In which we go to a pokey--er, POKER ride, and Fiddle learns stuff
I didn't have to go all the way to the Dry Side to find beautiful colors like these: because Silver Ridge Ranch was hosting their annual charity poker ride on their land just at the top of Snoqualmie Pass.
Which charity? I wondered, and they pointed out the list posted by the sign-in table. The list is huge--basically, every helping organization in the county, from the food bank to the animal shelters, would get some money from this event. Excellent.
The weather was bright and beautiful, the trails were nicely built, with a few "stepover" logs and roots to give the riders a thrill, and there were plenty of folks on the trails.
They weren't moving very fast. Some of them, I noticed, had to stop a few times on the trail to offload the beer they'd been drinking. I totally don't understand drinking beer while riding--I mean, my faithful mount already has a 1,000+ lb advantage on me. Why on earth would I negate some of my balance as well?
I know, I'm a geek. I wasn't the only one on the trail wearing tights and a helmet. Almost the only one, but not quite. Some folks were also astonished that I was riding "alone." Um, aren't y'all standing right there? (also, what about my large friend wearing the saddle? doesn't she count?)
Speaking of my large friend, Fiddle was incredulous when I insisted that she walk a majority of the trail. By her lights, we were in a ridecamp. Therefore, we were supposed to run as fast as we could. The footing was fine, and there were all those pokey horses in front, she could outrun them at a quick walk, she told me.
But that isn't the point, I told her. Just walk and enjoy the day. (We did trot when we had a mile or two of clear space in front of us...she's right when she says that we should take advantage of good footing!)Of course, I was scouting the location as a possible endurance ride site. Hmmm. Definitely a possibility.
Apparently there's a way to get under the highway and link to the Iron Horse/John Wayne Pioneer Trail, and possibly even a way to hook up to Easton Ridge and the brand new Washington State Horse Park.
I called Gail from my cell phone on the trail. You've gotta check this out!
Yes. Definitely on the list of possible future ridecamps.We did see a foolish cowpokey pony go into the water much further than the rider intended. The lake bottom is mucky, shoe-grabbing mud, and the horse floundered around enough in it to dunk the rider and then itself before everybody got right-side-up again. Fiddle and I declined to enter the lake after watching that. It was just fine to look at it from a respectful distance.
One of the cowpokey people took our picture. Notice that my shirt pocket contains my ride card (poker ride=draw numbers at five spots along the route, high and low "hands" win prizes). For some reason, Fiddle completely lost her marbles the first time I handed my card to a volunteer. So, for the rest of the ride, I got the card out periodically to flap it around her body, and handed cookies to the guys with the number bag to give her when they rattled the bag. By the end of the ride, the whole routine was boooorrrrrrring. Never underestimate the power of cookies.
Thanks for the sunshine, Silver Ridge Ranch. I'll be back next year (or maybe even sooner...)!