Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Trail Log: 6-8-2019

IMO Camp

  • Trail: Poison Creek - IMO
  • Miles: 14.21
  • Ave mph: 4.6
  • Trail Rating: 2.7
  • Riders: Circle Four and Barry 
  • Horses: Raycine - J'Lo and Berry's horse
  • Place: 4th place!  Found all 5 markers in 3 hours, 19 minutes and 33 seconds


Notes: Dusty opted to let his knee rest and not ride. Barry joined Jones and I. Barry typically runs a course fairly fast. Jones and I weren't sure our horses were in shape for it. We left camp in a nice long trot and maintained an average 4.6 mph pace for 3/4th of the 14 mile loop - winning us 4th place. We were happy.

Jack is still at boot camp for a couple more weeks. REALLY looking forward to getting him back. J'Lo trucks along but just doesn't have the energy Jack has on the trail.

I got up early Sunday morning and headed to Willow Creek in time to shoot a few practice balloons before heading back to spend a few more days with my daughter and kids.

Practice at Willow Creek "Whorley's" 

Trail Log: 6-3-2019




  • Trail: Grouse Creek
  • Miles: 3.0
  • Riders: Self
  • Horse: J'Lo
  • Dogs: Hank and Shade


Notes: Quick ride up Grouse Creek to check out the area for potential camping with the Grand-kids. Probably not a great spot. Too hot this time of year and not much shade.

The next day the kids arrived for a week visit. Took them back up to Grouse Creek for a day hike and to play in the creek. Was a good choice to "camp" at Grandma's as opposed to trying to camp around here locally.


We hiked, rode, baked cookies, panted rocks and made several trips to Jeb's for soft twisty ice-cream comes.

The kids rode most every day. J'Lo was the best babysitter ever. She genuinely seems to like the kids.

Athena threw me a retirement party. She cooked her famous enchiladas - a pot of beans and Spanish rice. We devoured it. I believe everyone went back for seconds!

The best peeps in the world - and one good dog. 
The only think wrong with the week long visit was it went way too fast.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Trail Log: 5-18-2019


  • Trail: WRT -  Presley Trail Head to Big Trestle
  • Miles: 16
  • Riders: Self - Jones
  • Horses - J'Lo - Honor
  • Dogs: Hank


Notes: Plans changed more often than some people change underwear this weekend. Started out as an IMO  weekend - then a shooting weekend - then a combination IMO/Shooting weekend - back to just an IMO and eventually Shooting and trail riding. The weather has been crazy. Jones and I decided to forfeit the IMO due to predicted rain everyday but Saturday. We new it would be nice Saturday - but that is a long way to haul to ride for only one day. We decided to hit the trail Saturday and ride to Big Trestle. The weather was perfect for riding even if the road leading up to the trail head was a little slimy. (enter pucker factor)

We didn't find any hidden markers, but we did manage to  solve most of the worlds problems in 5 hours and 33 minutes.

We stopped at Homestead for lunch. Although we missed getting to ride the IMO - Dusty promises to make us each an IMO style certificate of our very own. :)



Monday, May 6, 2019

Trail Log: 5-4-2019



  • Trail: The Rivers Edge - Bruneau Area - IMO
  • Miles: 18.4 (over two days)
  • Riders: Self - Jones - Dusty (Circle-Four)
  • Horses: J'Lo - Honor - Rooster
  • Dogs: Shade - Hank - Dealer - Savannah 


Notes: The second IMO of the year. We didn't place, but we did pretty well. We were never lost - read the map well and pretty much stayed on course. We tried a shortcut that didn't pan out and had to double back - adding a good 40 minutes to our time. We were in good company as we were not the only team to try it. Between the shortcut fail and taking it easy on horses that aren't yet in full shape - we found all 5 markers in 5 hours and 20 minutes. 

Jack is in arena boot camp for a month or two - leaving J'Lo to be my IMO partner this spring. She does pretty good out on the trail but is not use to the hill climbing and rough terrain. She either tried to colic or tie-up Friday evening. I gave her a dose of Banamine and she came out of it. This next couple of months being my trail horse will be good for her to develop some different muscles. She doesn't have as much energy as Jack but sometimes that's a good thing.

Jones and Dusty had to haul back home Saturday after the ride. I stayed over with Laurajean and Shane (The Shade Hunters) until Sunday morning. They prepared the best French Toast breakfast (recipe by Ellen) ever.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Trail Log: 4-20-2019

Jones and Dusty 

  • Trail: IMO - Training Ride - Murphy Con Shae Rd. 
  • Miles: 9.33
  • Riders: Self - Jones - Dusty (Circle 4)
  • Horses: J'Lo - Honor - Diesel 
  • Trail rating: 3.0 (left main trails/roads cross country - steep - rocky)



Notes: One of our better IMO runs. We found all 5 markers in under 3 hours and didn't get lost once. Not even turned around! I'm calling it an Easter miracle. :) We made it a little more difficult by cutting cross country as the crow fly's from marker #2 to #3. Otherwise, I would have given it a trail rating of 2.5 max. Chili and cornbread afterwards.

