Thursday, October 31, 2013
Let me tell you, I am just bound and determined to get in all the riding I can before the early darkness takes away all my fun. So is Terry. At 4:00 p.m. when I arrived home and flew in the house to change, she was already up in the pasture, collecting our ponies . As I walked out to the pasture to help her, I passed my Significant Other, picking up giant rocks and loading them into the tractor bucket. He didn't look too happy...oh well, we each have our own past times. Not that his is loading rocks. I shook off my guilt as Terry and I tacked up. I was chewing her ear off about Sea G Rhydr arriving in Minot (next town over) in ten days after riding her pony Jesse James all the way from California. Sea is duplicating Messanie Wilkins' (Jackass Annie) cross country ride in reverse, ending up on Jackass Annie Road in Minot on November 9th, which is exactly the time of year Messanie left for California 59 years ago. If you don't know about this gal, you should read her book The Last of the Riding Tramps. What an amazing story! There is going to be a big hullabaloo in Minot, with a parade, a big meal and celebration at the Grange, and Sea is going to be inducted into the League of Long Riders Hall of Fame. AhD and I will be there...but I digress.
I asked Terry, "Where to?" and when she mentioned the trail to Sanatorium Hill, I was all over it like stink on sh** because that is a beautiful trail, and I wanted to show it to her - all the way to the top if we could make it before dark!
We set off. The sun was slanting hard and casting long shadows. The air was brisk and fresh. What an evening!
Terry wanted to document AhD and I crossing a stream, so here is the documentation. I hope there are enough pictures here for Donna and Harold. I don't think AhD has ever crossed a stream more slowly in his entire life, so Terry had plenty of opportunity.
The wooded trails were beautiful, and when we reached the sandpit we spied moose tracks! I thought you guys would be interested, so I took a couple of close-up pictures while AhD waited patiently. I kick myself for not putting my hand into the photos, but at least one picture shows a moose track and a deer track for size comparison.
We crossed the sandpit and started winding up, up, up on the incredible trail that leads to the top of Sanatorium Hill. AhD had been jumpy at the get-go, but settled in quickly for him. Ten minutes instead of the usual 45, which made me extremely happy. That lookiness and jumpiness is unnerving! (and annoying)
We reached the field on Sanatorium Hill at the right time to see the beginning of sunset. I let AhD have some of that gorgeous juicy rich green grass, and we had a photo shoot..
My camera didn't do the beauty justice, but you get the general idea.
We didn't dally at the top much. I knew we would have to hoof it right along (pun intended) to get back to my house before dark. I remembered almost before it was too late (too dark) to snap a picture of a stone wall for Harold.
My final pictures are blurry because my camera shutter speed slowed down to take in enough light, and I am not a skilled enough photographer to figure out all of its settings. Oh, maybe I can use the excuse that I was riding a spunky Curly at the time. Yes, l'll use that as a reason! We walked fast (I love that gait!!!!) and trotted all the way home because I thought it would be too much for Terry to canter on Nike for the first time in the dusk after being in the saddle for two hours. (Terry, are you reading this? Next time....) We arrived home just in the nick of time, before night really fell.
An invigorating and joyful ride! Satisfyingly tired, hungry and happy with endorphins flowing like a river; boy am I enjoying these rides with Terry and Nike accompanying us! Can we sneak in just ONE more before rifle hunting limits our woods (bush for you Canadians) riding to Sundays? Stay tuned!
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