Here I am, smiling bravely so that Wally won't sense that I have gotten us lost. I'd hate for him to think that sage brush and wild mustard plants were on his dinner menu.
My sister Jill and I spent Memorial Day riding at Lake Perris. I know, it doesn't look much like an area that would be home to a huge lake and a boating marina, but trust me, it's there. Far, far in the distance. Otherwise the scenery is rather wide open and remote, as you can see by these photos. By the way, you'll have to forgive the lop-sided/off-kilter appearance of the pictures. It's not easy to snap a photo from the back of a moving horse... or so I've learned.My sister took this photo of Wally and me when I hopped off to examine the trail marker. More about that later.
Like all of our previous trail rides, this one contained several elements of calamity. To begin, my sense of direction-- or lack thereof-- had us headed up the wrong freeway, which is not a good thing in Southern California traffic. Adding to the silliness? I had just driven the exact same route to the exact same location-- Lake Perris-- with my trail riding buddy, Natalie, on Saturday. You'd think I'd remember how to get there 48 hours later, wouldn't you? My waywardness prevailed throughout our excursion when I blithely pointed at a trail marker and said to Jill, "Oh, let's head off that way." And then, 2 hours later, we had lost sight of our truck and trailer and every other sign of civilization. When we came upon a fresh carcass of a large snake (minus its gnawed-off head) we interpreted that as an omen. Perhaps it was time to start figuring out which trail to take to get back to our starting point. I mean, you know, the serenity and all that was nifty, but after a while we began to wonder if we were headed out of California. Fortunately, we found a trail marker that pointed west-- the direction back to the trailer-- and we gleefully took that path. Hence the smile upon my face!
Oh. And just so you know, even though Jill and I were quite ready to plop into the cab of the truck and head home, neither of our horses seemed particularly winded or tired. My sister's horse, Topper, is an off-the-track Thoroughbred who spends the first 15 minutes of every trail ride thinking that he's headed to the post at Santa Anita. Once he settles down he still out paces Wally at every gait. Wally has to do his western jog to keep up with Topper's long-strided walk. And he has to lope to stay alongside Topper when the big Thoroughbred is trotting. Yet after nearly 3 hours of riding, they both seemed quite willing to explore more territory. But that would have to wait for another day. Hopefully it'll be a day when I have a map of the trail system.
This is Jill and Topper, trying to decide if they're headed in the correct direction or if the Mexican border is just over the next hill.
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