Endurance develops strength of character in us~ Romans 5:4 NLT

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Handling Heat~

Since last week was a bust as far as riding went, with the heat, storm & a full schedule.  (Yesterday, I attended my first Garden Club tour!)  Today, the forecast changed - to a day back in the 90's.  I decided to go to Waubonsie & at least get in a loop.
Black-eyed Susan
 I didn't even think to call to see if the trails were open - we'd had almost three days of dry weather.  So, when we pulled in & the trails closed sign was up - I was surprised.  I called the Park Ranger - no answer - so left a message that I was going out & if it was bad - would turn back.
Top of a tree Across the trail~
 The trails were dry - just enough moisture on the surface to stop the dust.  There were other shod hoof prints too.  At least as far as the mess above, where those hoof prints turned back.  I tied Farah, got out my hand saw & started in.  Since it was fresh wood, I couldn't believe how much effort it took to saw through the two biggest branches.  I was soaked in sweat & the bugs were attacking us in force.   I decided that Farah could make it over what was left & she did.  Now I'll have to go back & finish it off on a cooler day!
On the Trail~
 It was as beautiful as ever out there - the humidity was supposed to be low today - but it was high in the woods & the bugs were relentless...  If we even thought about stopping - they surrounded us in hoards.  We were both covered with bug spray - but it wasn't enough.
Farah with a mouthful~
It may look lush, but there's actually very little grass.  Farah knows where the good spots are now!  We did some trotting & galloped up a couple hills, but certainly a slower pace than last week.
More lushness~
 It was obvious that the park had received heavy rains, huge washouts were in the middle of all the hills.  Some over a foot deep.  They'll be no more fast going on these trails for a while!  Waterbars would be a huge help - but I'm not sure if they would even hold in this type of soil.  I'm going to ask a friend who's familiar with these soils.
One of the Washouts~
 At the bottomlands as I'm calling them now, all the dirt from the hills had been washed to the low spots.  It's such sandy, loamy soil that it moves easily.  It even sounds like the hard packed sand on the Oregon coast.
Soils deposited by the rains~
 I really wanted a decent photo of the Maidenhair ferns & this time the camera cooperated, except for the sunspot I found when I downloaded the images :-)
Hillside of Maidenhair Ferns~
 We were almost out when I remembered my stick - it wasn't in my hand - so I thought I'd left it on the ground when I was cutting the branches...  That meant that we'd be riding out again.  It was getting hotter by the minute & we were both covered in sweat.  Back at the trailer - here was my stick - still on the fender of the trailer!   Sweet relief!  I stripped the tack from Farah, got the buckets & washed her down.  For whatever reason, the bugs weren't as bad in camp.
 My phone rang & it was one of the Park volunteers, returning my call.  She explained that the Ranger had been on vacation & hadn't been there to remove the closed trail sign.  I admitted my transgression & we discussed some of the issues facing this park.  One has to hope that they will be resolved - since without this horseman's haven - there are no other parks of this quality in the entire area...
Farah grazing in the shade
I've been told that originally this was a Boy Scout Camp.  Another camp, near Farah's stable, was sold to a private party after it was closed.  What a shame is all I can say - it would have been great to have that resource within riding distance of the barn.

Our Mills County Trails meeting was cancelled this month - but Butch & I are now volunteering to help with the Blue's & Brews Festival over the Fourth-of-July.  Keg Creek Brewing provides the craft beer, with proceeds from the event donated to our local trails!

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