Saturday, May 23, 2009
First Trail Ride of the Season
The denizens of Che Buckskins, along with four of our friends trailered the horses to a place known as Buck Creek, which is off Highway 410 in the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest. The weather was beautiful, and, for the most part, the horses were well behaved.
The trails are in pretty rough shape, however. The winter was particularly hard on the mountain regions, with a lot of blowdowns and washouts. We ran into several trail crews who were running their chainsaws on overtime. Apparently this is the worst it has been in years. We had to negotiate more than a few fallen trees, and my handy dandy pack saw, which Mrs. BR gave me last Christmas, got put to the test a few times. I'm pleased to report that it made short work of the logs I attacked.
This is the first time I've been to Buck Creek. It's a rather multi-purpose area, with a horse camp, trails, an airfield of all things, and seemingly thousands of campsites, full of campers enjoying the long weekend.
After riding up in the trails for a couple hours, we wanted to take the horses down to the river to water them. In order to do this, we had to ride along the dirt roads in the campground.
As it turns out, much to our surprise and bewilderment, people were thrilled at the sight of our horses. I can't tell you how many people snapped photos of us as we rode by. Children would come running up to the road to watch us. Overheard from one little girl, "that one looks like a cow", in reference to DN2's paint horse Dozer. That drew a laugh from all of us.
Two of the pictures I took while down on the White River:
As you can see, there's still snow in the higher elevations. I think it will be late July, early August before I can hit the really good trails this year.
One moment of levity occured while we were down on the river. While snapping photographs, I dropped my left rein, with about three feet of it landing in the river. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't quite reach the bit to get hold of it. It didn't help that every time I reached down the left side of Smokey's head, he turned it to the right. Finally, one of the other riders grabbed it and handed it to me.
Problem was, he handed it to me on the right side. Now I had two right reins. This would never do. With a bit of effort I managed to pass it under his neck, and balance was restored in the universe. Thankfully, Smokey stood passively while this whole fiasco was in progress. There's a reason I like that horse.
As Winston Churchill once stated, "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle." Today was a wonderful day.
This look seems to say, "can we go home now?"
Yes, Smokey, we can.