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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Long & Almost Longer!

Heading out the trail Linda cleared~
I wanted to get in some miles on our own today, so headed up to Victoria with the plan of doing my long loop & finding all the miles I could.  So we started out this way - then headed up the climb to the Monument.
Thistle Everywhere
The Thistle has just gone crazy with the heat!  Where all the seed comes from I have no idea - but it proliferates in ALL the clear-cuts.
Sending out more seed~
When you see the huge amounts of seed that these plants send out - it's crazy.  An interesting look to a hillside.
From the Monument
Once up on top, the sun started trying to break through the cloud cover...  I didn't want it!  I was so enjoying the cooler temperature - even if the humidity was high.
Farah hears something?
Once we turned into the deep dark woods, the sun did break through - turning the landscape almost Farah's color!  She was alert & I was too, but we didn't see or hear a thing.
The Ridge Trail south of the overlook
I love this trail & let Farah decide which way she wanted to go - she chose trail two different times - but on another - took the road for a gallop, with a buck thrown in :-) 
View from the trail - Mt. Washington to the right~
Heading down, down, down, I had to try again to get a photo of the old growth Cedar Stump that's off the edge of the trail.
Amazing that it's still so huge after all the years since it was cut.
When we headed down the long stretch of road - I had to make several stops!  The blackberries were just too ripe to pass up & eating them is the only thing on earth that they are good for!
Ripe for picking!
Farah is the only horse we've ever had that doesn't seem to like them!  I picked a handful of ripe ones & tried to give them to her - she chewed, but spit them out!  Once we'd ridden through our green mile & the trails down to the Scott Mainline - it smelled like Fall!
Leaves down from the dry summer~
We were clipping right along on this stretch - it was coming up on 3:30 & I was figuring just over an hour to get us back...  Wrong!
Track Hoe
This was the place where I'd seen a small dozer working on the road a few months ago.  Today - this track hoe was coming right at us down the road, with the boom in the air & the grappling hook swinging back & forth!  Lucky for me - the operators truck was in front of us - so I dismounted & put Farah behind the truck.  She was watching - but didn't show signs of wanting to bolt!  The operator turned up the road you see, turned it off & got out.  He said that we could continue on to the road that would cut us back up the hill & back to the parking.  Whew!  Otherwise we would have had a long ride back the way we'd come!   
Logs waiting to be hauled.
The last truck load pulled out, headed down to Hwy 9 - so things quieted down in a hurry.  The corner I was watching for had changed - but we had no problem getting through.
From the top of the cut~
Things looked really different, but this was just a small section & I think that's all they're going to do here - I hope so anyway.  Up the big climb we went, trot, canter & finally - near the top ran into a couple bike riders.  Farah did another nice gallop, then we took the trail through the big trees & were back at the trailer, the only one left in the lot.  We covered almost 20-miles & it was 77 degrees when we stopped in Arlington for a pizza on the way home!  At least Way better than the high 80s! 

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