For as stormy as Friday had been - Saturday arrived sunshine stunning - in all it's glory! I think all of camp slept in - it was so blissfully quiet - at least early on. We'd originally planned to do the afternoon train ride with Janelle & friends in camp. That changed when we heard from our daughter (who lives in Astoria) - that her family was coming down to visit us!
I was really looking forward to riding out to enjoy the sun on the dunes & on the beach. Farah again looked at where Sandy had been camping - still hopeful that Ody might be around :-) When we passed the horse ride concession, there was a long group of riders just returning from their ride. The wrangler said he'd seen me last evening & pointed me to a trail that I hadn't taken before.
The first time we came out on the bay - we could see north to the dock where Butch & I had walked the day before. We continued on & soon came to a beautiful little secluded valley. Still with mostly native grasses & so gorgeous. Almost like riding in a totally different country.
Eventually, we wound our way back to the main trail & into the little secluded woods area that's so pretty. On the way - we found Foxglove competing with the Scotch Broom for growing space.
The first time we found the outhouse & hitching rails - we had a good laugh! I think it's probably a spot on the trail for the dudes that are out on those all day rides!
The trail here, turns out east again & winds along to the next spot looking over the bay.
I think I've taken a similar photo - which gives the true view - of the destruction to a once vibrant - verdant grassland dune. The dark green is the Scotch Broom taking over... Can you imagine how beautiful it was in all native grasses? I've linked above to a recovery project elsewhere.
Even here, in this tiny section of coastal forest - you see the Scotch Broom has gained a foothold & is edging out the ferns & natives. Amazingly adaptive even in the shade of the pines. We came to the end of the trail south & made the turn west.
You can just see the post marking the start of the trail from the beach, near the jetty.
Since last year, somewhat of a trail has been made down & through the driftwood that piles up here during storms. The signage asks that we stay on trails & not enter the dunes to the north.
With all the long trotting & galloping we did, Farah never once raised her shoulders, tossed her neck or bucked into the gallop. All things that she had done regularly in all the other saddles we've used. What a relief to know that she's comfortable - finally! I'm also really pleased with the performance of the Saddleright pad
that Cassandra recommended. We used it for the first time at Mt. Adams & it stays perfectly put, is thin & Farah's back looks super
when the saddle comes off.
|Out near the bay~|
|Farah admires the view~|
|We pass the "facilities"~|
|Scotch Broom & native grasses~|
|The tiny coastal forest~|
|Trail post on the horizon~|
|At the beach~|
There was a little wind & Farah knew that on this day she'd get to go! She was excited the minute her hooves hit the wet sand :-) I called Butch - he was already out on the beach taking photos of other riders & waiting for us.
We galloped all the way north until we reached Butch, passing another dude string on our way.
Then we did a little circling around Butch :-) I appreciate him taking the video, as it's helpful to get a chance to see how Farah moves & how I'm moving too. Our first time at the beach with the Stonewall saddle. It was nice to see that I'm not riding like a Monkey on a stick :-) Dean's favorite descriptive phrase for legs too far back, heels too high & body too far forward. At least it seems to be working for us!
|Farah & Connie|
|Top of the dune~|
Farah loves to attack the big dune going to the top of the trail to camp - so we did :-) Then we waited for Butch & the dogs to catch up :-) Back in camp, it was quiet, just the sound of the breeze in the trees & the birds chirping. Almost everyone on their way to the train ride. We had time for lunch, then sat out in the sun until the kids arrived!