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!!


  1. Is that you there looking back riding bareback?

    Wow. It's so beautiful there and so rugged and ungroomed. Do you have stinging nettles to worry about, too? How are the bugs?
    I've heard scary stories about the flies and skeeters up your way.

    Your speed of riding is just my style, too.
    So, you'll be doing a CTR afterall? Is it an ACTHA CTR or ran by another organization?

    Wish we had some of that rain. It hasn't rained her since last summer. It's so dry and dusty.

    I'd love to visit Alaska and ride with you some day.
    One of our fellow blogger friends will be moving up your way very soon actually. Do you know of Joceyln and Star? They just started competing in Endurance rides and I'm sure they are hoping there will be some good trail rides to go on, with other like minded folks to connect and ride with, too.


  2. Sigh, I miss AK when I see pics like that (With the sun out!) Did you get my e-mail on how to make soap? You did ask for it right? I'm getting confused.

  3. Lisa - That's Lyssa on her horse Handy. Neither one of them like saddles.

    Yes to stinging nettles and a plant called Devil's Club. Bugs are not too bad this time of year. I usually wear a hat sprayed with 100% DEET and they leave me alone.

    The CTR is sanctioned by NATRC. It's similar to ACTHA but longer. Check out for details.

    All blogger friends have a standing invitation to come ride with me.

    There are no endurance rides here but lots of people to ride with.

    Krissy - yes and yes. However, all my goats have been placed in "foster" homes until I can get my property fixed for sheep and goats. I have access to milk but probably not in the quantity I need.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous. Someday I want to come up to ride. I can't imagine dragging my own horses that far north, but you never know. I bet someone would provide me one :)
    Gorgeous pics, just gorgeous.

  5. All I can say is gorgeous!!! Someday...we'll get to ride up there. Yes, it's so sad as the day's begin to get shorter...we're enjoying it as much as possible!

  6. I never thought about the summer solstice as the saddest day, but I completely agree that the winter solstice is the happiest! Every year I celebrate having made it through another dark gloomy winter.

    It's so crazy lush and green up there. Everything growing as fast as it possibly can. Watch out for bears - eeeargh. :(