Monday, January 23, 2023

miles monday: hello

 Miles would like to say hi to everyone out there. 

And do you have a treat?


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

sun recovery

Miles is done with it
The deluge is abating. Almost 15 straight days of rain, and not just a little, buckets and torrents! And intense wind storms, thunder and lightning (which we almost never get), pretty much all of our winter packed into two weeks, with more to come! Miles is done with it, as he proved by running, bucking and sliding about when I turned him out into a less muddy pasture yesterday.

During the storms Miles seems sensible if irritated, staying under cover for the worst of it. I visited with a wet mash, though chunky boy doesn't need it, the water and salt are best during weird atmospheric rivers. He wholeheartedly approved and I just watched him eat in peace, me sitting in the drizzle on a wet chair, surveying the mud (after already digging lots of ditches, diversions and bringing in sandbags).

muddy mess, but mash!

There was one clear afternoon last week and I took off work early and got Miles out. He was quite spicy, so a little lunging to remind him that he does actually have a job, and he was pretty good. I rode in the arena (wet but drains well) and then just up and down the graveled lane. I did go to the creek crossing and about 30 feet into the woods, just to see how it was. The trail was a slick mess and we turned around before we rode the slide-and-slide any longer.

trail slip-and-slide

But the damage has been done. I haven't seen much of the trails but what I've seen (I went hiking on one of the rainy days, just to get out!) is a mess. A huge tree across one of our main access points, who knows how long before state parks can come to clear it.

huge pine blocking the trail

lots of water (there is a trail under there)

this is a trail access, now a dangerous deep (about 18 inch) eroded gully
And the erosion! Usual puddles fed by trickles are now streams of water cascading down hillsides, and across the trails, turning them into eroded, dangerous holes.

mossy manzanita and old stacked stone

mushrooms and moss

my new favorite, I'll call it Clam rock
But there were some small moments of nature looking her best. And the sun looks to be shining for a few days. It will be a long process to get the trails cleared, and winter isn't even close to over. Sigh. But this too shall pass. 

Wesley is just going to stay in his hammock…


Wednesday, January 4, 2023


“You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is to never get involved in a land war in Asia. The second is to never argue with your mother when you're supposed to slow down!” (apologies to the Princess Bride).
Poor Miles, that he has to put up with my ridiculousness. He just gets very silly coming home, so we circle and back and sidepass. He seems to doubt that I will actually circle him on a single-track muddy blackberry-lined trail. But I know he is very good with his feet and just needs a reminder to slow them a bit before we slip-and-slide. So we circle and he stops after a bit of disbelief and then we continue on, often with no repeat (he remembers pretty well).
low lake (not for long!)
end-of-year adventure
We had a nice ride before Christmas where he was very good for about 95%! Coming back the trail was slippery and downhill and he wanted to be home already so I made good old Rocky stop and wait while we worked it out. Then we just carry on!
high tides made for some great waves
sometimes the coast is a bit foggy!
stairs down to the beach

My Mom's super cute naughty dog, Archie!

But that was the last ride for a week! It rained (a lot!) between Christmas and New Year. I went to the coast to visit my parents, celebrate a bit, and came home to a muddy mess. New Years’ day dawned blue skies but the trails had six inches of rain in two days. No riding (bad for the trails) so it was just welcoming the new year with a good walk and treats.
still wearing a new year's eve party hat…a stick!
too muddy for riding, though some did, we turned around on this walk
I'm muddy and bored
But more storms are coming and I hoped to get a ride in before Miles goes feral. Luckily the trails drain very well, so I headed out yesterday hoping for just an easy ride. We stuck to the decomposed granite upper trails. The footing was nice enough to trot on the ridgelines to the overlook spot. From there I can still see the lower lake trail unsubmerged by the rising lake, but not for long!
the lake rose 30 feet in a week!

anticipation ears, are we going home now?

But from there all trails lead “home.” While Miles found it a bit hard to contain himself (there was some enthusiastic jigging, argh) he was very good, even marching through the center of the puddles (because I seem to have won that battle for now). We were heading back on the final single-track with too much enthusiasm and also slippery mud, so he needed to slow. He fell for the blunder of trying to argue “let me do it we’re almost home!” We stopped, backed, and turned around, retraced our steps about 30 feet and tried again. My, it IS possible to walk through here!

quietly standing in the last big puddle crossing

He can be very smart when he decides to listen. We got to the final water crossing, where I, his dreadful owner, made him stand and wait. And he was good and patient so we finished the ride nicely. Some grass snacks on the way home made it all worthwhile. Now we’re looking at an atmospheric river or pineapple express or some such storm with lots of rain coming for the next couple weeks, oh boy.

I don’t need to go up a girth size on my already porky pony, so hopefully I can get Miles out for some January adventures, and keep learning from our blunders.
Wesley and Jack like MY new fireside pillow (but not together!)