Sunday, January 27, 2019

Trail Log: 1-26-2019

  • Trail: Succor Creek Canyon  - Fisherman's Rd. - Devils Gate area - Trash Pickup Event
  • Miles: 9.36
  • Ave mph: 2.4
  • Riders: Self 
  • Horses: Jack and J'Lo
  • Dogs: Hank and Shade

Notes. I call my Pet Peeve Pack it Out day a success. We had 5 ATV's, 17 horses, 22 humans, 9 dogs and 1 large truck load of garbage ranging from beer cans to bumpers. A few of the more odd pieces of trash we found were a car bumper, a mini blind and a bottle of System Biolage hair conditioner.

We broke into 3 groups. Each group covering approximately 10 miles.  1 large group headed up Fisherman Rd. Another group rode toward Devils Gate and my smaller group rode down the canyon toward Succor Creek. At the creek, Matt and Tim rode downstream and I rode upstream. I sent at least 1 ATV with each group. As the panniers filled, we emptied them out in an ATV and headed out for more garbage.

My litter patrol
Some of the more ingenious folks rigged themselves long "spears" to aid in picking up trash they could stab from their horse without having to climb on and off. Me, I just rode my shortest horse and packed the taller one - and walked the majority of the time.

I was among the first riders back to the trailers. I swapped horses and headed back out to check on the other groups. The rest filtered in within 10 minutes of each other. We couldn't have timed it better had we planned it.

A few of us that didn't have to get back right away, warmed our toes around the fire ring and split whatever food we had left.

One group was stopped by a car of sight-seers wanting to know what we were doing and what group we belonged to. Linda smiled and answered: We don't belong to any particular group. We are just a bunch of friends who decided to to do something about the trash in an area we all enjoy.

It's doesn't take an official "group" to make a difference. It takes a few, slightly obsessive individuals fed up with the way things are to make a positive impact. I believe our menagerie of ATV enthusiast, hunters, cowboys, mounted shooters, equestrians, mounted orienteerer's and hikers did just that.

A HUGE thank you to my eclectic group of friends who helped this slightly obsessive compulsive gal out with one of her Pet Peeves: If you can pack it in full - you sure as hell can pack it out empty.

We filled this truck and a couple small trailers. It is so nice to see this trash headed to the dump instead of on our trails. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Trail Log: 1-11-2019

  • Trail: Ox Ranch - 4 rivers BLM - Payette
  • Miles: 7.54
  • Ave: 2.7 mph
  • Max: 6.4 mph
  • Riders: Self - Jon
  • Horses: J'Lo - Jack

Notes: Not a fan of riding on private property. It was nice of the OX ranch to let us ride through their property though and we did end up on BLM. If the trail wasn't froze - it was slicker than snot and full of badger holes big enough to swallow your horse.

I am done with short rides under 10 miles. Dumb'ing it down and leaving my dogs at home is no longer an option. Makes me cranky and life is too short to be cranky. :)

Amazing weather for January.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Trail Log: 1-5-2019

Trail: Succor Creek Canyon
Miles: 5.76
Riders: Self - Jon
Horses: Jack and J'Lo
Dogs: Shade and Hank

Notes: It was supposed to be close to 40° today. It was not...not even close. I saddled up and headed for Succor Creek anyway. The wind wasn't blowing and the roads were clear. What more do you need?

We still didn't want to overdo it for Jon, who is still healing from getting thrown. Plus - I had the horses shoes pulled the day before and didn't want to chance gimping them up on the rocky, desert terrain. A couple weeks and their feet will be able tolerate longer days on the trail.

The canyon is increasing in popularity with horse back riders and other folks as time goes on. The litter is increasing as well. It is so sad to see how people treat their land. From water bottles to spent shotgun shells. It use to be you could ride out here and not see another soul. Gone are those days for sure. I guess it's time to move on to more remote areas and pick places nobody in their right mind would want to go. Maybe Dugg Bar in August where the only things that can tolerate the heat are the cat fish and black widow spiders.

In the meantime - I supposed it's time to either organize a trash pickup or do it myself. *sigh*

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Trail Log: 1-1-2019

  • Trail: Weiser River Trail
  • Miles: 5.58
  • Riders: Self
  • Horses: Jack and J'Lo
  • Dogs: Hank and Shade

Notes: The temps dropped into the teens for the new year, but the sun was shinning and no wind! Beautiful day to ring in the new year.

Saw a ton of geese and other water fowl AND a bunny rabbit! I remembered my camera with the good zoom this time. I think this is the first time I've seen a bunny on the WRT. It seems like I get to see something different every time.

My favorite thing about New Years: A clean slate. Every day should be a clean slate - but I'll go with it. I expect a lot of cool changes for 2019 and looking forward to whatever adventures I can eek out of it.

My least favorite thing about New Years: You can't turn on the news without listening to lame stream media rehash the previous year for two weeks straight. What, doesn't anything of interest happen on New Years for them to report on? I didn't care about (or believe) 80% of what they report anyway - who wants to listen to them retell it? It's not like they are going to learn from it...

