Showing posts from August, 2017

In which we meet up with golden friends and explore the Cowboy Camp trails

"Come visit and ride with me at Cowboy Camp! said Rosemary (about a million times).

Finally, I went.

Cowboy Campsite was started years ago as a place where riders and their families could camp with horses adjacent to the beautiful Les Hilde/Harry Osborne trail system.

The organization works very much like a condominium association:  people buy their lots and improve them (or not) as they like.  There are a great many rules governing the types of buildings and fencing, which allows the site to maintain a tidy, "western" look that is very appealing.

Having their own sites means members never have to hope they'll find a spot to park and camp at the nearby Les Hilde trailhead, which often hosts poker rides and other gatherings.  (Les Hilde hosted the 1998 Bully Wully, the first endurance event I ever attended!)

Members like to socialize with the neighbors.  I was VERY curious about this adorable little trailer parked near Rosemary's site, so we went for a vis…

In which the sky is fixed and then broken and now it's been fixed again

It's been such a long summer of air pollution, thanks to the  smokey fires in British Columbia, but the rain fell last week  and fixed it.  Then, out came the sun and dried up all the rain.

The eclipse was super-cool, but of course the Dragon paid no attention.  Jim reported that the only animals who seemed to notice the change were the roosters who were (briefly) quiet.

I'm just glad to have our sky back again.

 We could definitely use more rain.

The light drizzle last week cleared the air, but it barely reached the ground.

There's still some moisture in the woods, and the loggers are charging ahead full-speed while they can.

If the woods are too dry, the timber companies shut down because of fire danger.  If the woods are too wet, machines get bogged down in mud and can't work.

It's a very small window, and the loggers work long hours while they can.

Elsewhere in the woods the trees are still upright.  I've been seeing lots of bear and deer sign, and …

In which it takes a Village of Suspects to get farm things done

Margie and Craig bought a farm!
Well, it will be a farm eventually.  Right now, it lacks a few farm-essentials:

The Usual Suspects are experienced pitcher-inners.

They were here to help raise the barn roof at Haiku Farm back in 2011.  We help move gravel, fix fences, and perform emergency maintenance at each other's places.

It's what we do.

Margie wanted to clear brush away from the line where the fence would go.

 Our Lumberjanes totally have skills for that!

Under the brush and brambles, we found BARBED WIRE.  
That stuff had to go, so we clipped and ripped and cussed and yanked and got it all out.

Then it was time to plot the path of the fence.

Scouting locations for the corner posts.

Drilling the post holes.

Posts in holes.

 Leveling posts.

Setting posts in with gravel.

In which I'm grateful. Really. I'm grateful. But I'm not riding today.


We were not just due for our annual summer rain, we were long overdue:

 55 days without measurable precipitation breaks all prior records for our region.

Mixed into the dry spell was a long, severe bout of smokey skies courtesy of the wildfires in British Columbia.

The last time we had smokey skies for more than a week, the smoke trapped the heat in, keeping our local temps around 80*F.

This time, our predicted temps were above 90*F, but the smoke was so thick that sunlight was reflected away from the ground, and we stayed a bit cooler, with temps in the 80's.

Air quality here went from "not good" to "terrible."  Riding went from "conditioning pace" to "wander down to the river and then wander back to the trailer."

Last night, relief came at last.  The thermometer reads 61 blessed degrees, and the rain has been falling steadily for several hours.

It won't last.  It will probably stop by mid-day.

But it's wet enough to clea…

In which we run away to a treasure hunt, and we take the horses

Duana and Freya needed to go camping.

An endurance ride is often not a good first camping experience for a young horse or a nervous rider.  Too much energy, too much excitement, too much running around.  
This is a better choice:

a weekend of Competitive Mounted Orienteering.

CMO has several advantages over endurance, especially for green horses and/or financially challenged riders:

The rides are much closer to home for us (even with heavy Friday afternoon/Seafair traffic, we arrived in camp in less than 3 hours, instead of the 7-10 hours we spend travelling to most endurance camps).CMO rides happen through the summer every other week--and most are two-day events.Entry fees are significantly lower.  I paid $25 including camping.  For families with several kids, this can be a huge money-saver.There is always a potluck on Saturday night of event weekend, which is a great opportunity to trade stories (and learn names...)The atmosphere in camp is VERY laid-back.  You don't need to get…