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

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Third Day~

Driving up to Victoria, I pictured another parking area full of trailers - but not!  Given the choice of nice trails, or rock roads - the choice is obvious.  Victoria is also further north - so a longer drive for riders coming up from the metro areas.
The only one!
 Another incredible day!  I sat out for a while this morning with my tea - then did some chores before going up to groom Farah.  No more shedding blade!  She's sleek & shiny!
Youth on Age - or - Piggy Back Plant
 The ground covers are busy doing what they do best!  Soon we'll be enjoying the blooms!  After our Tue. ride - my mare in season, not paying attention & bucking up a couple of fits...  To yesterday - on our own, but looking for excuse to spook at everything & anything...  It was a surprise to be greeted by a nicker when I walked up to the barn.  She was totally relaxed while I groomed & saddled her. 
 Once on the trail - I could tell that I finally have my partner back!  Looking around when I unloaded her - she couldn't have been better as we started out.  Super nice walk, smooth trot & hand gallop.  We made great time going up the climb to the top.  No more shoulder lifts & head shaking after four-months with the Stonewall Saddle!  It took a while - but her comfort is obvious.
Hawk sailing over Whitehorse~
 There was a light layer of haze in the air, you could almost see the snow melting off the high peaks with the record breaking warm streak.  Over 70 degrees today & the first time since mid-Oct. that we've enjoyed temperatures like this.
Yellow Wood Violet
These bright little violets were blooming along the trail to the Monument.  I dismounted to get the photo while Farah waited.  There was nothing for her to graze on, she was being very patient - until - I looked up to see her quietly walking away - on towards the Monument & lunch!  I said;  "You'd better wait for me & you can have a cookie."  She looked over her shoulder & stopped :-)  Yes - she got the cookie.
Stunning views of the Sound & Olympics
 The sunlight had a hot quality today.  Bright & brilliant - I actually sat in the shade while Farah grazed.  There was a Facebook discussion going on about healthy eating.  I had to share a photo of my grapes & cheese stick :-)
Good grass~
Too soon, our break was over & away we went, back to the east side of the mountain.  I zoomed in to get the photo below - of some far peaks.  The clear cutting continues to expand exponentially.
Clear-cut patches~
 Looking east toward Mt. Washington, while it continues to be stripped - still seems wrong beyond words...  I did contact DNR.  They replied & asked;  "Which Mt. Washington?"  To which I plan to respond with a Google Earth image.
Mt. Washington
On any other year, I would have made at least a couple climbs up to admire the views.  One steep trail, with many switchbacks, put you right into the Big trees!  Looking out through them, down the valley is something I'll remember forever - since I'm sure I'll not see them again...
 I've been watching for my first Trillium of the season for a couple weeks now.  Even last week when riding with Linda, we both commented that we'd yet to see one.  Today was the DAY!  This beautiful example was right off the edge of the road & shaded from the hot sun. 
Mt. Rainier ~
 On our up-hill gallop, we matched our run-a-way speed from the first week of the month :-)  Much nicer to feel like I had some control.  Farah slowed for the turn, then dug in for a second burst - before we crested the top.  It would have been so fun to go to Tiffany's ride this weekend :-(   But Butch is determined to learn about his new volunteer duties & I'm along for the ride!

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