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Showing posts from 2019

In which it's almost time to go home...but first, a Very Long Tunnel

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Andrea wasn't gonna ride, and neither was Jenni. So Suzie invited me to ride lead with her on the final day of the Fall Ride!

Riding lead means that somebody else (Andrea, in this case) drove my rig forward to the final parking lot for me, while we tacked up to leave camp directly, before the sun has even cleared the mountains to the east.


When planning this trip, I had joked that the 2.5 mile tunnel out of Hyak might be the only time our riders didn't get rained on...and then, we learned that the ice inside the tunnel rock was melting enough to cause "rain" in the tunnel!






Another big surprise about the tunnel:  I could see the light 2.5 miles away at the other end as soon as we walked in!



Some people went through the tunnel using the lights from their cell phones.  Others used flashlights or headlamps tied onto the horse's breastcollar.
Suzie loaned me an Extremely Bright Flashlight to carry.  It is about as bright as the headlights on my truck.  (The link to pur…

In which Day 3 of the Fall Ride is a nice long one with some sunshine

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The weather on the Fall Ride was never what you'd call "really nice and warm."



Thanks to a large collection of good gear, I stayed comfortable the entire time...but there was a lot of swapping out layers along the way.


The sky might be increasingly blue, but temps varied from cold wind to kind of cool swampy humidity.


It may be pumpkin spice latte season for the rest of y'all, but we were in the mountains!

I wore my long poofy down jacket for part of this ride, and then traded it for my long Dragonwalker raincoat, which keeps in heat from horse and rider, without the bulk of the down coat. Of course, I was also wearing fleece tights, wool socks, a long-sleeved wool shirt and a wool sweater the whole time too.


Washington is called the "Evergreen State" for a reason.  We appreciate our deciduous trees, but we are mostly surrounded by cedar, fir, and hemlock trees, especially on the wet side.  This stretch of trail is still technically east of the mountains, bu…

In which the Fall Ride continues Westward: now, Cle Elum to Easton

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I learned a lot about minimal horse camping during the 3 week we travelled the Cross-State ride this Spring.


As soon as Fee and I have some breakfast inside us, she gets tacked up and tied to something so I can pack up the rest of my camp and move it forward with the truck caravan.




When the bus returns with riders aboard,




we all sprint:  first for the porta-potties, then for our horses.




We learned stuff the previous day, and made a Plan to Help Piglet Keep His Brain before even mounting up on Day 2.







Out on the trail, the skies are misty, but not nearly as drippy as Day #1.  Gravel trails are good footing, despite the wet.





UPDATE: here are a couple of David's photos: