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Showing posts from July, 2017

In which I count on my fingers, try to stay cool, and still go riding

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I did some math recently, and discovered that the next 50-miler I want to enter is about 6 weeks away.   Eeeeeek!

I've been slacking off on training rides lately. 


Time to get that Dragon back out on the trails!



The temps have been hot, and the forecast is for hotter weather this week.  




The woods are often shady in the late afternoons and early evenings.



 Morning rides are also not-too-hot, but I really don't like getting up early on my days off.

The exception:



Today I met up with Susanna (and Ted) , Eleni (and Hana), and Duana (and Freya) for a ride down to the river.



 Ted is woefully out of shape, and hasn't been ridden in about 10 months, so we travelled at a walk--not a bad plan anyhow.



Susanna figures this is Ted's 7th or 8th trail ride (ever).  He was a rock star!




There was lots of laughing and talking, and even some singing.  Because that's the way we do things.


 And THAT is GOOD.

In which a cough requires a doctor, and there is a remedy

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I've been coughing.
I had a bad cold while we were building trails at Renegade last month,  and although most of the symptoms subsided after a week, the cough has lingered.   I finally punched a hole in my calendar and went to see my doctor.
"Your heart rate is elevated," she told me, "and your temp is a degree high, which for you is almost 3 degrees high."
I told her about my morning activities:  2 hours of physical therapy, followed by off-loading a truckload of hay into the barn...on an 86 degree day.  Then driving into town with the windows open because the air smells so much nicer than the air conditioner in my car.
We agreed that the activity explained much about the heart rate and the temp.  
Just in case, however, she prescribed four things:   An inhaler, to clear my lungs.  A nasal spray, to clear my sinuses.  A mild antibiotic, to chase down the minor sinus infection I was harboring.   And
A ride on my horse to the river, for personal tranquility.



 I feel …

In which we have blue sky, hay, friends and traffic. And many many words.

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"It's a billion degrees in Eastern Washington--let's go get hay!"*

Jim and I spent the morning driving over the pass and picking up hay.  The great thing about getting hay from friends is that we can go back to their comfortable air-conditioned living room and relax and chat a bit before heading home.  We even took showers to wash off the hay dust!  You don't get to do that when you buy hay from strangers!


The drawback to getting hay from Yakima is the drive home.  
Although it took about 2 hours to drive over (with plenty of pit stops along the way, because when you leave home early in the morning, you drink a lot of caffeine to keep moving, and then you have to stop for a potty break...and pick up more caffeine to drink...and then another stop is needed...) it took about FOUR hours to get home because of all the going-home-at-the-end-of-the-weekend traffic in the pass.
Gahhhhh.
Fortunately, my friends are sympathetic to being stuck in traffic, and some are will…

In which it's finally summer in the Swampland, (but it's still quite green)

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So many places are on fire right now  (notably California, Nevada and British Columbia) affecting a lot of our horse friends, but the number and size of fires here in Washington State is much lower than usual thanks to the long nearly endless wet winter.

Fiddle and I haven't had much trail time lately.



There's been logging ongoing on our usual training trails, and we try to stay out of the way of all the machines.  Fiddle isn't afraid of the tree felling or the big trucks, but it's polite not to be an obstacle while other people are working.

Late in the afternoon, most of the machines are turned off for the day, and we headed out to see if we could still find our way around after they'd moved all the furniture.


I always think that Fiddle and I will stay on the main drag...and then we see something that bears investigation, and off we wander.  That happens a lot when it's just her and me out there.

But today


Duana is returned from Italy, Patty's horse vet agree…

In which we celebrate Jim's birthday, and Monica takes the camera

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Jim's birthday weekend often coincides with the local Highland Games celebration, 
and it's always fun to go hang out with dancing women, working dogs, skirt-clad men





...and that's just the spectators!



There is no "backstage" at the Skagit Valley Highland Games.  All the last-minute rehearsing






whether it was jumps and twirls or 

preparation for Throwing Big Things  or 


getting everybody on the same foot, it all happens under the wide open blue sky.


Monica had never experienced a Highland Games day before, so I handed off the camera and waved her away.  All the photos in this post were taken by her.  
(I did a huge photo dump on Facebook, so if you want to see everything, go find the album there.  These are just my favorite shots from the camera memory card.)