Friday, June 24, 2011

Our Two Days of Summer

After a chilly day for the E-burg Posse Poker Ride on Saturday, Father's Day was a bit nicer, and Monday was downright pleasant: highs in the upper 70s, will just a pleasant breeze.
Now that school is out, I can switch sprinklers a little more frequently (efficiently), so I fired up the irrigation on Sunday.  But I needed to trim back the thigh-high weeds growing along the edges of my baby tree plantings, so I finally broke down and switched out the post hole digger on the tractor for the bush hog.  I'll also knock down the "roughs" in the pastures, before I switch back to fencing (and garage building, I hope).
By Tuesday, I was about half done with the "have-to-finish-before-irrigation-gets-to-this-section" mowing.  But it was the first day of actual sunny, hot summer weather! and I was having trouble getting motivated.
Pat called about noon and wondered if I was riding with the KVTR on their regular mid-week ride.  (I obviously miss these during the school year.)  Well...Self-discipline is not one of my strong points, but this was a very sweet carrot dangling in front of me.  I told her "Only if I can finish my mowing today."  So out onto the tractor I went.  And I got 'er done! Also got a bit of a sun-burn, but hey, I didn't recognize that glowing orb in the sky as a threat 'til it was too late.  When Al got home at 5:00, and I came in for supper, it was 90f!

Wednesday morning promised to be clear and warm, but there was a bit of humidity hanging in the air, as well.  It smelled like thunderstorm, though none ever developed.
Twelve riders met up at the base of Robinson Canyon, southwest of town--one canyon east of last weekend's poker ride.
Ready to head out.
Up the road to the trailhead.  Saw our only snake off to the side of the road.
Through the trees, you can see the basalt rubble that forms the other side of the canyon.
Pat rode her little Chief.  He was a good boy.
Lupine and Indian Paint Brush alongside the trail.  Because of the wet spring, the wildflowers are everywhere!
Winding up the hill.
You can't see them very well, but these little pale blue flowers were everywhere in this meadow.  Pat believes them to be flax.
Taking a break at the "pig farm"--an old abandoned homestead.
A first!  Kate accompanied me up the hill to a bush, and fed her face while I "relieved myself."  I've always had someone else hold her for my pee breaks, but there was lots of grass, so she was happy to stay put.
Chief and Tonka, both greenies, weren't sure about stepping down this little embankment to the trail, after bushwhacking down the hill. 
We cross-countried in this area to avoid a little creek that is always a bit troublesome, especially this year with it being so wet--it would be all boggy, I'm sure.  One of the riders today had had a major wreck there three years ago (helicopter ride out!), and Maddie had given me fits in nearly the same location back before we worked our way through the getting-the-feet-wet issue.
Through a high mountain meadow.  The grass was just the right height for nibbling, but a gentle reminder kept Kate from rude snacking behavior.
Looking out across the meadow.
One last loop took us up the ridge. (No that's not me riding in a cowboy hat--that's Debby on her little mustang Kate-clone, Wendy.)
At the top of the saddle.
Looking back towards the valley.
Another rider, not familiar with my little camera, caught us in a not-altogether-flattering shot against the hills. (Barb, you were supposed to take it while I had my double chin stretched up and my gut sucked in!) Kate looks good, though.
We took a short cut straight down the hill to head back.  It was pretty steep, and I got just a little fussing from Kate--her tail started swishing a mile a minute.  I'm not sure if the saddle was shifting forward against her hair or what.  When we got back into the grassy meadow, she also attracted a swarm of tiny little bugs, and I could tell she was a bit agitated, but we kept moving, and once we cleared the gnats she settled again for the rest of the ride back.
Snacks and a bit of good conversation before heading home to switch the irrigation.
I have some photos of the sweat patterns from this ride--Kate's first good workout in the new saddle.  They look a bit strange to me.  But I think I'll save my questions for another post.
Also, Maddie and I had a really good groundwork session the other day.  Fairly calm and very cooperative.  We did a lot of work, from both sides, at the mounting block.  I was tempted to climb on board, and I think she would have been okay with it.  But Al wasn't home, and I hadn't planned on it, so therefore hadn't called Pat to come down.  So maybe another day...
Yesterday was back down to the 60s, with a horrendous wind blowing all day, so no horse work.  Today looks nicer, but one never knows when the wind will start up again (in E-burg, that could be now!), so I guess I'll get out and see what I can get done.  After all, there's a ride tomorrow!


  1. That just sounds like a wonderful time! I really enjoyed "the ride" Very nice pictures too! It's really beautiful up there.

  2. Congrats on getting so many boring chores accomplished so you could go on a fun ride! Kate's a good girl, and you look just fine on her!

    Hope your weather today is somewhere in between 60 and 90. ;)

  3. Great sense of freedom in those scenic photos - I think I need to get out and do some serious hiking this summer. If summer ever comes. Like you, we had two days of nice weather, and now back to cold, wind, and rain. I can't believe I'm wearing sweaters at the end of June!

  4. I do know what you mean...having the big-bright-orb in the sky of late...chores have been pretty unappealing. I call that bright, and shiny object an Orange UFO.
    It's still evading us too...

    Okay, that is such a glorious looking ride!
    I'm very happy that all went smoothly for riders this trip up and down that mountain. Kate looks too. I know, every time I hand someone the gets ugly..I wanna say
    " angles, angles! "Those are better than the way I look- dead center, in a frame!
    Cracked up with the help Kate gave you, while you took your break!

    Maybe coming up your way! Horsemom
    (Horses and boys blog) and I are looking into camping at
    " Elk Haven Equestrian "in Sept.
    I'm thinking...if it isn't too terrible a drive with.the mare, is LOVE to do the ride.that you just did- with you, next year!

    So, let's see some barn between some more rides!
    Want to see your saddle patterns. Mine started out with the spine dry 4 in across, with all else wet. Now with warmer, longer rides...the mares patterns- completely, evenly wet.

  5. That looks like a really fun ride with great scenery and friends! Enjoy your summer!