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

Friday, July 14, 2017

Pierce Creek - Summertime!

Friday & the end of a hot, humid week.  After the rains of Wed. night & muggy but cooler weather yesterday - I finally thought of Pierce Creek Recreation Area as a possible ride destination.  I called Joyce - trails were open - so this morning I made the 35-mile drive from Glenwood.  After the out & back to pick up Farah - it was another 100-mile round-trip day.
Obstacle Course~
This was our second visit here & we took in the obstacle course on our way to the trails.  What a nice, well thought out course!  After the several courses we've used, this was the first time for a tunnel :-)  Farah hesitated - then walked right through.  The noodles gave her pause - as if she hasn't done noodles many times - but when I insisted - she huffed her way through.
On the dike~
With the memory of an Elephant, she remembered that she did Not like the sound of the outflow from the dam, but walked across like a lady.  We were the only ones there, I'd sprayed us both down from top to bottom, but it wasn't enough...
The beautiful lake~
The bugs were attacking in hoards - I pulled out my tiny pen size sprayer & did Farah's ears & my arms - but it hardly helped.  I knew it would be hot too, since most of the trails are out in the open.
Purple Bee Balm~
Here too the Bee Balm was blooming, so pretty against all the green.  All the trails we took had been freshly mowed - the only mud we found was in the low spots & only for a couple feet each time.  We headed for our favorite area, the timber & there found the footing mostly dry.  Dry enough to ride without tearing up the trails.  We spooked a Huge White Tail doe - she flagged her tail as she took off through the trees.
In the Timber~
Another quarter mile & a Huge Owl took flight just off to our side!  He was so big that he had a difficult time opening his wings for takeoff!
Stunning~
With the temperature in the upper 80's & humidity at close to 70% the heat index was between 98 & 103.  Farah was in a full sweat within the first couple miles.  I took my electrolytes & sipped out of my water bottle.
Echinacea & Black Eyed Susan's
I was surprised to see the Echinacea growing wild here!  I had planted it on the Homestead, but over the years the growing trees along the road shaded it out.  Now I'm looking forward to planting some here!  Once in a while a cloud would move over head & give us some brief relief from the sun.  We rode around the far edge of the lake & a huge fish jumped - scaring us both :-)
Great Blue Heron~
We'd spooked this guy on our way over, now coming back, here he was!  I did manage to get a decent picture, even with Farah shaking every 30-seconds due to the flying insects. 
Taking flight~
Just after I took his photo, he squawked at us!  I had no idea that they can make such a nasty, scratchy noise!  He was quick to take off for the willow on the far side of the lake.
From the SW corner~
We followed the perimeter fence again.  Farah trotted all the way across the dike, with only a slight hesitation at the outflow :-)  She remembered the trails better than I had & was anxious to get over to the area north of the campground.  Once on the grass - she hit her full trot & we trotted the entire loop with some galloping thrown in!
On the fast trails~
She was picking up speed & with some partially blind corners I asked her to slow a little, not knowing what other wildlife we might spook up.  I was surprised that she put out the effort as hot as it was.
Farah's driest face ever~
I stripped all her tack as fast as I could - so nice to have the working field hydrants, with hoses attached!  I hosed her off - soaked myself & then let her graze.
Farah in the sun, me in the shade~
Trees have been planted along the camping spot area - one is large enough to have some shade & on a day like this one - it was very welcome.  I drank a lot of water before loading Farah for the trip back home.
Today's route~
We covered a few trails that we'd missed last time & didn't take some that we had - that were out in the open.  It was so quiet out here today - you just can't help but love the area - I just wish it were closer.  With only 7,000 people in the entire county - Fremont - (780,000 in Snohomish County, WA) it's no wonder that there is an abundance of quiet in the country~

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