By the way, that is not a navy blue bowling ball sitting there under the hitchin' post. That is my big old riding helmet.
On the way back, on the gravel road that leads toward the trail head, we decided to take a detour up a very steep hill. We have seen the little dirt trail lead up the very steep hill for the past year and have never know where it went. I was determined to try it out. So My Boy and I headed up. Oh my! Steep is an understatement. We have now nicknamed it "Little Mt. Everest." About three-quarters of the way up, My Boy lost momentum and I began to urge him on, I did not want him to stop and start sliding backwards or something (highly unlikely, but still, I hate that scene from The Horse Whisperer.) At the top, both horses let out huge coughs. We thought that was strange, but assumed it was due to the exertion. Luckily it was a relatively short climb.
We rested at the top and watched a deer bound off away from us. Then, we heard and saw a helicopter pass above us, which we had also seen flying low and overhead earlier on our ride. We assumed they were taking pictures of the tree farm. However, we found out later that evening that sadly, a small aircraft had crashed the night before just north of where we were riding. That helicopter was probably a news or investigation crew.
Now, look down at this little road below. That is the gravel road to home.
Remember in a previous post I took a picture riding My Boy down that road? Here it is again:
At the top of the very steep hill, we are looking down on that same road. Oh, and that is a little wooden birdhouse on the left, that someone stuck out here in the middle of nowhere. How thoughtful of those logger types, eh? Cut down all the trees that the birds live in, then, put up birdhouses instead.We followed a meandering switch back trail down the other side of the hill back down to the road. We were not ready to to back down the steep hill we'd just come up! There was only one small inconvenience. There were these awful purple blooming thistles growing 3 feet high all along the narrow trail, so I mostly rode with my knees up around the saddle horn. The horses did not appear to be affected by them (whew!) I guess I was confusing them with some kind of desert cacti that would just painfully prick us all.
Most notably, the ride was considerably quieter than usual. My gaseous spotted boy only released the offending toot-toots three times on the entire ride! People, that is a record! I think the orchard grass hay is agreeing with his tummy much more than that rich alfalfa.