It rained all the way to camp and all the way home but managed to stay dry during the ride. An excellent IMO ride and a beautiful day.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Trail Log: 4-19-2019

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Trail: Succor Creek -Davis Ranch - Power Line
Miles: 12.80
Ave mph: 3.1
Max mph: 16.9
Riders: Self - Lee - Cyndi - Becky - Greg
Horses: Jack - King - Rio - Thumper - Magic
Dogs: Hank - Shade (short pre-hike) Cash - Bella
Trail Rating: 3.2

Notes: Really fun day. Sunny sky's and warm temps. Was supposed to be 81° and very likely reached it. Met up with the Lee gang at the head of Hermit Gulch. I arrived early to take Shade on a shorter hike before the rest of them got in. 

Jack was full of himself and fell in love with a pretty blonde mare who was equally enamored with him. He did OK though  - despite being a ball of energy. Until he left me standing afoot while he dashed off after his woman - hobbles and all. That horse can run faster hobbled than some horses can without. I figured if he wanted to move his feet that bad, I'd let him. He thoroughly enjoys it when I give him the freedom to run. Not sure if he learned his lesson but he was less enthusiastic on the way back toward the mare. He's a fun horse to ride, for sure. Sometimes it's best to close your eyes, ride 'em like you stole 'em and hang on for the ride. 



The creek was ripping. Sunk almost to my knees and Jack is a tall horse.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Periwinkles to Prom Queen


 I scanned through hundreds of folders containing thousands of photos in search of the perfect one to commemorate my daughter’s birthday. I could have chosen from dozens of staged, posed shots of an exceptionally beautiful baby girl to the stunning woman she is today. I sifted through boxes of .35 mm images of photogenic pre-schooler to prom queen.

We didn’t have a lot of money. We didn’t have any money, to speak of. Just the two of us. A single mom and a kid some folks at the time called: “underprivileged.” After-all, what could a kid, raised by a single mom with no formal higher-education expect to accomplish in this world? Any damn thing she desires. I say that now – 30 some years later ….at the time, it hurt. If you are not careful, a person can begin to believe the words of others. I thank God and a pinch of tenacity I stopped listening.

We didn’t have the resources to go to Disney Land, take real vacations or buy fancy toys. An outing for us was a little different than others I suspect. If we had the money, we would stop at Eddy’s day old bread factory for a loaf to feed the ducks at the park. We would walk around the pond making up stories about each duck; what their life was like and who they would be if they were people.

The ducks in the pond gave me a kind of hope as well. I figured no matter how bad things got – we could always come down here and kill us a duck for dinner. I laugh at that now – at the time I was quite serious. I never could see how people went hungry in the city with all the slow moving water fowl that weren’t at all afraid of people.  Need toilet paper? Public restrooms are full of it.

One image caught my eye. Athena is maybe 4 years old. We are filthy, soak-and-wet, smelling like fish guts and smiling from ear to ear. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I chose this picture because to me it reflects a lot of what our life was and who my daughter has become.

The picture was taken on one of our more extravagant outings. We had enough gas to go “home” for the weekend. Home at that time was Halfway Oregon. We drove toward Summit Lookout until we found a suitable spot to pull over. We took the fishing gear we borrowed from my dad and commenced to go fishing. It didn’t matter we had forgotten to get bait. Athena delighted in splashing in the creek turning over rocks, plucking periwinkles and stuffing them in her sandwich baggie (after she ate the peanut butter and jelly for lunch). Periwinkles make excellent bait. Getting them on a hook is a different story.

I can’t tell you if we caught any fish. I think we did. I remember smelling like we did. What I do remember is how much fun we had. Splashing in the creek. Hunting for periwinkles. Getting dirty from head to toe. Propping up my camera, setting it on self-timer and racing back to get in the photo and tripping over my own two feet multiple times before getting it done. If digital cameras were available back then – I sure didn’t have one. I was using the Minolta film camera I bought on lay-a-way at Ontario Camera. Is there even such a thing as lay-a-way anymore? I doubt it. I imagine the credit card has replaced the concept of receiving goods after they are paid for – even if it took 2 years.

When I see this picture, I don’t see a single mom, statistically preordained to amount to squat. I don’t see a child society has labeled “underprivileged” and destined to struggle throughout life. I see a little girl with the imagination to be entertained by a pond of ducks and the heart to spend her pennies on bread to feed them. I see a little girl who understands a person does not have to be wealthy to be rich. A little girl who is rich in love, kindness and compassion for others. I see a little girl who didn’t need the latest gadget to keep her entertained. I see a girl who could spend hours hunting periwinkles, making mud pies and laughing until her belly hurts, all without spending a dime.

I see my daughter and the person she has become. Beautiful inside and out. Her compassion and kindness for others has grown with her. Combined with faith in her Lord Jesus and the capacity to see the goodness in others is a powerful combination. Her ability to forgive and find patience with others far exceeds my own and leaves me humbled.

My daughter is a gift to me from God. I knew that the day she was born and I know it today. She is the substance that keeps our often bat-shit-crazy family together. She feels the emotional and spiritual pain of everyone around her. She seems to absorb it as if to do so would spare them from feeling it themselves. If I could take that one thing from her I would, but I cannot. I am not strong enough.


Happy Birthday Athena Marie. May you always remember that sometimes the best dinners are those you catch your-self.

Love Mom