Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Monday, July 16, 2012

July Riding Weekend!

Out from Silver Ridge
We'd planned a ladies riding weekend a couple months ago.  So hard to find a time during the summer that four or five or six people are all free from other obligations.  Once the day came, I left to horrendous claps of thunder, lightening & rain so heavy that I almost pulled off at Machias to wait it out.  Meeting up in Duvall - no rain - just cloud cover - we headed up the pass.
East on I-90
 The clouds thinned!  No rain - our spirits climbed with the highway!  Four trailers, six horses & six women :-)  We had reservations for the Penthouse at Silver Ridge Ranch.  About a two-hour drive with trails that left from the ranch.  Pulling in mid-morning, we found a shady spot to park under the trees.  Our room & horse corrals were waiting.  
 A couple of us, very seldom get time to do horse-riding weekends, so we unloaded our stuff & were saddled up with the hope of being on the trails before noon.  Did I say that it felt hot?  At least to me!  We sprayed the horses liberally with fly spray & ourselves too.  Lynn was our trail guide.  We toured through the very nice large campground - would be great for large meet-ups, then around the airfield & onto the trails.  The river was a Great spot!  We also tried to get around the lower end of lake, but it was so full that the trail was under water & logs were awash.
Beth, Kate, Jennifer & Idaho
We decided to get adventurous & take an 8-mi. trail straight up!  It was just beautiful!  Through heavy vine maple, it would be spectacular in the fall.
Lynn, Heather, Jennifer
The horses were huffing & puffing in no time, we stopped several times for them to take a breather.  We started hitting switchbacks & kept climbing.  I'd see sky ahead & think that we were reaching a clearing - only to get there & have another switchback :-)  We were within a few feet of the end of the pines, Jennifer had reached a area of shale slide - when we spotted two hikers coming down.  They informed us that the trail was totally blocked just a short distance ahead & there was no place to turn the horses around.  Well...  what to do?  Turn them where they were was the only option.   The first three of us had a tiny bit of room to get that done, but where I was were two trees on the downhill side, which limited the room Farah had.  I got off, hugged a tree on the downhill side - yea - I know - not supposed to do that...  but it worked & Farah turned herself into a pretzel & did an incredibly graceful turn without a hoof leaving the trail!  Next was Cato!  He's Big!  Did I say Big?  He too surprised me & managed to get himself turned around!  Good Boy he was!  We started back down.  Nothing like a little adventure!  :-)
After riding some of the lower trail & finding another nice river to cool off in, we headed back. 
Late evening - dinner time!
We were starving & went out for dinner, came back to sit out on the deck & enjoy the great view, good company & cold drinks!  The next day we planned another trip to Joe Wyatt Canyon.  Looking at maps of the area, we figured to explore what we could & see what we could see.
Next morning we were up pretty early, had the horses fed, went in for coffee & blueberries while we waited for the breakfast provided by Silver Ridge.  We loaded up & were back on the road under heavy overcast & humidity.
It doesn't look it, but it's one rough, rocky road up to the trail head!
 Success!  Saddled again, map in Jennifer's hand & Lynn to guide us - as she had ridden there once before.  We were surprised by all the trails - going everywhere.  We just took whatever looked pretty - they all looked pretty!  Flowers still in full bloom, we rode past a Mock Orange bush & the smell was like heaven on earth!  The map was pretty much worthless.  Lynn decided to trust Sophie a couple times :-)  We didn't have to worry about finding our way back if it was up to Sophie!  :-)  I wanted to head up!  I always like to head up!  Butch & I have ridden for miles & miles lost due to my love of heading up!  Eventually we found a great place for lunch!  Then we found a old cabin!
Every mile was just gorgeous, some type of blue grass with seed heads as high as the saddles.  So wonderfully quiet!  No noise from roads or civilization!  The horses were really enjoying them selves, the climb of the day before had taken the edge off :-)  After spending the day before fighting Farah, keeping her behind - today - after she & I had a discussion about it - I asked to let her take the lead.  What a lead it was!  She went into her swinging, ground covering walk & walk we did - at over 4-mph.  Downhill, over rock, logs, anything without even a break in stride.  Now we were both enjoying ourselves!
Our Loop~
With heavy storm clouds moving in, we were on the way back & had to stop for a photo shoot!
Beth & Kate, Amanda & Cato, Jenn & Idaho, Lynn & Sophie (Heather didn't accompany us this day.)
It was really beautiful country, much greener than we'd expected even though the small creeks we came too were low - enough though that the horses were more than willing to suck up a drink!
Clouds Moving in
Farah & I were a ways out front when the thunder & lightening started.  To her credit, she didn't even break stride!
Golden views, rain on the way!
We made it back to the trailers without incident, were a bit sad to have to load up & head back home.  Would be a great place to spend a few days exploring - maybe fall?  :-)


  1. That looks so cool! Glad everybody's horses exceeded expectations. That scenery just looks amazing!

    1. It was! Come out sometime & we'll take you! :-)

  2. what fun!!! and send some of that wet stuff this way, please.
    - The Equestrian Vagabond


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