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

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Couple of Degrees...

Nakashima Barn & Trail Head on the Centennial Trail~
We've now had frozen snow on the ground since it fell the day after Thanksgiving!  One of the longest times I can remember for so early in the season.  Challenging - that's what this kind of weather makes riding...  I was mulling over where I could possibly get in a ride today where I could stay dry, wouldn't take too long & yet would get us out. With the weatherman promising a warmer day - at least by a degree or two, I decided on the trail.
Heading south~
My plan was to ride the opposite direction from what I usually do - to confuse Farah enough that maybe she would forget her usual antics when we do an out/back ride.  Since we have all the snow here at home - I was hoping that the snow on along the trail would be melted.  Not... 
Snow, snow, snow...
The ground was still covered most of the way & Farah's shoes instantly packed with it.  Every so often I'd move her over onto the paving & we'd trot to knock the frozen balls out.
What's this?  :-)
We were the only ones on the trail today - Farah's hind end kept slipping out from under us - but she figured out how to adjust her stride.  A couple of times, she moved into a trot on her own, controlled - but it was fun to see that snow fly! 
Almost to the bridge~
The places where the sun shines through were so pretty!  The sun is so far to the south that the shadows stay long all day.  Two hawks were flying overhead & lots of small finches were out too.
Frost & Pilchuck creek~
Pilchuck Creek is so beautiful, we stopped at our favorite spot on the way back for a snack.  Plenty of grass for Farah to enjoy too - since it's in the sun for part of our short days.
The bridge~
 I was surprised that the snow on the bridge hadn't completely melted off & it was actually a little slippery - even with the texture on the surface.
Ice, snow, frost~
If the day got above 40 - I'd be surprised.  All the standing water & wetlands on both sides of the trail were frozen solid.  I got off a couple times & walked to warm-up.  We were passed by one bicycle rider on our way back.  Farah instantly started curling her neck & bouncing around - not what I wanted with that footing!  So - I turned her the opposite direction!  She complied, the antics would stop, so I'd turn back.  I had to do this three times, but each time it worked!  My girl is no fool.
Almost back to the Barn~
There were several County workers unloading lots of trees to be planted in the old pastures.  I asked if they could actually get any holes dug & they replied;  "NO!"  :-)
Farah watches the crew unloading trees~
We rode out the unimproved section of the trail - thinking that maybe we could do some trotting - but it was rock hard & just as slippery, so we turned back & called it a day.  The sun was already setting & it was getting colder!

Coming home, I felt the Bronco slip a couple times on black ice in the shade of the trees - no fun.  With days of rain on the way - the footing will really get bad once things start to thaw...  Was great to be out there - as I told Farah - enjoying the early December day!

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