiple, fun locations (but never as many as I'd hoped for!) but I'm sorry to see it go. I've gone (without Major, sorry dude) kayaking, camping, fairs, ocean and river visits and many miles of hiking. Though I think some of my favorite hours were spent watching the army of hummingbird in civil war on my deck!

kayaking the Sierra
summer carousel
north coast sandy beach

rock stack and teepee

I have some plans for fall…plus there is football and hot chocolate. So I guess not all is lost.

hummingbird shadows
But I'm heading out to ride this evening, and will make every mile, and minute of daylight, count…

winter is coming (as the storm rolled in this week!)

Thursday, September 12, 2019


When attending rides at the Major School of Wizardry, you might need to choose a magic wand.

heading out with my magic wand

The wand can be any species of small stick, and waving it produces amazing results. Just waving (no tapping) will increase the walking rate, while a tap with the tiny, almost useless stick, might even get a sluggish beast to trot.

dry forest trail

love to see the green!

Once said trot is established, there is no need for the wand. It is not effective at slowing down a beast. Once said beast has decided that oh yeah, this IS actually fun, there is actually very little that can stop it. Incantations of the spell "knockitoff" and "easydammit" are occasionally effective.

But green grass is the nemesis, though here heartily devoured.

amazing new grass

One ear pointed towards home always reminds the rider what should always be the goal: going home to dinner.

rock wall, turn around here?

lower trail disappearing

But the cool shade of the lake trail beckoned, until it disappeared under the water. Then the upper trail gave sunset views.

almost-autumn light above the lake

The way home was not to be thwarted, even for a pretty picture of yellow light through the trees.

stopping is optional?

The spell had been cast correctly that day, rider and beast were content.

Monday, September 9, 2019

monday moment: cheating

handsome Friday
Friday's Mom was off on a non-horse adventure, and he quickly learned I was the source of all good things (like apples). Who can resist this face?!

Major didn't care too much, he got to go graze on some dry grass (his choice, there was greener crab-grass close by).

But I didn't tell Major he missed out on the apples (because someone is a bit too fat to be eating apples, and it is not me or Friday…)