Thursday, October 11, 2012

Last Chance!

To ride on dry ground that is.

We've been enjoying some unbelievable good weather out here this fall, but rumor has it that is going to change this weekend.

Our trails are closed due to fire danger, so Michelle and I headed up to Kalama Horse Camp on Sunday to get one last long fun-ride in.  We've been talking about going to Kalama for several years, I even bought the Cowboy Trail Map of the area.  Finally we got around to it.

We left the house at 8am sharp and drove almost 2 hours up towards Cougar.  The  trees have started to turn, so it was really beautiful out.  We passed the Motor cross track and it was completely full of trucks and trailers, and of course, motorcycles.  I love watching motorcross, but there was no time for that today.

We pulled into camp, suddenly realizing that we were breakin' the law:)  We had both forgotten to bring Weed Free hay.  Ack.  As soon as we were parked and had the horses unloaded we quickly snatched all the hay bags and stowed them in the nose of the trailer.  We piled our gear around them and I threw C's rainsheet over them trying to hide them without being too obvious!  Just another one of the joys of having a stock trailer with no tackroom. 

We saw a small group of riders getting ready to head out and Michelle asked them about the trail.  They suggested we take the Ski Trail #31 and loop around to the Toutle trail #38.  This would give us a nice first ride up here and a promise of nothing too extreme. 

Cartman was really dogging it going away from camp.  Michelle had brought her trusted trail mare Coco for this ride, so C didn't have his little buddy Tucker to be competative with.  We climbed up and up, although the trail was not steep so I think it was a little deceptive how much elevation change there actually was. 

After an hour or so we finally turned a little bit to the South.  C seemed to think this indicated that we were headed back to camp and really picked up the pace.  I love his big walk- you can really cover some ground, yet it is effortless for him.

We stopped to take some pictures (M promises to email me copies next week after her vacation) and made our way across a huge area of lava rocks.  I was really really proud of Cartman- I no longer have to do as much steering in treacherous footing- he actually checks out the options and is chosing the best path.

After another hour or so we crossed over onto the Toutle trail.  This trail follows along the side of a large hill and offered some great views of the lake below.  I think the Cinnamon trail was above us- it must have some really steep sections or switchbacks to climb up so quickly.  We may try that one next time.

Finally we crossed the river and had completely looped back to the trail we went out on.  All in all we rode for 4 hours.  Cartman barely broke a sweat but I think he was actually pretty tired.  It was a lot of climbing and downhill too.  The day was really fun and we got home before dark!  Yeah for still being on Daylight savings time!

Today I hauled Cartman out for one last rain-free ride on the jogging path along the river.  We did a lot of jogging and quite a good bit of canter.  His canter is finally starting to come together a bit and he had a good work out.

Now, on to our winter challenge- learning some Western Dressage!


AareneX said...

Not coming to Foothills, then?

irish horse said...

Sounds like a great place to ride, and with even more trails to explore, I'm sure you'll be back. I'm sure Cartman was dogging it because he didn't get his hay snack and was "starving", but that is funny how you had to hide it! I'm interested that they close the trails due to fire danger. If they did that here, we wouldn't ride June through October.

CG said...

Aarene-No Foothills for us this year, I'll be enjoying a day at work, sigh. Have a good time!

Irish- Yep, its pretty common for our trails to be closed if we have a real dry summer. Usually its the private timber companies but this year even the Wa DNR has closed trails, I believe. The hunters are all doing a rain dance hoping they can get into the woods!