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July 3, 2019: A Tale from the Trail

It was quite the riding day for the three mares, who I often call the Three Habaneros. I chose to again ride Raudi, which meant that Pete was again riding Hrimmi and ponying Tyra. We again went up what yesterday I dubbed Wicked Hill, this after moving our campsite closer to the rise. It was a long, steep climb, one that started in sage and took us up into the pine country.

We weren’t packing, so we got out early for us, early being 9 a.m. At what we perceived to be the top, we ate lunch in the scant shade of the pines. There were just three other pines up at the top of the ridge – we tied the horses to them. Has become habit, I shared my Pilot Bread with them.

We missed the storm
We missed the storm

Both Pete and I are very sky wise, which is why we made haste. We didn’t have to say it – the clouds, at noon, were piling up, meaning that in a short while, there would be a thunder and lightning storm.

We began our descent, this time taking a turn to the left instead of going straight down. We soon discovered that the only way to continue down was to unravel a portion of a barbed wire fence, which Pete did. I held the fence down as Pete walked the horses across. I chided Pete when Raudi barged across, saying that he needed to hold her back so that I might step on the wire – otherwise she might get it tangled in her feet.

We soon discovered that the alternative route wasn’t going to work because it led to a drop off into a very steep canyon. This meant that we’d have to retrace our steps. I wasn’t too keen on this because the ride back up was steep and because any minute, the sky was going to open up.

There was no place to wait out the storm, so up we went. The horses, good troopers that they are, initially went up at a fast pace, for which I was grateful. Raudi lead the way, the others followed. They who were tired and hungry sparked her ire by stopping every so often. It was good that I didn’t have a crop on this particular stretch of the ride, would have used it on Tyra. Grr, grr, grr.

We made it to the top, could hear the thunder and see the lightening, which thankfully was at the distance. We then began our descent. For some reason, Raudi was balky, which was why I opted to lead her down the hill. She sort of cooperated. She, who like the others was by now hungry, did attempt, several times, to pull me in the direction of the sparse grass that lined the trail. I let her know that this was unacceptable. She reminded me that she wouldn’t take no for an answer, so we compromised. I began stopping every so often, so she could get a few bites to eat. Pete did the same with his mounts.

We rode fast through the flatter sage area, making a beeline for camp. We put the horses on the highline and unsaddled them. I want to say that we beat the storm but this was not so. It moved around us in an easterly direction. There was some light rain, but we were not subject to the effects of the thunder and lightning storm. I was relieved. As I said to Pete, “we cheated death once again.”

Next: 182. 7/4/19: The Pennock Wildlife Refuge Ride

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