I really love looking at everybody’s trail ride photos. All those ear pictures! All the different places, some so unlike where I live. It may be my favorite part of reading horse blogs. Every time I see ear photos I feel as if I’m going on a ride with the blogger. So here’s a winter ride for you guys. A short pleasant ride along my local trails here in the hills by California’s Monterey Bay. My regular “go to” ride. Nothing too spectacular, nothing too difficult. Come with Sunny and me through the redwood forest, across the creek, and up to the top of the hill to see the view. The whole ride takes a little less than two hours. (I am no endurance rider!) Pretty much the entire thing takes place on singletrack dirt trail that is seldom used. We rarely see other riders and hikers—maybe one ride out of half a dozen we meet someone. Its pretty solitary. Very barefoot friendly (Sunny is barefoot). So here we go.
Off through the redwood forest. Its pretty dark down here under the big trees. The temp is in the 60’s, so its not too chilly. I’m wearing a light vest and I’m comfortable. Sunny is wearing his winter coat—as you can see by his fuzzy ears. You can also see lots of downed limbs from a recent winter wind storm.
Now we are going down to the creek. Passing between two big redwoods—you can see the creek in the bottom of the gully (its pretty low right now, due to a dry winter) and the trail going up the other side.
Headed uphill through the forest. Light ahead. Some of my photos are a little blurry—sorry. I have not yet mastered taking sharp “ear photos” from a moving horse, and all of these were taken as we marched down the trail.
Still going uphill. Its getting misty as we get closer to the ocean. Right about here I saw a deer, but was not quick enough to get her photo. We see many wild animals on these rides. Deer, bobcats, coyotes, foxes. Not to mention squirrels and rabbits and all the little guys of the woods. Fortunately Sunny is not bothered by such critters, even if they emerge suddenly from the underbrush. We have the same assortment of wild animals at home, so he sees them regularly.
Getting near the top of the hill. Things are opening up. We’re almost at the place we call “the Lookout”.
Now we’re there. Its very misty today out over the ocean. Not much view to see.
But since we are here on the computer, rather than riding in real life, I can show you the view on another winter day. Here’s the same view on a clear day last January. That’s the Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz in the distance.
OK, now we’re headed home. Taking a different way back, through more open scrubby country, populated by oaks rather than redwoods. Tired of the deep shade under the big trees. This is a stretch where we often trot or lope, so I’m putting the camera away. (You'll just have to imagine us loping along--which we did--my skills are not up to making videos yet.)
Hope you enjoyed the brief winter tour of my local trails. We’ve had a mild winter and I’ve been able to ride a lot. As you can see, the trails have been dry. Around here, winter is the green grass season. The grass will be bleached gold in the late spring and summer, and brown by autumn.
I can access these trails by riding right out my front gate, so this is one of my regular rides. Its been featured in several of my novels, including "Barnstorming", due out this spring. If you read the book, you'll be able to picture the trails pretty well, after reading this post.
Its always so much fun for me to see the country that others ride through-- I thought I’d return the favor. Now we’re ready for a glass of whisky by the fire, after our pleasant winter ride.