Friday, October 9, 2015

In which we Moil again, and Foxie and Roo provide entertainment

The weather was perfect for moiling for chanterelles.

Angus, Rosemary, Roo, Foxie and Patty: mushroom hunters all

Not too warm, not too cold, not pouring rain....


...and not a weekend.  Weekends, the woods are full of tourists hunting for our mushrooms. 

Walking with a stick in the woods is enough of a challenge
for me, so the floofs have to walk each other.

Moiling is also a splendid opportunity to train dogs.  We teach them all kinds of useful stuff.

Patty's young dog Angus learns needful patience

And then, of course, there's the romping.  And the rowrling.  And the zooms!

Foxie and Roo zoom around until they can barely walk. Then, they wallow
in a puddle for a minute, and go back to zooming again.

When we get home, everybody is tired.  And look:


Monday, October 5, 2015

In which sometimes it's easier to sing than to tell the ride story

 photo by Cassidy Rae
The Old Milwaukee Rail Trail
sung to the tune of "The City of New Orleans"
with apologies to Steve Goodman and Arlo Guthrie

Riding on The Old Milwaukee Rail Trail,

Sunrise on the trail, about 10 miles in

Kittitas central, wind blowin’ up my tail--

Ridecamp, literally beneath Interstate Highway 90
just past Ellensburg and Kittitas

photo by Cassidy Rae

Fifty ponies, fifty restless riders;

Best companions for the trail: Kathy and Pearl, Andie and Sadie

Seven pulsers, and twenty-five friends of Gail.

Ride manager Gail Williams talks with riders and volunteers.
Photobomb by Fiddle.

Doctor Patty Robinett, DVM  consults with a rider about her steed

It's a lucky rider who has Santa for crew!
photo by Monica Bretherton

Headin’ east, our odyssey

Approaching the Columbia River and the first vetcheck at 21 miles

Then west again, the camp to see

This is a true Rail Trail, built on a wide, flat, former railroad grade
We trot along past grasses, scrub and fields.

...and a flock of five military 'copters (biggify to see the choppers)
Passin' trees that have no names,

We named this the "turnaround tree" because several loops went to this landmark
and then turned back around towards camp.
Training grounds full of sneaky men

Biggify the spot on the horizon between Fiddle's ears to see...

Tanks!  The Rail Trail is surrounded by Army training grounds.
I posted photos of some of the other Army stuff HERE.

To the river check, and the vets who wait for me there...

Big landscape, tiny vetcheck by the river

Good morning America how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son,
I'm the trail they call The Old Milwaukee Rail Trail,
You’ll be gone ‘bout eighty miles when the day is done.
Evening on the Old Milwaukee Rail Trail,
Sunset on the trail.  The skies were astonishing.
Changing socks at forty miles or so.

Sirie and Laun saved me with their magical essential oils.
I was the best-smelling crippled rider in camp!
Half way home, we'll be out past sundown

Full dark finish:  11pm
Through the wind and the sunshine

The Boyleston Tunnel is now closed to equestrians, which doesn't break
my heart since a horse and I crashed in that tunnel years ago.
The bypass road is rocky, but delicious bunch grass grows bountifully.
Trotting on down to the line.

And all the rocks and people seem

Andie leads through a rocky cut in the stone
To fade into a bad dream

Biggify to see the RATTLESNAKE.
Kathy's horse Pearl wanted a bite of this grass!
And this gravel trail still ain't heard the news.

Andie and Kathy walked most of the rocky bypass trail,
but I had to ride it.  Fiddle took great care of me all day.
The head vet sings the song again,

Sunset over sage, distant mountains
The riders now will please refrain

Sagebrush and chipmunks
This trail’s got the disappearing railroad blues.

Good night, America, how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son,
I'm the trail they call The Old Milwaukee Rail Trail,
You’ll be gone ‘bout eighty miles when the day is done.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

In which the trail is longer than we thought, but we finished it (sneak peek)

I knew that signing up for a 75 mile ride was a little crazy,
give the rapid deterioration of my remaining organic hip.

I'm glad we didn't know that it was actually an 80 mile trail


until we were about halfway into it.

By then, one of the leading riders had gotten a good GPS track of the trail, and done the math.

So, the finishers will get credit for an 80 mile ride.  I'm glad I didn't know in advance.

11pm finish line fashion divas

 Fiddle was strong and awesome all day.  She took excellent care of me.  And I'm still walking (still walking badly, but that's not a change) today.

More details coming soon.  First, I gotta sleep some more!