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

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

MHC Adventure~

When I was passed by the loaded logging truck out on Grandview, it was my first clue that logging was still in progress on the tract of the tree farm that hosts the Morgan Horse Club.  It was obvious from out on the road - logging just to the left of the road going in.  The gate was wide-open & the excavator was stacking the logs.
Excavator at work, off Scouten Loop~
No one was around & it didn't look like anyone had been there for a while.  No wonder - since the sounds of the logging operation shattered the usual quiet.  It put us both on edge.  The little section of wooded trail behind the barn was fine out to the road, but there we found the track.
Trackhoe "prints"  :-)
 I couldn't hear anything ahead of us, but I was really watching as we rounded each corner.  Just past the clear-cut - where the trail to the gravel pit starts - the track-hoe had continued up the once beautiful trail.
Now plenty wide~
 This trail was widened all the way up to the new clear-cut.  Stumps pulled up & thrown off to the side - deep holes that had been graded over.  It was still enough that I watched every step Farah took, not wanting her to step into a hole.
At the new clear-cut
 Here, as with my last visit, we found the trail that circles round & enters the clear cut.  It's had enough use that it's pretty easy to find now & some of the debris had been cleared.
Heavy rock
We came out on the heavy new rock road that goes around the expanded quarry.  Instead of going out to the power lines, I turned east & rode up the old road.  There I found the gravel pile & could still see the sticks with white ribbons above the tall weeds.
The "White" trail~
 We took the white trail, I didn't remember where it went, just planned to see how far I could go.
View from the White Trail~
 The views are beautiful, the day was clearing & warming up.  We entered the woods, wound through them & came out on another road.  Following it north - there was a fork - we took the left.
Looking overgrown...
 We continued forward, as the trail got narrower & narrower! 
Above us~
 Just above where we were, I could see the tall trees & kept thinking that we were just a little way off from where I thought I remembered we should be!  I dismounted to beat the blackberry down - so we could keep moving forward.
 Finally, my smarts kicked in & I realized that it was a lost cause...  With Farah right behind me - there was no way to turn her around.  Before I could say a word, she started carefully backing up!  Just a step at a time - I was amazed at how she managed to miss most of the blackberry that I'd beaten down!  We came to a wide spot & turned back.
The view!
 Back at the only intersection we'd found - we turned on the other trail - the correct one!  I remembered clearing it a couple years ago - post~, shortly after Farah & I had fallen off the bridge. Post~
 After winding through the beautiful woods & enjoying the views, we came down a heavily overgrown section of the trail - past where we'd cleared & found a trail marker.  Again - we pushed our way through & into the next section of woods.  By now, I had no idea where we were, but we'd turned & I had the feeling we were going south.  We soon came to another section where the blackberry vines had closed the trail.  I dismounted again - to see if I could knock the vines down enough with my stick to get through.  This time, when I was ready to give it up - Farah put her nose in my back & gave me a little push!  Then another!  I figured if she was still game - so was I :-)  No fun to think of turning back.
Looking back at where we came out!
 Soon, we were through & back in the woods & Farah was a mare on a mission!  Up ahead I could see the yellow of the clear-cut where we'd started out on the White trail!  Yes!  We were right back at the pile of gravel!  We'd made a loop! 
Coming out of the woods~
  I was going to take the road back, but when we saw the blue/white ribbons, I decided to take the trail again.  It really wasn't much of a surprise when another clear-cut came into view & with it - the gravel quarry!  
Quarry - greatly expanded!
 I'd known that the trail had to be here, but coming from the other side, it was hard to spot.  Now, I know where to look & how to get there.
 Once up the hill, we went on up to the high spot.  The road didn't go on, but it was worth a look.
Great breeze!
Though the day had warmed, the nice breeze had kept the bugs down & cooled the sweat from the high humidity.  We took the longer way back, through the lowest clear-cut & past Uncle Tom's Cabin.
The old Cabin~
It was a little spooky, riding along on the overgrown trails - here.  We passed the one that goes toward the bridge we came off of & Farah instantly recognized it.  One of these day's we're going to go that way again.
Our route~
Now, if I can just find a way to the higher roads, without going out on the power lines!

1 comment:

  1. Gosh, it seems like a lot of your wilderness is disappearing for the sake of new development, which I find sad in a lot of ways.
    Oh boy, I miss blackberries - when we lived in the lower mainland of BC our pasture fence was completely buried in the bushes, which actually made the pastures more secure (& delicious). They are so invasive that we just whacked them back every year to keep them under control.


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