Monday, June 28, 2010

Wild Horse Annie is STILL mad at the beavers!

It's worse......much worse. The beavers have extended the dam along one of our trails and the flooding is taking out a trail junction that has been our main river crossing for years. Christy decided to take matters into her own hands after our last ride. She pulled out enough of the dam to create an outflow. We knew the beavers would just rebuild it but hoped that with the pressure of all the water it would at least drop the pond level some. Nope....made it worse.

It is three weeks until our Bald Mountain Butt Buster CTR. The trails have been tentatively set and the goal this week is to finish getting accurate mileage. On the weekend of the 10th and 11th we will have a dress rehearsal with the point and drag riders.

I had dentals done on both horses this weekend. What a difference! Now I feel so bad that I didn't have them done sooner. There are only a few vets in our area and only one who has a special interest in dental work. He is recovering from shoulder surgery and has been unwilling to do dentals. So this week he brought in a woman who has 13 years experience. I've been waiting for a spot in one of her clinics for two years. She was very patient in answering all my questions and letting me put my hands in the horses' mouths to feel just what was going on. I must have the best horses in the world because even with points, hooks and prows of ships in their mouths they have been willing to do anything I have asked. Can't wait to see how they act now!

The theme song this week has been Rain, rain go away. Typical gray, rainy Alaska week. Farmers are doing the no rain dance because it is time for first cut and there hasn't been 5 days in a row with no rain. I'm down to my last seven bales of hay. I do not want to buy outside hay but may be forced to.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I have been anticipating this 100th post since it seems to be a milestone for so many bloggers. However I couldn't think of a subject "worthy" of my 100th post. And it seems as though there is much sadness in the lives of several of the bloggers I follow.

So I thought I'd just post a picture and tell everyone who reads about my adventures in Alaska how cool it is that people who don't know me read about the things I do. If you want, post a comment and tell me how reading about my life in the last frontier has changed your perception of Alaska. Can't promise a prize but you never know!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Least Favorite Day of The Year

This is typical of this summer - black clouds and sprinkly rain. Our ride in celebration of my least favorite day of the year started out this way. The group dithered about riding on the mountain. We've had three days of good soaking rain. It's great for the hay crops but bad for the footing on the mountain trails. Our CTR is in 30 days though so we needed to be sure the trails were clearly marked for riding.

We increased the parking at my under construction shop and lost my arena in the process. However, we can park more rigs there now and since ride camp is 660 yards from here it makes a good starting point.

There were seven of us riding Sunday - two young horses, four seasoned trail horses and one I had not ridden with before. I'll tell you right now I'm picky about who I ride with. My mare is a great judge of character and lets me know her opinion.

The trailboss for the CTR had bushwhacked a new river crossing so the first thing we did was cut moose browse and saplings to create a trail. Then we hauled a log out of the river to make the crossing easier for the Novice horses.

Then we headed up the mountain. At the cabin the younger horse's riders opted for a shorter ride and turned left to run up the Aspen trail. Our group of five then turned right and went out East Baldy.

I've been trying to figure a way to post the map of our trails. Even google earth doesn't show them and I'd really like you to be able to see the scope of where we ride. I'll get it figured out soon.

Our day cleared off to be sunny and nice. The trails were rather slippery and Voosh had trouble negotiating some of the hills. She almost fell a couple of times but managed to scramble her way up. It was good for her though. At the top of the picture above you can see a shiny strip - that's Knik Inlet. The little white dot in the middle is Poka. That's with no zoom.

That's zoomed. I had the GPS with me and forgot to check elevations at this point. Christy and Lyssa are on a trail called Mary and we are checking out the loop called Secret. This time it WAS a secret as we got lost a couple of times bushwacking through ferns that were wither high to the horses. Did I need to remind you that this is bear country?

We rode to the end of our mountain trail system, joined Christy and Lyssa and headed back down the mountain.

