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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Blackberries & Logging~

Today's Ride~
Surprised!  That's what I was!   BIG THANK YOU due to both my friends!  Joyce & Joe rode yesterday - Joe took his machete - cutting & hacking through the massive wall of green, as Joyce moved the mess of vines off the trail.  Coming up on it from the far side - to see just How Much the two of them had cleared was amazing!   If you've worked on blackberry - you know...   If you haven't - you have no idea of how nasty they are to cut.  The only good thing about them - especially this time of year, is that the fruit is ripe!

With over an hour of clearing - the trail was again open!  They'd been higher than our heads on Wed. when we'd spent another block of time just clearing into where the wall began...
More clear trail~
This is a trail that we'll use again over the fall & winter months - as will other area riders - so it's nice to know that we'll be able to get through. 
Once through - looking north~
Funny how different trails & roads can look when you come on them from the direction that you usually don't.  Normally - we like to take the long climbs on the way out, today we took some short steep climbs & ended up doing more downhill on the way back.  Rounding a corner, we ran into other horsemen!  Unusual - but not only that - we both recognized these four!  Fellow equestrians that we'd not seen in many, many years!  Such fun catching up!   Ed's thirty-year old Mustang mare was still just cooking down the trail!  The news that they shared with us wasn't what we'd hoped to hear - logging was going on just around the bend from where we were, between us & the route we'd hoped to take back.

We'd already spent over 30-min. cutting Alder's that had been cut & fallen across one trail, so again - we'd been out a while & it was another hot, muggy day.  Undaunted by the news - we continued forward - soon smelling that incredible scent of fresh cut lumber.
Trees on the ground~
Next, we saw the trees, again it's almost as though you've ridden into a strange world, so changed from just a couple days earlier this week.  The noise got louder & we could hear trees crashing to the ground!  Both horses were on high alert!  Soon, the equipment was right along the side of the trail & the noise was incredible!  Farah wanted to whirl & leave the area, Joyce dismounted to lead Jesse.  I took a short video, but it didn't do the experience justice.

This was the closest I'd been to active logging & I really felt it - it's so very Raw, a certain kind of violence - at least against nature.  These machines can take down an amazing amount of trees, in a very short time.  The claw grabs the tree, the saw cuts it off - then the entire tree is lifted into the air & dropped!  The upside - if you can call it that - is that they're done & gone fairly quickly.  We were surprised to find them working today.

With relief, we were past & within a couple miles returned to the quiet of the woods.  There are more areas marked with cutting boundary tape - so it'll be interesting to see how things change as we move into Fall. 

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