Sunday, July 13, 2014

Trail Ride

This morning, Brett and I loaded Mufasa and Pistol into the trailer and drove 20 minutes up the road to Sly Park Dam. There is an equestrian staging area just past the lake and we had been there before with our neighbor. However, when we went with our neighbor, we crossed over the road and rode on the fire roads away from the lake. Our neighbor told us that the trail by the lake was difficult, with many switchbacks. We were curious and the equestrian trail looked like it hugged the lake shoreline. It sounded pretty so we decided to give it a try.

The trail left from the parking lot and dropped down towards the lake. The trail was single track and marked equestrian only. A separate trail ran parallel, next to the water, for hikers and mountain bikes.

As we neared the lake, we passed by a parking lot for the hiking trail. Mufasa, who was leading, stopped and stared at a colorful crowd of 15 people congregating near the trailhead. He wasn't at all sure he wanted to continue so Pistol, who isn't fazed by much, and I passed and led the way past the parking lot and then onto the lake trail.

The trail was narrow and very steep -- it wound up and down amongst the redwoods and Ponderosa pines, over roots and past neat piles of stacked wood. The trail was nicely clear of fallen logs and branches. Mufasa looked sideways at the first pile of logs, but was fine after that.
I took this picture from the truck window as we went over the dam.  Our trail followed the lake to the right in this picture.
We rode part-way around the lake and then turned and headed back. The entire route is 9 miles -- a difficult 9 miles. The trail was beautiful, but it is not a fast trail. We only rode a few miles.  It was enough.  The horses had to pick their way down steep inclines and then climb back up, dodging trees and roots along the way.

Mufasa led on the way back. Pistol had walked slowly and carefully on the way out, picking her way along the trail. On the way back, they powered up and down the hills. Pistol only worried once, when a speed boat on the lake gunned its motor.

As we turned away from the lake and climbed back up the mountain, away from the hiker's parking lot towards the equestrian staging area, Pistol ran out of steam. I was glad we turned around when we did, although our ride was under an hour. Pistol needed to take quite a few rest breaks on the last, long uphill. But she made it.
"Honey, you owe me a lot of cookies.  That was hard."

Back home, I hosed her off and put her back in the pasture with Lucy -- who was cantering in mad circles. Lucy was not happy with me at all. First, I took Pistol instead of her (the nerve!) and then I loaded up her pasture mate and BFF and left Lucy,, for about two hours.

Mufasa took one look at the wash stall in the barn and said "no way." Brett worked with him for quite awhile and Mufasa finally took a few tentative steps into the scary space. His trust of Brett and his love of carrots eventually overcame his claustrophobia.

It was a pleasant 76F up at Sly Park when we started out on our ride at 9:30 this morning. It was in the 80s when we got back to the trailer, and it was over 90 back at home. Tomorrow is supposed to hit 100+. Yech.


  1. glad you had a good morning - except for lucy. :)

  2. So much fun!! It's so great you can haul to such a wonderful trail where it's cooler than at home. :)


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.