Monday, January 23, 2012

Navigating to the Waterfall

I got up Friday morning to get ready to go to Ebenezer.  I got my stuff out - it takes a bunch to go horse camping!  Got out to the barn and pulled Biscuit up.  I loaded my stuff in the trailer.  I forgot a hat so ran home and got that.  Lee Ann P arrived around 10:00 or so and we loaded up the horses and off we went.  Had to stop to get a new plug for the lights - had a bad connector and the truck kept saying we didn't have lights!

We got up to Ebenezer and started setting up camp.  I put Rogue in the pen and Legato went in the other.  I tied Biscuit to a high tie pole and Lee Ann and I took the panels off of the trailer and put 4 together into a little pen for Biscuit.  He at least had a little grass - not much but some.  Lee-Ann B arrived an hour or so after we did.  The wind was blowing so hard we decided not to ride.  The park was FULL of gaited horses.  We ended up going to see the lady who used to ride competitive trail (she has 5,000 accredited competitive miles) and she had the maps this time!  Yay!!!  We really enjoyed our visit and she told me exactly how to ride a trot...turns out I am doing it RIGHT!!!  Yay!!

Saturday we got up and were waiting on Robin to join us and Margaret arrived!  I was thrilled to see her.  She had Cub.  Then Ray showed up and he came over and talked to us.  He had to put Knothead down in October - how sad.  He now has Snippy at his barn and Lee Ann P was asking how he was doing - Ray is training him now and he is doing just fine.  He just needed to be handled.

Legato was in heat and a little undone by Ray's little stud colt even though he was extremely well behaved.  So we didn't go with Ray and Robin went with him.

Took awhile for Legato to slow her motor down...she was right behind The Biscuit and he finally picked up his butt at her.  Lee Ann told me she was misbehaving and actually pushing Biscuit.  She calmed down just fine before we got to the Beaver Pond.  I stopped and put Biscuit's hoof boots on.  He seemed a little tender footed but I did trim him this week.  We got to the Beaver Pond and went behind it and The Lee Ann's were in front of me and Margaret.  Their horses went through just fine and Biscuit and Cub sunk some and Biscuit handled it fine.  Once I let him go pretty fast through it and gave him his head.  He did clonk my knee on a tree by the Beaver Pond so he didn't have to step in a puddle.  OMG he goes through water without hesitation on a stream yet wants to side step puddles.  We went over the trams and stopped at the big creek for water.  Biscuit stood in the water quiet and calm as could be.  We started trotting and trotted quiet a way going around 5 to 7 mph.  Heart rate was good.  We got to where we had been the last time Lee Ann and I were there and then set a waypoint for the waterfall.

Biscuit and me by the Waterfall

Lee-Ann and Rogue by the Waterfall

Lee Ann and Legato at the Waterfall

Denise & Biscuit at the Waterfall

Margaret and Cub at the Waterfall

Biscuit and Legato in their Taylored Tack at the Waterfall

The Waterfall

Biscuit at the Waterfall in his Taylored Tack and Allegany Mountain Trail Saddle

The Waterfall
Denise, Lee Ann P and Lee-Ann B with Rogue stopping for lunch

Biscuit, Cub and Margaret at Lunch in the Woods

Biscuit, Cub, Margaret, Lee Ann P, Rogue, Lee-Ann B and Legato's hinny

Legato in her functional Taylored Tack tied to a tree at lunch

Margaret, Lee Ann P and Lee-Ann B

Biscuit tied to a tree with his Taylored Tack

Chicken Pot Pie in the Dutch Oven

Are they ready yet?

Not quiet ready...a little longer

Brownies in the Dutch Oven for dessert

Are they done yet?

The right amount of coals gets the job done!
We went bushwhacking them through the forest.  Some trails petered out and we were just going by the headings the Garmins were giving.  We went in some sweeping arcs that are obviously to get around boggy creeks.  We went down a ravine and found a place to cross a little creek - had a incline the horses had to go up and a low tree.  I now have tree burn on the right side of my neck along with 5 scratches from thorns on my left elbow area.  I told Lee Ann I was attacked by a cougar, bit on the neck, clawed on the arm and Biscuit then stomped it to death.  LOL  felt like that anyway.

Biscuit was calm and collected on the ride no matter what.  Forward when asked.  We stopped to eat our Lunchables and Biscuit ate some of the crackers.  I took his reins off and clipped them to his halter ring and tied him to a tree.  The Taylored Tack is amazing.  We kept going sometime opposite of the direction we needed but always moving towards the waterfall.  Some on trails some on no trail.  We crossed a little slough and into trees - the helmet helps but we crossed another little one that Biscuit drank out of and I was standing up in the saddle leaning far back to keep upright and I guess my knee opened the clip of my pink water holder that held my Garmin, camera, compass, toilet paper and stuff.  It came off when Biscuit crossed the water and fell.  Lee Ann saw it fall and I got off and got it.  I would have had a fit if I had lost my Garmin!

We took off again going across a road and zig zagging around...getting closer and closer to the waterfall waypoint.  We were standing on the side of a hill with lots of downed trees and we could see the water of the lake.  I looked to my left and saw a sand bar and I said "there it is - there is the waterfall!!!"  Lee Ann P and Margaret could hear it - we had to zig and zag across trees and up a little way then down a steep hill, around a very tight corner around a tree that bordered a little water crossing and then up the hill and look back on the waterfall!!!  Wow!!!  We found it with our Garmins and marked the waypoint.

The GPS coordinates for the waterfall is N 31 degrees 05.097 W094 degrees 09.096

We took pictures and just marveled that we found it using the Garmins - woot!  We are pumped!!! We took off again and passed the Pet Cemetery and up onto the road.  Down the road and then into the woods.  We went down and then got off the trail to bushwhack.  It was boggy and Margaret made it across and we were looking for a place to cross and found one and got to go a little further but had to stop.  We found another place to return back to but not the one we had come over on.  It was too mushy after 3 horses went over.  I got off and led Biscuit across in case he bogged down.  We walked up to a trail and I straddled Biscuit over a log and mounted.  He backed up over the log and turned around to go like a good boy.  Margaret was still on the other side and we went down the trail until we crossed a creek and there she was.  We continued on the trail crossing little sloughs and puddles.  We got back to Ebenezer after riding 14 miles.  Woot!!!  What a ride.  The horses were doing terrific.  Biscuit was sweaty and dirty but he was relaxed.  I took his tack off and gave him alfalfa which he was thrilled to get.  We gave Cub alfalfa for being our lead horse for quit a bit of the ride and he was a happy camper.

I rubbed Biscuit down with my little purple towel - his hair was standing on end!!!  I cleaned out his pen and gave him regular hay after he ate.   Lee Ann P made chicken and dumplin's in the Dutch Oven and they were terrific.  We had mango daiquiris in the little foil pouch that I bought from HEB.  We sat around the camp fire and visited.  It was a so relaxing.

I spoke to Barry and found out he had fallen on Sarge.  I am glad I wasn't there to see it - I would have had a cow.

Sunday we decided not to ride as it was threatening rain.  We tore down our camp and packed up.  It takes a little while but is so worth it.  We ate at The Stump and headed home. 

I rinsed Biscuit off when I got him home...he was filthy and OMG he had a HUGE tick on his neck under his mane.  It wasn't there Tuesday when I did his feet - I groomed him all over.  I pulled it off and stepped on it.  Gag.  I hate ticks.

My purple cantle bag Dev and Kristen gave me busted the zipper again and I couldn't get it back together.  I called the company on Monday and they are replacing it!  Woot!!! 

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