Regardless - the past is the past. They only thing one should do with it is reflect on the good memories you made and learn from the bad.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Trail Log: 12-30-2018

  • Trail: Weiser River Trail
  • Miles: 2.68
  • Riders: Self - Jon
  • Horses: Jack - J'Lo
  • Dogs: Shade and Hank

Notes: Got Jon back in the saddle after being dumped on the pavement a few weeks ago. Took it pretty easy and didn't go far as to not overdo it.

Unusually warm weather - in the low 40'. Still, the wind managed to cut through multiple layers of clothing...biting at your bones when the clouds managed to overtake the sun. 

Likely the last ride of 2018. Where did 2018 go? I remember being a kid and all the "old" people would get that far-off look in their eye and say things like: "Time sure fly's." and "Where does the time go?" Or, "The older I get ...the faster time seems to fly by."

I remember thinking as a kid that time seemed to stand still. I would be a kid, stuck in a dysfunctional childhood of family feuds, mundane schooling and all too short summer vacations...forever. Wishing that time would pass ....just a little faster.

Today I sit in the saddle - surely a far-off expression crosses my face as I stare off into the snow splattered horizon contemplating just how fast the years are pouring by...and wishing that time would pass ...just a little slower.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Trail Log: 12-23-2018

  • Trail: Weiser River Trail
  • Miles: 2.88
  • Riders: Self
  • Horses: Jack and J'Lo
  • Dogs: Shade and Hank

Notes: It was hard to find the ambition to get out of a warm house and hit the trail on a snowy, dreary day. I'm glad we did. No matter how crappy I feel - climbing in the saddle and getting out into the fresh air seems to cure what ails me every time.

We always see something cool on the WRT - today we saw a bald eagle, a blue egret and a couple of playful otter! That was the coolest thing ever. I may have seen one otter years ago on the Powder River. They were sure fun to watch. Much bigger than I expected. Like a dork - I did not have my good camera with the awesome zoom. All I got was cell phone pictures. Bummer..

I wore my new helmet today. After watching Jack buck a friend of on the pavement I decided it was time to put away the vanity and start riding smarter. I like the helmet better than anticipated. It's a low profile Troxel Rebel. Feels more like I'm wearing a ball cap and less like a bobble-head. :)

It spit snow and hail on and off but didn't start to really come down until I pulled into my driveway. Perfect timing...

Friday, December 21, 2018

Lingerie vs. Life on the Farm

If there was ever any question in my mind of whether or not I should wear skimpy, sexy lingerie – that question was answered with a resounding “Oh Hell No” one early, rainy morning in late December. As if the reasons listed below were not answer enough -  

1.       50+ year old grandmas should stay far…far away from the lingerie isle. In fact, they should probably adhere to a strict restraining order prohibiting them from loitering within 50 yards of anything remotely resembling the lingerie isle. For the sake of all involved, some things should forever remain secret, Victoria’s or otherwise.
2.       The disappearing bottom half – if there even is a bottom half – usually looks like something that goes somewhere nothing ought to go and is very likely to end up there.
3.       The uncomfortable and awkward shopping experience: In my younger days – I’ve had occasion to shop for said sleeping attire. I found myself standing in the lady’s unmentionables – glancing around to make sure no one is leering around the corner – judging me. “Really lady…you seriously think you can get away with wearing that?”
4.       The creepy guy: What’s up with the creepy guy that ALWAYS manages to be loitering around in the underwear isle the exact same time you are? Is it the same dude? It sure looks like the same dude. You lady’s reading this know exactly what/who I’m talking about – you have all seen him. About 5’9, wears jeans, dirty t-shirt barely covering a little pot-belly. Mousy brown, thinning hair – unshaven. He’s usually got his hands in his pocket “pretending” like he’s uncomfortable that his wife is making him tag along while she shops the full figure section. Right...have you ever actually SEEN the wife? Yeah, me neither.
5.       Too complicated: Ever hold on of them contraptions up? Is that the bottom? Does it even have a bottom? You have no idea what goes over the head – which arm goes where or even if so. If you do manage to figure out how to solve the puzzle – good luck getting the thing back off. The whole damn thing should come with a manual.
6.       Uncomfortable: All that lace. Really? Can there be anything scratchier than a thin piece of lace migrating to areas where lace (or anything else) ought NOT to be? See #2. Better pick up a tub of bag-balm on your way out. You’re going to need it.
7.       The choking hazard: No matter how many ribbons, button, bows, snaps, zippers, Velcro or bungee you apply to this menagerie – it will end up around your neck in the middle of the night and you will be strangled. To death.

If the above wasn’t reason enough to stay clear of the lingerie isle (I can’t even spell the confounded word without spell-check) – a recent, early morning adventure on the farm sealed my non-sexy-nighty-wearing days for good.

