Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dusty and Doomed in the Mountains

Kate and I went on two KVTR rides towards the end of last month.
The first was a return to last year's sojourn to the Teanaway River, with the trailhead being at the Flying Horseshoe Guest Ranch. (This was actually before my rides on Maddie, but I just had to share those first.) Notice how, in all of the photos except those at the river, there is a layer of dust on everything!
Eighteen riders headed down the trail.
Mostly old logging roads.
Kate set a good example for several green horses that were along, walking right in.
It was deeper than last year.  Unlike a few other riders, however, I managed to keep my stirrups and boots dry.
Headed back... a great "gourmet hamburger" lunch provided by Penny Blackburn of Flying Horseshoe.

The following weekend the club ventured far, FAR up the Reecer Creek drainage (some of us got lost just trailering in!)  Although the route was nice, the DNR had blocked the old logging roads in several places, with ditches and slash piles--presumably to keep out the off-road vehicles--which also made the going pretty tough for us.  In places, we could bush-whack around, but in others, riders had to get off and move logs and such.
The leader of the group had lots of experience in the area, and shared lots of history.
Lots of little creek crossings, which Kate handled like they were nothing (though she did get impatient once, waiting for another horse's "green horse moment").
You know those obnoxious FaceBook photos that people take with their camera phone at the end of their arm?...
This one almost worked.
So Denise offered to take a couple.
Thanks, Denise!
This hill is steeper than it looks--we spent 6 or 7 miles going downhill from the trailhead, and now had only about 3 miles to get back UP to the trailers!
We were out over four and a half hours, and I was officially POOPED.  Then, getting out of the trailhead, I got hung up on something (rock? stump?) and developed a slow leak in one trailer tire, lost a truck hubcap, and really burned the brakes coming down the 2000 feet elevation drop in three miles of switchbacks (in spite of downshifting to first)!  Not to mention the gas gauge was inching closer to empty.  It was one of the few rides with the club that I was glad to be done with.

I was ready for a break for a while, so later that week was when I worked with Maddie--More on how that's going in a later post.


  1. It's too bad it was such a dusty challenge it looks like beautiful country up there. I especially liked the little watering hole on the first trip.

  2. Pretty, pretty.

    4+ hours in the saddle = we'll make an endurance rider of you yet!

  3. p.s. my word verification for the last comment was "mandong."

    It takes a machine to think up stuff like this, I swear....

  4. Sure was dusty on the first ride, looks like you need alittle rain. And the second ride sounds hard with all those steep hills.

    Crystal from Ranchriding

  5. Your first ride sounds like it was really nice except for the dust. I love that Kate had to show the greenies how it's done in the water. She's a good horses.

    I'm not so sure I'd like the second ride though. Seems like you had fun but it was a hard ride. Especially with the trailer on the way back.