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!!