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

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ride into Sorrow ~

From Harry O's to Birdsview +
Charlotte & I had been trying to get out for a long ride.  We decided to meet-up at Harry O's & ride to Birdsview.  We took the long way :-)  It had been a while since Charlotte had ridden there & months since I had.  We weren't in any hurry, the rain started as a fine mist - but so welcome!  
Out on the trails~
 Neither of us were expecting the riot of color that we rode in to!  Maybe it was because of the otherwise gray day, but the experience took our breath away.  We were in the middle of a fine trot when my phone rang.  I didn't answer - but when it immediately rang again... I pulled Farah up.  It was Butch & his voice was grave, he gave me the news that my father had passed away.  Brutally blunt, it took seconds to sink in.  Grief came over me like a tidal wave...  He continued;  saying that Dad had passed asleep in his chair, absolutely peaceful.  85-years old, Dad had enjoyed a long life, free from suffering, still in relatively good health - except for his heart, that had been damaged when he contracted Rheumatic fever during WWII in Germany.  With nothing more to be said; we ended the call.  I sat there, Farah perfectly still - as the loss began to sink in.  

I was very lucky to have such a good person with me, someone who said just the right thing at the right time.  Words that kept me grounded & brought me back to where we were - right in the middle of the most beautiful woods imaginable, surrounded by a riot of color.  No more fitting a place to honor my father's passing - could I have found.  Charlotte offered to turn-back, but we'd driven a long way & there was nothing that would change.  I made calls to my family - then we rode on.
Rust of Bracken Ferns
We stopped for lunch at the Birdsview Brewery, tying the horses to the cable hitching wire with only their reins - both cocked a hind leg & stood quietly in the rain while we went in to eat.  We took the shorter way back, covering 20+ miles total.  Once back at the trailers, the emotional exhaustion hit.  The drive home gave me time to reflect & begin to plan what the next days will bring - attending to my father's final wishes. 

I'm so glad that I had called him the morning before, that we had a good conversation, me telling stories about his Great-Grandchildren & how they had inherited his "collecting" & "organizing" genes :-)   We both agreed that we collect things, whether they need collecting or not!  He was getting on with his day, heading out to lunch with his friend.  Thankful, for all the years that my Dad was a part of my life & the wonderful memories he left in my keeping ~

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall & Fog ~

Autumn is finally here, but with the advent of the shorter days & cooler temperatures, has not come the much needed rain~  The last few mornings, instead of waking up to see the sun come over the mountains, it's been the gray of fog. 
The Garden Cottage
Yesterday's fog - was the closest thing I've ever seen to a dry fog.  This second morning of the gray - actually had some moisture in it! I enjoyed the sound of drips through the leaves in the woods.
Dogwood Gulch
With some of the brilliant colors that are usually so amazing this time of year, the gray card gray backdrop made me go for my camera.
Rascal on a mission~
By later in the afternoon, it was still a gray day, but the fog had lifted.  I don't think the temperature was much above the mid-60's all day.  I worked pruning the dogwoods in the gulch.  One is almost chopped to the ground.  I'm have a hard time deciding if I want the on-going work of keeping them...  The roots hold up the eroding creek bank, but they just take over everything else.  I love their color too, but could put in something else that would have the color & not the upkeep.  What to do?

Monday, October 8, 2012


Lime Kiln Trails
Today was only my second time on these trails.  The first was in March of 2011, when Khari spooked & threw me!   This time was much more pleasant - but somewhat disappointing.  I'd hoped that some of the trails went someplace...  They really don't now, but I suspect that they have in the past.
Heading out from the trail head~
 We took the only trail out from the trail head & followed it forward & upward.  On the way I saw several spurs, but decided as usual to go up at any intersection that offered the option.  We found a really great view at the top of the climb.
Looking NW through the haze~
 The end, was a blocked off area, where the road had probably continued on.  No way through & no idea what would be on the other side.  So we turned back the way we'd come.
One of the Granite Falls Quarry's
 On the way down, we did get a nice view of one of the quarry's in the area.  I could see the southern side of Three Fingers too.
This is the south end of Deer Mountain
 I can see this logging from home, but I look more at the west face of the mountain, here we were further to the south.  Not pretty...  We took every spur of trail that I found on the way back, all leading to piles of slash & growth that blocked any further travel.  There are still one or two that I could see once I'd downloaded my GPS info. to Google earth.  Want to make another trip up to check those out.  Was nice to be out in the late afternoon.  I don't think I have to worry much about getting lost, as Farah was quite sure when we made the correct turn - finally - back toward the trailer!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Getting Ready for Inspection~

Tara teaching Farah to stand square~
Finally, Farah's registration paperwork has been updated.  After being traded by her breeder for another horse, then sold again - her registration was still in the breeders name.  After establishing a chain of "title" - I was able to fill out the paperwork & pay the fees to correct & update her registration.  I've always been amazed by owners who don't see the value of keeping their horses registration current.  You see this happen even with purebreds.  Farah is what used to be called a grade horse, sired by a "Palomino Nat.Show Horse stud" who was a rescue without his papers & out of a "Very stout QH mare royally bred for halter".  It's nice that the self-described backyard breeder took the time & paid the fees to have the resulting filly nominated into a performance horse registry.  

The American Warmblood Society is a member of the "World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses.   One of the services available through the AWS, is an Inspection that satisfies the performance requirement for entry in the Main Book. (Horses entered in this book qualify through their own performance.)   I found that an inspection is scheduled for the end of this month in Port Orchard.  I contacted the organizer & registered.
What this all means...  Farah & I are taking some fast-track lessons on Showmanship from Teri & Tara at our favorite home away from home;  Fire Run Farm.  After always thinking;  "How hard can it be?"...  I'm finding out that it's challenging & not by any means "easy"!  :-)  We have a lot of practicing to do & Farah is too fit to show well, so has about 50 lbs. to gain!  :-)  She's not complaining!   Butch is going to crew for us & we're both looking forward to a fun day at Chalice Farms~

Monday, October 1, 2012

On a Clear Day ~

From the Monument over the Sound to the Olympics
Finally - a Clear day!  It was really special to have a autumn day with fresh, clear, clean air.  The views were stunning & I was glad to have the Nikon with me.
Looking out toward Whidbey Island
 I lowered the resolution a setting & used the zoom to capture the views.   Really happy with the results.  Linda & I sat for a while...  just drawing in the view & the day.  Count & Farah kicked up a hind leg & took a short nap :-)
This view was stunning, the lake still as a mirror~
Whitehorse & Three Fingers
 We climbed the "up & down" trail, skirted the logging operation, now hopefully almost done & only ran into one bicycle rider in the dark woods.   We had a really Nice Ride!  We're feeling very spoiled...