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

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Kitt's Ride

What is it that makes two people who've know each other a very long time, think the same thought at the same time?  ESP?

Joyce & I left from her place mid-morning, Joyce's plan for the ride was to do some more exploring of the trails to and around to what we've always called the "upper loop".  We'd not been this way for a few months due to the heavy logging that had been going on up the mountain - which makes it very dangerous as the loaded trucks head down.
Today's ride in black, last Friday in Red
 We ran a gauntlet of barking dogs, squawking turkeys, questioning landowners, etc. just to get to the actual trails, but once there - we both commented on the quiet of the morning.  No Blue Heron at the wetland this day.  It was very warm & Very humid - we were sweating & the horses were sweating before we'd even started the climb.

The first surprise of ride greeted us as we rounded a corner - just amazing how quickly things change!
Clear-cut that opened up a view of where we were heading~
It was eerily quiet, with white puffy clouds moving by overhead.  Before long though the sun returned & the heat went right up!  As we rounded a corner we both pulled our horses up to watch the beautiful Coyote who had appeared on the trail in front of us.
Coyote in the road~
 We had commented more than once this Summer - that we'd seen very little wildlife, but that had now changed.  He or she disappeared into the brush as we approached.    We climbed & climbed some more, finally deciding to call a halt & take a short break.  Both of us were starved - we found some ripe blackberries & ate a late breakfast!  :-)
Joyce turns to start down & see's the Coyote
As we started down, I heard Joyce say something & turned to see that the Coyote had actually followed us!  Pretty unusual.  We looked at each other & both said at the same time;  "Kitt".  Kitt was the special "dog" that shared her life with us for over 14-years.  Dory always thought & a lot of us did - that in spite of the literature saying that Coyote's & dogs don't interbreed - Kitt was half Coyote.  She moved like one, acted like one & certainly had the smile :-)  It brought tears to my eyes - thinking of her spirit visiting us in that way...
Where our next surprise happened - at the low point on the road~
Now lower on the mountain I was gazing off at the view when I spotted some incredible looking animal who had just come out on the gravel from the brush to the right.  Joyce - who's voice was the most excited I think I've ever heard - was saying;  "Bobcat"!  It was!  The first I've ever been lucky enough to see in the wild!  Much darker brown than I would have expected & a decent size, probably at least a year old!  We didn't have more than a second or two to appreciate him, when he moved off across the road & again disappeared on the far side!  Way COOL!  We were feeling extremely blessed to not only be out on such a fine day - but to have such unique experiences!
Joyce & Target - Heading down~
This mountain, in spite of the heavy logging, heavy logging traffic & the work it takes to get up - is a special place.  You can just imagine how amazing this country was before it was turned over to the logging companies.  No, we wouldn't have the views, but we would have had the forests, the cover, the water & everything necessary to have supported an amazing variety of both plant & animal life.  It's a hard place to leave - but in so saying - I'll leave you with a short video clip that I took at our turn-around for the day - only about half way to the summit~
Coming back, the trail we'd hoped to take that would have gotten us back to where we wanted to be, was almost totally blocked by blackberry.  Joyce spent at least 30-min. with her hand pruners cutting & cutting.  I used my stick to beat them down, but we finally had to give up when the vines became a wall!  That meant going back the long way & making plans to return & get that trail cut through!
Enjoying the ride~


Always Welcome~