Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Friday's Ride... Part One

So here I am, out of school, and I am still not behaving like a good blogger yet...lol!!!! We have all been really busy and to top things off, the weather around here has been in the seventies for over a week-not normal for around here at all. That being said, the entire population of Western WA has been outside, soaking up as much sunshine as possible, and not in their houses blogging.

And speaking of soaking up sunshine, what better way to do it than on horseback??? I must share mine and Amber's latest riding adventure with you, and those of you who know us...no snickering!!!!! Last Friday, we decided to trailer up to a recreational area that borders Mount Rainier National Park, and check out the trails. This specific place (known as Buck Creek to locals) is about 40 minutes away, and on a unmarked forest service road, but Amber and I thought we had a pretty good idea about where it was.

To make a long story short, we misjudged how far up the highway Buck Creek was, and we mistakenly took the wrong forest service road (known as Huckleberry Creek). Luckily we didn't drive too far down it before I realized that it looked wrong, and we pulled over and asked some mountain bikers where Buck Creek was. As it turned out, we needed to get back on the highway and drive about another 10 minutes.
Well, we finally made it to our destination (an hour later!!!) but we still weren't sure where the riding trails were. Thankfully, a nice man pointed us in the right direction, but he warned us that there were a lot of blow downs on all of the trail systems, and that they had not been cleared yet.

Not to be deterred, Amber and I took off and rode for about one hour, most of which was spent trying to maneuver around giant areas where massive trees had blown down (see above pictures). There wasn't a lot of underbrush, so we were able to get around a lot of the damage, but we eventually came to an area that had over 10 ginormous trees, with no easy way around them.
On our way out, we stopped and chatted with some people who were camping with their horses, and they told us that they belonged to a local riding club, and that every Memorial Day weekend, about 60 of them camp out with their panonies and clear the trails. They also said that this year was one of the worst years they had seen in over 30 years (as far as blow downs go). Amber and I were like "Seriously??? We just drove all the way up here to find out that we came up one week too early???" LOL!!!!
So we cowgirled up, loaded the panonies back in the trailer, and headed back down towards civilization. We figured that we would stop at one of the many designated horseback riding areas on the way back down, and we pulled over at a place called Mud Mtn. Dam (knowing full well that the trail was washed out in certain areas due to flooding).
Surprisingly, the boys seemed happy to be heading back out, and away we went. The above picture is just as we were heading down into the basin, which is an area that is used to hold excess water back from the dam when it floods. You can just make out two excavators that had recently cleared a major wash-out/mudslide, and see the grassy area towards the left of the river? That is where we were headed.
(It was kind of bittersweet riding out there too, because we used to trailer out there and ride when I was younger, and the last time I had been down to the basin, I was on my bucking bronc, Shadest)
We carefully rode out towards the edge of the river, and you can see Waska looking back at me like "Are you sure you want to go over there???"
So onwards we went, and I am going to write about the rest of ride later, as this post is getting too long!
I hope you all had wonderful weekends, and I look forward to catching up (yet again!!) on your blogs. :)


Tracey said...

Wasn't it a great weekend for riding? I spent it in Burns, lol...and now we're back to rain. Ah, well...such is life.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow! What a beautiful ride you and Amber and the panonies were on.
The trail with all the downfall reminded me of Kacy. I bet she would have looked at those downed trees as opportunities for her and Wa to practice junping. lol!

Your luck had you waited another week, the rain would have come back full force. I can't wait to read and see more from your trail rides.


word verification: gispot

Stephanie said...

That mud mtn dam trail looks so pretty! I often wonder about the trails over there - were they crowded much?

We were basically living out in the boondocks all weekend I am so glad to be back in civilization - but I am sooooo freaking tired! Think I am going to run home and sleep!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Wow, gorgeous trails! Those windfall trees can be a real pain when you are hiking too.

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a great ride and got to enjoy the weather!

I had a friend that died there at Mud Mtn a few years ago in a freak accident. If you approach the edges of the cliffs around there, be very careful as they can give way unexpectedly. My friend was on foot with her dog, when the edge gave way under her dog. And even though she was laying belly down looking over the edge, it gave way on her too. The dog survived and was unharmed, but sadly, she did not.

Paint Girl said...

It looks so beautiful out there! Too bad about all the downfall, cuz that looked like a fun trail to ride.
Can't wait to hear more of your adventures!

Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind said...

Looks like FUN!! Sometimes things dont go as planned but that is just all apart of the adventure right? The weather has been sooo nice, glad that at least on of us *pout* got to ride out in it:)

More please!

Gail said...

Oh, to have been there! The mighty horses faced the challenges and the riders stayed aboard so I was say that was a successful ride.

Beautiful country.

I fear a trail ride through our woods would present the same scene. Ice damage from '09 and tornado trees from '08 are slowly being cleared but we've a long way to go.

Glad you had a great time!

Pony Girl said...

Wow, what a ride! We should all saddle up and tag along with you guys, you are true Trail Bosses in the making! I love it and can't wait to read more!! :)

lytha said...

I love seeing pics of my home - thank you for posting them.


Melanie said...

Tracey- We lucked out with the rain down here: it completely missed us!!! Yeah!!!! Hope you are getting some riding in though. I will have to mosey on over and take a look. :)

Lisa-LOL!!! I am afraid that even Kacy and Wa mare would have had to turn around though. I didn't post the picture of the giant snag, because it didn't do it justice, but it sure was huge. :)

Stephanie-No, the trails around here aren't crowded, even when there are several trailers parked at a trail head. They often cover hundreds of miles, so unless you pick the same route as someone else, you rarely even see anyone. Where did you go this weekend?

Val-Yes, windfalls are a major pain...lol!!! Especially when they are trees that are around 70 feet long and 4-5 feet in diameter!

Oregonsunshine-OMG!!! You knew her??? I remember when that happened, but that took place up at the overlook for the dam, not down here in the basin. Terrible, and I am sorry...

Paint Girl & Pony Girl-We should definitley hook-up sometime, and I think that the Pony Cousin Stampede would be the perfect place. LOL and just kidding!! (I know it's for family)

Chelsi-Alright, alright...hang on to your saddle...More is coming!!! LOL!!! And I agree with you that the adventure can be part of the fun. You just roll with the punches, right???

Gail-Oh yeah...I bet your trails are all but obliterated over there. :(
Tornadoes and ice storms aren't very easy to clean up after, eh???

Lytha-Awwwwww....glad I could help. Have you ever been to either of these places before??

Carolynn said...

Wow, I'm envious. The only riding I do is in an arena, with lots of other horses going through their paces. *sigh* That looks like a fabulous way to spend a day.