The previous morning I’d read a post on Facebook about a guy whose horse was killed by a cougar. A very sad and traumatic experience for any horse-owner.  I snuggled into bed donning my flannel lounge pants and over-sized “Great Potato Race” T-shirt I’d won, of all places, at “The Great Potato Race” in Boise Idaho 20 years ago. The last thing I thought of before drifting off to sleep was wondering if cougar came this far down onto the Weiser flats.

I bolted awake by the sounds of pounding hooves and snorting, panicked horses. It sounded like one of them ran straight across the front deck. I lept out of bed grabbing my shotgun before my bare-feet hit the floor. This 50+ grandma might be passed lingerie wearing days but she can still move when she thinks her horses are in jeopardy!

I bound down the stairs and out the front door. I caught a glimpse of one horse run past me out into the neighbor’s field to the North. I could see one set of tracks in the soft dirt of the yard where I’d dug up the waterline and septic earlier in the year. Only one set of tracks? Where was the other horse? It took a few minutes for my eyes and ears to adjust. The bright moon helped. 

 J’Lo was still in the pasture. Jack stood across the fence from her. Escapee identified. I whistled and called for him. Both horses came running at full speed. J’Lo had a straighter line and shorter distance but Jack is faster. I held the gate open hoping Jack would beat her to the gate. He did not. They hit the gate at the same time. If J’Lo got out – I wouldn’t see those horses again until spring. I swung the gate shut on J’Lo. Jack skid to a stop – whirled – and took off down the driveway kicking up mud as he flew. Shit.

By this time I’d determined that if something had been chasing them – it was gone now. I lay my shotgun on a bale of hay and ran after Jack, ankle deep in mud from 3 straight days of rain. I whistled and called. He turned and ran back to me scared half to death. I threw my arms around him and realized I didn’t have a halter anywhere near. Fearing he’d take off in a panic again I considered using my T-shirt or pajama pants as a lead – hoping like hell none of my neighbors showed up to help. In the past, I have used a bra to lead a wayward steed. I’m in my PJ’s – that wasn’t an option. I know any horse gals reading this are smiling and thinking to themselves: “Been there…done that!”

 I looked down at my bare-feet begging him not to step on them when I noticed a pink string of baling twine caked in mud caught between my toes. Score!

With Jack back in the pasture with J’Lo– I tossed them a flake of hay to keep them occupied. I shut the gate to the big pasture thinking that was probably where he got out. Mud squished between my toes as I trod back to the house.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep worrying about where/how he got out. I ran inside, stuck my feet in the bathtub to wash off most of the mud, put on boots, a jacket and grabbed a flashlight.  

I wasn’t sure what time it was – but I was fairly certain that running around in the middle of the night with a flashlight next to my neighbors wasn’t a great idea. Their dog didn’t thinks so, either.  I walked the perimeter of the fence, avoiding the fence nearest the neighbors to the east. I could see their horses standing against the fence so was fairly confident he hadn’t gotten out there.

I continued walking the fence until I reached the south west corner of my chicken house. I’d been using the area in that corner to store a big pile of wood my neighbor cut out of his yard. It would make great firewood next year. In the meantime – the horses had been molesting the pile and stripping the bark and eating it. They had manage to get to the very top of the wood-pile. I don’t know how they do it – but they do. The wood-pile is thrown up against a short fence made of ranch panels separating the dry lot from the smaller pasture with a fence on one side and the chicken house on the other. That ranch panel was now wide open. How the heck did he get up there and get that open? Did he get up there – fall over in an avalanche of firewood and crash into the fence, busting it?

Even with that fence down – he’d still be in my pasture. There had to be another hole. I’d put a temporary panel up between my field and my southern neighbors big enough to get a swather in come spring. That panel was now pushed open as well. No sign of the wire I’d used to secure it. I have no idea what or how that horse managed to get himself into such a predicament – but there was wood – panels – pallets and other debris scattered 40 feet in every direction.

I mended the fence with pink baling twine, tossed ¼ of a cord of wood back across the fence and headed back to the house. I stopped to check on the horses again for any sign of an escape gone bad. Jack didn’t have a mark on him. He pressed his big-ole’ head against my forehead like he does, wanting to be reassured. I think the whole thing scared him worse than it did me.

I finished washing the remainder of the mud off my feet and crawled back in bed. The clock read 4:28 AM.  I chuckled as I contemplated what “normal” people were doing at such an hour?

As I drifted off to sleep, I was reminded of years ago. A friend was helping shop for a piece of lingerie for my “honeymoon.” Same awkward shopping experience as listed above. Same creepy dude hanging out in the lady’s underwear section. Same complicated and uncomfortable looking attire that was sure to strangle me. To Death.

I eventually found what I hoped would be a suitable, flirty looking little number that may not have required a manual to operate. “What about this? I asked with some trepidation. My friend took the piece from me, tossed it on the floor and said: “There…looks great. That’s where it’s going to end up anyway.”

The next morning I recounted the night’s adventure to my neighbor.  I’d sent him a meme I saw one time that seemed quite fitting: “If you are my neighbor – eventually you will see me in my pajamas in the middle of the night chasing horses.” Been there…done that.