Monday, August 19, 2013

Feel free to gush in the comments

Model Blue is totally cool, huh?

Model Blue in Model Specialized Eurolight

You can see the individual hairs better in this one.

And I also finally rode real Blue again for what feels like the first time in ages. We did 6-7 miles barefoot at Willamette Mission in about an hour. It was way hot, and there was a combine harvesting oats (?) in one of the fields, which put Blue on his toes a bit.

It wasn't much, but it was a start!

Saturday, August 10, 2013


How now, August?

In journalism school, they teach you that August is a slow news month. Congress is in recess (usually). Everyone of importance is on vacation. The big summer blockbusters have mostly come and gone. Stories in your newspaper talk about how hot it is, how hot it was, how hot it might someday be. In short, we are just here to fill pages in August.

So how is it that August is so busy for me this year?

I really, REALLY wanted to go to the Bare Bones ride on the first weekend of August. It was perfectly spaced as a good prep for doing a 50 at OR 100 in September. But my husband had other plans for that weekend, and they included me.  The annual Pirate Party is always on the first Saturday in August, and for Brian, it is basically the social event of the season.

Don’t get me wrong. I like going to Walla Walla, visiting friends, dressing in my pillaging gear, drinking grog. These are good, piratey activities. Yarr.

The problem is that the second weekend is August is also home to a Walla Walla event: The Sweet Onion Classic model horse show. Because I’m absolutely going to attend the show, I will also miss the Santiam Cascade ride. This means there will be no LD for me before OR 100.

Anyone who knows me well will already guess that I was coming down to the wire trying to figure out how to do both. In theory, if someone else drove Blue to and from Santiam, I could just ride him in the LD on Saturday morning and then drive to Walla Walla in the afternoon. (Because there’s nothing like a six-hour drive after an LD for loosening up stiff muscles. Ha.)

So yeah, no Santiam for me either. But hopefully model Blue will win lots of ribbons and make it a happy horse weekend anyway!

Friday, August 2, 2013

100 Acres: A Travelogue

Leaving the barn parking lot

Lots of these along the way.

First we cross the bridge of doom and terror.

Then up a deceptively steep side-hill covered in tempting grass and flowers.

Along a pretty fence line,

shaded with old, mossy

oak trees.

On our right, an overgrown Christmas tree patch.

Out of the trees, we follow the fence until we reach

the waterhole of doom. Sometimes it is full of horse-eating cows, but today only contains crocodiles or possibly a giant squid.

We turn right at the waterhole,

then take a second right onto the gravel access road,

then left through some "new construction" where the barn owner is improving the trail,

and down into the woods.

On our right is one of the ponds, with the wedding gazebo/island.

Straight ahead is a logging road that was cut in the 1920s.

A fork in the road.

Going up!

And up.

and up.




Still up.

And up.

Guess what?

It's time for a break.
Now, where were we?

Oh yes.

Getting closer.

Almost there.

Whew! Back out to the access road.

But guess what?

We're still climbing!

We'll stop and turn around when we get to those big trees.

Looking back the way we came.

What goes up must come down.

So down we go.





And more down.

All the way to the creek.

Across the water, we enter the park.

Just kidding, this is the owner's back yard.
Now we skirt the edge of the yard,
up a short, steep rise to the owner's personal barn and greenhouse.
We cross his driveway,
pass some mysterious old equipment,
cross the driveway again,
and pick our way through the towering trees down to the the winter pastures.
A groomed bridle path encircles the pastures

and leads us back to the barn!

And here's the Google Map, if you want to see how we traveled more than two miles and didn't even use all the acres.