Wednesday, August 19, 2020 – First Ride at Hocking

Hey Darlin’,
After getting to bed late, I slept well, gave Lola some satin balls with breakfast, planned a route to ride some trails that I missed when we were here last year, then saddled up Flash and headed out about noon. I’d forgotten how pretty this forest is, lots of escarpments and caves and creeks and waterfalls, though most weren’t flowing with water at this time of the year. I took one trail, the pink trail (though the markers looked more purple) which was marked challenging. I remember I took the easier part of it last year, but today I took the truly challenging section, which they mark by adding a black strip to the pink mark. There were a few dicey spots, not the worst I’ve seen (the North Dakota Badlands come to mind!), but still it was a good trial for Flash, and he did wonderfully! There was less mud than last year, but still plenty, and because of that I decided not to put his boots on, but, of course, that meant he was more tentative on the gravel sections, but it couldn’t be helped. I did NOT want to waste time searching for boots today, and with some of the sharp dropoffs so many of the trails have here, they were liable to go over the side, never to be seen again. But he handled it well, and there really wasn’t that much. I went out to Parachute Rock, past White Falls (no water that I could see), around Red Rock, and out to Crystal Falls (again, no water). All told it was just 10 miles when we got back to camp, just about 3 hours. It was a beautiful day, gorgeous weather with not a cloud in the sky, and cooler than it’s been. Supposed to get down in the low to mid-50′ tonight! Anyway, got back rinsed off Flash and Lola, who was equally muddy from flattening herself into every muddy puddle she came across, then settled down in the screen room for awhile. I decided to do a long overdue job, and spent some time refashioning one of the human safety vests into a Lola-sized vest. She’s been dragging the other one around, I thought I would custom fit one for her, and it seems to have worked, but I’ll know better after the next trail ride if it doesn’t fall off! That took some time. When I finished, I fed the horses, gave Lola dinner and a couple of satin balls (I gave her one as soon as we got back from the ride, and it encouraged her to finish her breakfast, which she had left from this morning), grilled a nice Angus burger for myself, and settled down to a couple more ST Voyagers. By now, as usual, it’s time for shower and bed! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

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