Friday, August 14, 2020

oh boy

 An unlikely cool day (only 83!) in a week of hot made me jump in the truck, and Major in the trailer, for a ride out at Cronan ranch. Cronan is hot and dry all summer, but I hadn't been able to go all spring (BLM land closed for Covid) and hoped for a semi-cool adventure.

I'm ready. are you?!

When we arrived Major was not about to settle down with his haybag, he was READY (yes, all capitals needed!). All hopes for a quiet ride were put aside as I put on my gloves and headed out. One foot in the stirrup and I could tell…oh boy…hold on…

But Major was required to walk (though he attempted to jig) for the first part, until we crossed the bridge. Then there is a big hill climb, and I let him choose his pace. He regretted his choice of cantering/trotting about 3/4 of the way up when he figured out he wasn't in the hill shape he thought he was!

At the top we encountered the burn scar from earlier this year. Firefighters luckily got this under control quickly, and it did not reach the trees. Down, down the big hill and into the valley floor. Lovely, open roads for speed (and every time this view, highly suggestive hills, in my head I hear, "huge tracts of land!".

huge tracts of land…

What is great here is the variety of trails. From these open roads we went down to the river and splashed around a bit, then up on the far ridge for another big hill. Heading down through the pines, at the bottom we detoured for the trough Major promptly would not go anywhere near. But I used my scoop to cool him off, very handy!

ignoring the trough but didn't mind the water scoop!

Back in the valley floor there were highly dangerous rocks to snort at (you must not be too tired then!) and then the little cabin (left over set from a Michael Landon TV movie!) to give the stink eye. But while Major was still pretty up (dude, it's been 12 miles!), I was getting hot and tired, so we headed back.


First past fence 5, (I always wonder why the number is on this fence and no other on the property I have seen) and then to the (always annoyed at the misspelling) Connector trail. (Hey, I get it, I spell stuff wrong all the time, but not engraved on a sign. I swear I should just not ride here because it annoys me every damn time and I need to get over it!)

there, fixed it!

Back at the trailer Major was none the worse for wear, and gobbled up his beet pulp/salt mash. I was hot and tired though! Back home he was happy to roll and then ignored his open gate, trotted past me, and began to eat from Beau's hay bag. So much more delicious than the full hay bag of exactly the same hay in his own pen!

We won't be doing another long ride for at least 10 days…the weather forecast is going to be meltingly hot, even for here. Those golden hills of California don't get that way from summer rain (which doesn't exist at these elevations!). I think when Major seems me coming with his hydrating wet mash he'll just say "oh boy!"

we've had twice as many days over 100 than last year, and that was before this heat wave!

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