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

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Third Time is the Charm~

 We were on a mission.  It was cold, damp & the sun had just burned through the clouds that produced an early morning rain.  By the time I got caught up at home & drove north, it was almost 1 p.m. before I was in the saddle.
Clouds burning off~
Neither the mare nor I had any particular plan for our ride, I just wanted to knock out enough distance to take us to 1,000-miles.  Victoria seemed a good place to go, but once I was there - I realized that with the trails now closed it would be a bit more interesting to find those miles without doubling back.
What is it?
On the way up the climb to the Monument - I saw this really pretty, blooming vine.  I've never seen it before & it's very pretty.  So interesting looking - probably some invasive, since I've never seen it in any of my native plant books...
Very delicate blooms~
Farah's main interest - when we're out on our own on the mountain is always getting to the Monument just as fast as we can!  After all, that's the designated lunch spot & today we both welcomed the warmth of the sun after the climb on the shadow/cold side of the mountain.
Farah having lunch~
She's always so good when we're here, just starts grazing & I can sit down & eat my snack too.  It was still very chilly though.  I wore my polar fleece vest for the first time this season & ended up putting my jacket over it when we left.
Usual, but never boring views of the Sound~
We were the only ones around, I saw bike tracks on one of the trails, but no hoof prints!  When we left, I jogged the downhill to the bottom & there had to back-track to find the road, I'd taken a wrong turn.
Heading back~
I was more than happy when we had enough distance to turn back into the late afternoon sunshine!  Strange how in just a couple days, it seems like the afternoons go so quickly now!  We made some time, I wanted to be back up in the vicinity of the parking area before it got too dark.
The view~
Mt. Rainier was behind a layer of clouds & haze, as the Olympics had been from the top.  The sun was dropping with the last of the rays shining through the trees.  We made it back with just enough light that I had to use my cell phone light to see the tumblers on the tack door lock.  Farah stood watching with concern, her cookies are in there!

We managed to get-it-done though!  For the third year in a row, we've topped 1,000-miles.  I remember what a big deal it felt like the first time & how happy I was.  Last year - we added another 500 to the total.  This year, it's taken us a couple months longer to reach the milestone - but still fun to roll those four digits over!   Many days I wish that Butch was retired, but since he isn't & I'm left to my own devices...  What to do but ride?  Farah came at a time in my life when I might otherwise be winding down just a little - but we both enjoy the partnership we've forged.  Still ornery, opinionated & bossy, I wouldn't have her any other way!

1 comment:

  1. that vine is showing the seed heads of some or other clematis. There are native ones


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