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

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Return to Ancient Lakes~

We woke to bright sunshine after a night of a pretty good wind blowing.  Scott had set our start time of 10 a.m. - most of us were saddled & waiting. Last year's ride~
On our Way~
We're on our way!  Six riders, three mares & three geldings.  Farah was very happy that Linda had brought Count along!  She was not happy that there were two other mares.
The first waterfall~
 As we rounded the first of the big turns around the cliffs - again - the sound & smell of the waterfall was so strange in this otherwise somewhat barren landscape.  More green this year - more rain has fallen.
The small pink wildflowers that were blooming everywhere last year - weren't this time - only a few here & there.  Others, that I hadn't seen before - were blooming in profusion!  So bright & beautiful!  In places, there seemed to be more grass than I'd remembered. 
Above the Ancient Lakes~
These trails are deceptive - as is the distance.  The climbs too, are steeper & tougher than they look in many cases.  Farah took up her place from last year - behind Scott's Morgan gelding Kelly. This day's ride was to Burk Lake - with a couple steep uphill climbs through the shale.
Barb, Scott & Linda
The day was getting warm, all the horses were ready for a drink of water - except Farah.  She was out-of-sorts the entire ride & didn't drink until Rio walked right in.  She watched the others drink - then stepped in & took a swallow just to satisfy me.
Heading down! 
Barb was in the lead most of the time, riding her new young horse Rio.  Rio is from Texas - so there was a rock or two that could have been spookable :-)  Otherwise - he was a champ!
Looking down the canyon~
The views here, so different from what we have at home, really do make me feel like I'm in the West - & not just western, WA.  Soon, it was time for our lunch break & Scott has the perfect spot, right in the middle of a large saddle on the top level of the plateau.
 With the horses tied below, my friends enjoyed the sunshine.  I went up to take photos, but soon slid back down the shale, to the cool shade at the base of the cliffs, with Farah.
Good grazing here~
 I was sitting by a large rock, with a small den under it's edge.  A marmot hole I'm sure.  I was wondering all the while what Farah would do if Mr. Marmot came out while she was biting off the grass outside his door :-)

On our way back,  at the second level of the plateau - I zoomed in to get this photo of the Bishop's new house.  What an incredible spot to call home!
Bishop Home~
We had quite a mix of horses this trip & as Scott said;  the larger the group - the more difficult it is to reach that perfect pace for all.   One mare was recovering from abscesses, so wasn't in condition, the other, a nice gaited mare.  Her gait was fast, but her walk wasn't quite the speed of the other horses.  Farah was pretty unhappy that I'd been holding her back all day...  So, once I knew where we were - I let her open up a little & we left the group.
I let her trot, but she was so wired that she was shying more than trotting.  Butch was waiting as we came around the corner & caught a little video clip.  Her attitude is apparent!  You would never know that we'd done those steep climbs!

Another fine evening with friends & another night of blowing winds! 

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