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November 12, 2013: Onward and Upward

Who woulda thunk it? Yesterday’s rain/snow storm turned to snow and the slush turned to firmer footing. No, the slush did not, as I predicted, turn to glare ice. Still, it is now winter. This morning, as I was working, I heard the all too familiar loud whine of our neighbor Gary’s snowmobile. And later, the big snowplow (the one with the train engine cow catcher front) went barreling by. The man behind the wheel scraped the road surface down a bit, and then added a miniscule amount of sand. I suspect that he would have laid down more sand, but times are tough. The borough must be making a concerted effort to conserve what’s on hand because it’s still early winter.

By the time I got out–1:30 p.m.–the sun was shining. Pete and I came up with a plan over lunch. We’d first walk the trails with the dogs, and then later we’d take the horses on the same trails. And so,

this is what we did. The dog walk went well, and we determined that the footing was safe enough for a horseback ride. We chose the perfect time for our outings. The sun, which was low in the sky (below the cloud line), backlit the snow covered trees, which appeared to have a pink-orange glow. And the bright white peaks of the Talkeetna Range stood out against the brilliant blue sky.

Our paths are now navigable and safe. I’m glad that Pete had the foresight to make these trails. This is something we had not done in the past. We (together) recently stepped up our efforts because we were motivated by Hrimmi’s condition. Since arriving home, we’d been taking her for walks around the loop. It seemed like every muscle, tendon, ligament, and bone in her body was yelling “Boring!” Quite obviously, she prefers exploring the trail setting off lead. It does my heart good to see her bound around. And it does my heart equally good to see Jenna keep a close eye on her.

There was a spot (near the ATV trail) were we had to contend with overflow. Hrimmi hesitated and fell behind on the return trip downhill. So I dismounted, handed Tinni’s reins to Pete, and put the lead on her. She then decided to jump the very tiny water lead. I was well to the side, which was a good thing. Otherwise she might have knocked me over. She’s now as large as the other three horses, so I have to be careful.

I later took Raudi out, ponying her off Tinni. It was now getting close to 5 p.m., and the sun was now low in the sky. We came to the upper road, where a black truck with a water container had come to a stop. It then turned, and went a 100 yards or so on the upper road. I decided to ride to the left of it. A man had by now gotten out of the truck, and was hunched over what looked like a white feed bag. Raudi and Tinni, thinking that perhaps it contained food, slowed to a crawl. Then, right when both horses and I were parallel to the man, he stood up, turned the bag upside down, and dumped the contents on the road. The sound of the snow chains connecting with the hard road surface startled Tinni, who took off like a horse leaving a starting gate. The Little Red Rocket, who occupied the adjacent gate, kept stride with him. We went quite a ways, about a quarter of a mile down road, before both horses slowed down. We then resumed our neighborly jaunt.

So what’s on the program for tomorrow? I predict that the weather will be similar to today–déjà vu all over again. No matter. I could relive this day a hundred times over, and not at all be bored with it.

Next: 231: 11/13/13: Amazing Horses, Amazing Riders