In which we join the Trail Minions of Doom and do not completely drown

Our friend Anne-Marie took a great notion to create an Endurance clinic for 
Green Bean riders, and a bunch of us thought it was a good idea.

Eileen's Trail Minions of Doom
 The clinic is all the way off-the-ground now:  they've got a date, a place, a presenter (Susan Garlinghouse!!!) and

Rider spots are full, but there is still room for auditors
and mentors.  PM me if you need the link.

now they have trails, too.

The forecast called for several gallons of rain.
And yes:  we got pretty wet!

Adjacent to clinic location Griffinwood Stables is almost 100 acres of woods, including some sweet little trails,

Training challenge #1: The Bridge
This bridge is much more challenging in late Fall when the
salmon are spawning.  In February, it's just a bridge.

and a few training challenges.

Training Challenge #2:  Weird Stuff
In summer, this weird stuff is used by SCA folks for their games.
In winter, it's just dormant weird stuff.

A good-sized tree blocks the main trail.  Rather than cut it out with a
chainsaw, Eileen and Jim knocked it down so it can be a step-around
or a step-over challenge for the horses and riders.

The trail crews split into smaller groups to cover lots of ground and clear out the ever-encroaching blackberry vines.  Other than vine-encroachment, the trails were in pretty good shape--

One team goes left, the other goes right

wet, of course, but with mostly-gravel underneath,

nice wide tread, and good sight-lines.

The foliage here is slightly different than we see on our home trails--lots more deciduous variety than our standard alder/cottonwood scrub.

We saw lots of this weird lichen on the ground, and it looks EXACTLY
like octopus skin.  I see it as further evidence of the Pacific Tree Octopus.

We checked the creek crossing, and devised a wonderful exercise for the riders here: sponging practice!

The approach to the crossing is good -- shallow gravel.  The exit is
the steep mudbank visible behind Jim, which we opted to avoid using.
Riders will enter the creek, sponge their horses,
and depart the way they came in.

The far side of the creek is a trail called the Swamp, which we scouted

Really wet out there

and eventually rejected.  The water was almost over the tops of Santa Jim's boots--and the mud was gloopy enough to grab off hoofboots and horse shoes.

Feet stayed dry...barely...

And after trail work is done...

Nearby establishment "Character's Corner" may look like a dive bar.
That's because it is a dive bar.
But the food is awesome!

Lunch.  (Try the fish tacos, they're great!)


  1. So very cool that you are all putting this together! Seems like a great endurance community up there, I really must come up for an endurance ride sometime.

  2. Thank you so much for this blog-- it was a fun day andthe clinic is gonna be fun too! One small correction-- Chum Salmon spawn Oct and Nov, by Dec they are dead and smelling up the place; so the bridge, any bridge in the area, actually, is more of a challenge with flappy fish in the water.... :-)


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