The whole ride was 14.8 miles with a moving time of 5 hours and 15 minutes, average 2.8 mph. It was a little slower than our normal 3.0 due to the footing on the mountain.

Oh yeah....the title of my post? It's Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Sunrise at 4:21 am, sunset at 11:42 pm, and dusk inbetween. Ninteen hours of daylight! Wait! The downside? The days get shorter, starting tonight, until my favorite day of the year Winter Solstice when there's only 4 hours of daylight but the daylight hours start to increase!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What A Difference......

Remember this? It's the view down my driveway in December. I posted it in the blog about watering the horses.

This is the after! Check out the time stamp. One minute after 11 PM! If it wasn't so cloudy right now it would be this light an hour later. The sun actually doesn't set in the same place each season. In the winter picture you can see the sun is shining from the south. In May the sun actually sets behind those mountains.

I've been remiss in posting. It's not that there has been nothing to post about - I have been so busy with riding, Rally Days and the Colony Days Parade not to mention that I have three crews working now.

Colony Days celebrates the time when people moved to Alaska at the request of the government during the Dust Bowl time. It was 75 years ago that the colonists first came to Palmer. Colony Days is a three day celebration with a big farmer's market, a farm family of the year, bed races, rail hand cart races and lots of other things including a parade. This year there were 91 parade entries. Our 4-H club (Winner's Circle) decided that we wanted to participate. So I hauled the 24' flatbed trailer to Palmer and we decorated it. Then all the petting zoo animals rode on the float and the alpaca, donkey and horse walked behind it. The kids had a blast and they all want to do it again next year. Our position in the parade? 90. We were next to the last. But we staged close to the beginning of the parade and were able to see the entire thing!


I was hoping that I would be able to post about a Guiness World Record attempt for the ACTHA ride. Unfortunately the person putting on the ride in Alaska bailed so there was no official ride here. We rode though and scored ourselves on the ride. Another 10 mile ride on mostly the same trail but counterclockwise on the loop instead of clockwise.

The weather here has been cloudy, rainy and COLD! We had fresh snow on the mountains yesterday morning.

Now I need to do some work in the office so I can go play some more.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lions and Tigers and.....

Picture isn't that good since I swiped it off my friend's Facebook page. Bear couldn't decide if it wanted sheep, goat, horse or ..... when my friend's husband shot it. Her middle child was standing right where this bear was about 5 minutes before.

Mikey, want to swap bears for snakes?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


are about all I see on our rides since I ride drag.

From my APHA log for Ride America:

May 21 - 1 hour (by myself, a huge accomplishment for me)
May 23 - 2 hours with my husband
May 26 - 1.5 hours with Briar
May 28 - 3.5 hours with friends bushwacking new trails because of beavers
May 30 - 4.5 hours with friends
May 31 - 5.5 hours with friends on the mountain!

On the Memorial Day ride I remembered the GPS. These details are for Funder. I didn't mark waypoints, just the whole ride all together.

10.8 miles, 3 hours 38 minutes moving time, 3.0 average speed, elevation change from 516' to 1008' in about 3 miles

I saddled Vooshka at 10:30 and left my place at 10:45 am to meet up with my friends Nancy and Katie. I rode to the river just upstream from the beaver dam where we bushwacked a new trail to get around those pesky beavers. Nancy and Katie weren't there yet so I dismounted, undid one end of the reins and let Voosh drink. Silly horse stepped on her reins and busted her headstall. Because I carry a lot of stuff in my trail bags, I was able to fashion a repair and continue my ride.

This is the view up the mountain from where we had lunch. My friend Wild Horse Annie's dad lives here.

Headed back down the mountain.

Just after crossing the Little Susitna River. Can you believe tank tops on Memorial Day in Alaska?

Check out the background in the picture above. That water to the right of Nancy just past the spit is the beaver dam. It is so bad now we may lose that river crossing. Six adult beavers were trapped this winter but I don't think we made any progress in getting rid of them.

Hopefully this is the beginning of a wonderful summer of riding. I'll keep you posted.