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

Friday, September 19, 2014

Getchell to Armar on the Centennial Trail

Oh No... 
Well...  It was one of those days...  Could have ridden with a friend for a short/slow ride at Victoria, but I didn't need either short or slow.  After lunch, I loaded Farah & started north.  Only a couple miles up I could see that getting the seven-miles to Arlington, would take pretty much all day.  Two halves of a new manufactured home - traveling Very slowly the same way I was headed...  With the power company in the lead to move overhead wires etc. I found a spot & turned around.
Parked at Getchell
Since my other way out is by Getchell to Hwy 9, I looked over at the trail-head parking & found it almost empty!  Yes!  Plenty of room to get turned around & park!  It had since March of 2013 since I'd ridden this section of the Centennial Trail, in preparation for riding the entire length.
Past Forward Signage at Getchell
I really like the new Past Forward Signage that's been installed along the length of the trail.  Mileage to the next trail-head is at the top of each, along with the trail map & some of the history of the area.  Educational, colorful & old street signs were used for these!
We start off north bound
 After the light rains, the air smelled so fresh & with the Black Cottonwoods starting to drop their leaves, the smell of Fall was in the air!
Looking west toward Marysville
The views out at the valley were as pretty as ever, at least in places...  Farah decided after our first long, nice trot - that she wanted to do some spooking again.  I was Not happy about that - but kept my cool, had her do some side-passing toward whatever she thought was worth a spook, so it took us a while to get to Armar.
We've arrived!
Instead of turning into the picnic area, I continued the final mile north - where Farah did her biggest spook of the day - from one side of the paved path - to the other!  I have to say - that at least this time she did have an excuse.  We were walking along where the side of the trail was several feet high in shrubbery when it happened!
The growling/barking hoard of Boston Bull Terriers :-)
All of these little guys rushed the gate, making more noise than a hoard of savage beasts!  When she realized that they were behind the gate, there was a Big sigh & we continued on to the intersection.  The owner came out to apologize for the noise, a very nice person & beautiful place!
Coming up on 172nd.
Here, we turned back.  At Armar the signage says 4-miles to Arlington & that's right - plus one more mile to get to Haller Park.  We did this the day we rode the full length of the trail, the end of March 2013.  Now, Arlington has done all the improvements to the trail as it goes through town.  Horses are not supposed to use this section of the trail - so to continue north, you would have to trailer from Armar to Haller Park.
Farah sees cattle across the road!
We rode into the rest area at Armar - as I had to rest.  Farah as usual, stood outside & I held her reins inside.  When I came out, there was a lady with her little girl watching.  The little girl said:  "Mom said I couldn't ask to pet your horse until you came out!"  :-) 
Beautiful afternoon as the sun comes out~
We made good time going back, were passed by a couple rude bike riders, but there were others who were so friendly & one who said she had been watching Farah's tail for a while :-)
Cookie Cutter housing ~
Yes, as I mentioned above - the valley "views" are changing way too fast to suit me...  Scary when we cover such fertile farmland with more & more homes...
Back to the light at 84th
Soon, we were back at the crossing light.  The traffic noise was incredible - it's amazing that the trail is as quiet as it is in most places.  But- with roads going over head, bridges over creeks, barking dogs, homeowners working with power equipment etc., it's still a challenging stretch of trail in some ways.  Thankful for it, especially since it's a short drive to access this section - but hopeful that the Whitehorse will stay more rural!

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