Monday, August 10, 2015
Ellen and I had our first long weekend since May, and we had a great one, too. So often, we are rained out—this time—barely a drop of rain fell. The river was so low and the temperatures were comfortable.
The memo must have reached the park department, because they finally started to do some maintenance on the trails, but it wasn’t all that bad.
The first day, we were going to ride to Flane, We thought we would try to cross the second river crossing instead of going on the ford. We haven’t been able to do it in a couple of months because a tree fell on the river bank and there was tons of debris. Still, we didn’t want to risk the odd weekday traffic. I thought we could manage riding up it, at least, and that we should try.
We were pleased to see that the tree was gone and the debris was partially cleared! Hurray! When we were halfway across the river, a school bus crossed the ford. We were so glad we made the decision to try the river.
We got about halfway down the sewer plant trail, when we saw a vehicle blocking the trail—they were out doing maintenance. He said he would move it, but we opted to turn back. We asked if he cleared the river bank, and when he said, “Yes,” we were able to thank him profusely. He said they would finish getting the rest of the debris and fixed the very rutted hill. As we peaked around the tractor, we could see they had done work ahead. This was fantastic. This part of the trail was so rutted and rocky, we could only walk on it—and we felt guilty about doing that. Many times, we just didn’t bother to go that way because of it.
We ended up passing home and going a little the other way. Kevin was riding out to meet us, so we rode with him a little while, too.
The next day, we went the other direction to the show ring trail. We hadn’t done this since before the rain deluge, so Ellen was a little nervous. Dante and Cole were perfect on the way out. We were glad to see they fixed the big hill going up to the show ring. They have to fix it every year. We manage well enough when it is rutted, but it is so much easier when it isn’t. We trotted the whole trail, there and back. The horses seemed to enjoy themselves.
I opted to lead Dante through the hectic Lagoon on the way home. There is one spot where he is unpredictable. Starry met us shortly before we got to that spot, and he followed behind Dante. Sure enough, a car came by and Dante scooted right in front of me and circled around. He was fine after that.
Ellen was leading Cole, and at one point, they got so far behind that we had to stop and wait for them. she told me that when they passed the truck with the park worker emptying the garbage cans, Cole wanted to stop and bow for him…
We made it home with no more incidents. What a great ride.
The next day, we repeated the ride, but this time we met Starry earlier in the ride, Dante was perfect and Cole didn’t have to do any bowing.
We originally planned to go back to the show ring trails on our last day, but we felt like going the other way, instead. We wanted to see how the maintenance crews did with the trail.
Our first happy surprise—the river bank was cleaned of the debris. It only got better. the rutted hill was fixed—then at the top of it—the whole sewer plant trail was resurfaced. It was the first time I was able to trot that whole trail in literally years. Dante trotted it for the first time, ever. It was awesome—no guilt about riding over all the stones, either.
Once again, we met Starry. Kevin got to see the new trail, too. We were a bunch of happy trail riders.