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

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


With the new skills we learned at Russell's clinic, it was time to head out on the trails & put them to use.  Riding is an addiction that I've had for so long now...  Just spending time outside - in the woods, or wild places - is something I've craved & enjoyed since childhood.  Thing is - I'm at a point in life - where I don't want or need the worry of getting thrown.  Some would say - that's in direct opposition to my enjoyment of a faster pace than what's the norm for a reasonable trail ride.  Whether Farah has learned from me - or whether we both enjoy the same thing?  Who knows...    
Getting a drink in Harvey Creek
We've been a good team for a long while now - but as with all things - there's always room for improvement.  Taking Russell's words to heart - my new goal - is to spend however much time it takes to fix those small things that can & do - crop up over time.    With several trailers at Bracken, we didn't see anyone at all.  Crushed rock has been added near the hitching posts & by the sign.  The blackberries have been cut back too - all nice improvements!
White foxglove against the forest greens~
We took the long way around the south end of the tree farm.  The trails there are still muddy in spots, the little bridge is repaired.  With our upcoming Cascade Horse Club - Cinnamon Roll ride this weekend - the trails overall -are really in great condition.
Red Elderberry "curtain"~
The berries are weighing the branches down, more pruning :-)  I even had my first taste of our native blackberries!  They're getting ripe!  If Farah made any move toward a shy - I'd move her rear to the left, then to the right - then we'd move on.  We also worked on leg yields, one side of the trail to the other.  I tried to not use the reins at all & it didn't take her long to understand. 
Green Valley~
She was relaxed today, I could see it in her eye & so was I.  Such a beautiful day - mid-70's & a really nice breeze that kept most of the bugs away.  I'd sprayed her, but not myself.
Survey done~
Russ had mentioned at our last meeting that the survey work was finally done at Cloverdale.  The evidence was clear.  He also told us that this section will be the last to get completed :-(  I was so disappointed to hear this, but Butch reminded me that scheduling all the work over almost 30-miles of trail is not an easy task.  We're still looking at a completion date in 2017 - years ahead of the original schedule.
Farah at lunch~
Some mowing had been done around the picnic table, I sat in the shade of the tree.  Grazing near me, Farah raised her head - looked at me - then purposely walked over to the tall grass & grazed there. 
Heading back over Tin Bridge~
Water levels in the North Fork of the Stillaquamish - are whats become the new normal for this time of year.  Nice to see water flowing - there had been tiny fish swimming in Harvey Creek.

The first time we'd passed the stock tank, I'd noticed that the drainage hole was plugged & the water dirty...  On our way back, I tied Farah up & decided that I could try to empty it.  I did get it lifted & dumped out - what a mess.  The slime had clogged the hole.  I broke off some Salal leaves & started scrubbing.
It took a while, I'd add a little water, scrub - dump that & start again.  The leaves actually worked pretty well! I'd love to see some rock added around this area too.
By the time I was done, Farah was standing bored.  I asked her to walk through all the standing water - she put her nose down - you'd have thought it was a raging river - then walked through :-)

We were overdue to head home, but took a couple more trails on our way.  Rounding a wooded corner - three beautiful doves took flight right in front of us.
Our ride home~
I didn't like seeing the Bronco as the last rig at this parking area!  So many break-in's continue to happen.  A friend told me that after Bridal Trails installed a video camera & signage the break-in's there went to zero.  I wish something like that could be done here...


  1. The white fox glove is so pretty. We have mostly purple here. Hundreds popped out on the clearing at the Hwy.


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