property, so it seems like an oasis in what is a major wheat/barley growing area.
Sarah, 62, is thin, wiry, lithe, has closely cropped brown hair and a square face. Like Dorothy, she is always in motion, and moves quickly. She digresses when she talks, but always returns to the original subject. Usually, this is horses and endurance riding. Interspersed are comments about her having lived on the east coast and been a ship captain, her having acquired a Master’s in Environmental Science in 2002, and the geography of the area.
We put the horses in her round pen and tied the dogs to the trailer. Then we put the tent up.
In the evening, we all went to nearby Victor. Over pizza and beer we talked horses and endurance riding some more. She’s done four major rides and is now prioritizing so that she can get more conditioning time in for upcoming rides.
This was why the following day we obliged by accompanying her on a lengthy ride in her hood. And she obliged by giving us a tour, telling us all about the area and providing us with information about the trail system. It was a very diverse and different ride than what we’re used to. We started and ended on a flat rails to trails trail, and in between went up and down rolling hills, with occasional forays along the edges of yellowing barley fields. There was a stop at a pond where Sara said she often sees a large moose, and another near a future subdivision.
We came to two bridges on the rails to trails trail – both had narrow entrances, with a gate on one side. Our horses walked through both entrances quietly and did not start when on the rather loud clanging surface. Sarah’s horse Carrie was a bit more edgy about the gate situation. Sarah walked her back and forth past the openings, and as she did the horse did increasingly better. I was extremely proud of our little trail ponies, who now seem to take such things in stride. Recall that with Raudi, this wasn’t always the case.
We ended up at Sarah’s friends Dawn and Greg’s place. They live adjacent to the trail, have several horses, and live in a large timber frame house on a hill. It turns out the pair have a summer place near where we live in Alaska. I suspect that we’ll be seeing them again.
The sky was getting dark when we left. We trotted back down trail with Sarah in the lead, Pete and I riding our hobbit horses.
In the afternoon, Sarah and I walked through her pastures and pulled weeds. This included knapweed and Canadian thistle. We put the seed heads in bags and left the stems and leaves on the ground, so that they might decompose. I must say that Sarah is a good land steward. She tends to her fields, routinely pulling the noxious weeds and mowing the grass at the right point in time. As we walked, blackbirds perched on the wooden rails. Yes, here was an oasis in the midst of ongoing barley fields.
We didn’t want to overstay our leave, so we left Sarah’s on Wednesday morning. It was then on to where Sarah recommended that we ride next, the Teton Canyon area.
Next: 163: 8/30-31/13: Teton Canyon: Two Great Rides