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

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!

Sn*w over our morning camp in Hyak. 

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.

How cold was it?  Cold enough to freeze the foam inside the saddle pad!

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!

Warm coat and clothes covered by my faithful Dragonwalker raincoat:
ready for the Long 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!

This tunnel is so straight underground that the far side is visible from the entrance...
but the dot of light is about the size of a dime.  Not much good as actual illumination.

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 purchase these flashlights is HERE, just in case you want your own Extremely Bright Flashlight--I ordered mine as soon as we got home!)

The trick is to aim the flashlight beam forward / towards the wall, to minimize the dancing shadows
and maximize the seeing for rider and horse.

I didn't anticipate trouble, as Fiddle had been totally calm about the shorter tunnels.  And I was right: she was fine...especially since she got to walk alongside the unflappable Sunny, who has traversed the Long Tunnel many times.  She tromped ahead steadily, keeping one ear on the flashlit patch of wall and the other ear on her friend Sunny.

40 minutes later, we emerged from the tunnel...and it was even colder outside!

No sunshine (yet) on the west side of the tunnel, and the wind was chilly!

I'm glad I got to ride with Suzie again.  Fee was glad to go with Sunny again.

These long coats keep the cold wind off, and keep the horse and rider body heat in!

Finally, we got far enough west (and the sun got far enough up!) for us to ride in sunlight.

We hopped off to walk and thaw out our toes

I didn't want it to end.  I would cheerfully have kept riding this trail for another two or three weeks!

"Danger ears" as always, when crossing a bridge

green grass, blue skies...are we in Narnia?

As always, Fee is happy to test out the salad bar.

Side-by-side with her friend Sunny

Bev and Jetson walk the last quarter-mile to the parking area. 
Drag rider Guy Stratton took this photo.

Thanks for all the fun, John Wayners.  I hope to see y'all again next Spring!

Fee likes to go, but she was also happy to be home in her own pasture again.


  1. that tunnel, omg! No idea how my horse would deal with that, would love to try those. This was a great adventure, loved your posts. And my horse shares the same bridge railing suspicion as Fee, better keep an ear on it!

  2. So another year has gone when I've done my best to grow zucchini. This time, on the advice of a neighbor, buying super expensive "seedling" soil for our greenhouse.

    We have two enormous, rotted zucchini plants and one tiny zucchini, the size and shape of my middle finger.

    That's right - the species is giving me the finger for my efforts. I'm just letting the thing rot on the vine. I'm done: ( We did however get a handful of cherry tomatoes (a handful is something!) and after the drought, ZERO walnuts on trees that normally supply us and our neighbors and J's school and family....not a single walnut. Apples OK, eaten by birds, bees and our twin deer babies, and Mag and Bellis. If I can catch those before the animals, I bring them in and I've learned how to make authentic German Apfelpfannkuchen, apple pancakes, for J. With the spiral pattern of apple slices!

    But zuccini is a no-go, I won't waste my money and time again here. How sad!


    If I recall correctly the one I went in had a knick in it, so in the middle, you couldn't see the end. Am I mistaken?

    1. The Boylston Tunnel, which is west of the I90 trailhead, has a bend in it, so you can't see far into it, and certainly can't see the other side. Pretty dang dark.

      Zucchinis: if I give you precise instructions for growing zucchini (and other squashes, including giant pumpkins), will you follow them?


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