Archives for August 2011

Tuesday, August, 30, 2011 – Errand and Blog Catchup Day

Hubby ran errands while I got caught up on my blog and other office duties today. Looking forward to our ride tomorrow!

Monday, August, 29, 2011 – Short Ride Day

Took a short ride after breakfast, exploring the Shady and Independence River Trails. We were delighted and surprised to discover that there is an RV dump behind the bathhouse on the road leaving the campground! What a relief that is, knowing I don’t have to start searching for a place to stop on what promises to be an already long day of driving next week. The trail turned out to be much rockier than we expected, and unfortunately we had gotten so spoiled with the great footing around here that we didn’t have the horse boots with us, so we just had to plow through it all. Very interesting trail, though, narrower and bit more challenging than any we’ve been on thus far. Nowhere near as muddy as one would expect considering the all-day rain yesterday. Not surprisingly, the Independence River was running fast and furious after the rain, but since we’d never been there before we couldn’t really compare it to what would be “usual.” Only out about two hours or so, just enough the get the horses stretched out. They seemed more reluctant than on previous rides here, I don’t know if that was because of the rocks or because they haven’t been ridden four times in a week in a long, LONG time. Glad it was only a short ride, tomorrow they’ll have off again, perhaps by Wednesday they’ll be ready for another long ride. Great day, though! “No hour is ever wasted on the back of a horse,” Ronald Reagan, borrowed from Winston Churchill.

Sunday, August 28, 2011 – "Hurricane" Day

After much ado about the hurricane coming in (Ranger, “It’s the size of Europe!”), it started to drizzle around 6:15 this morning. No noticeable wind, just a light drizzle that kept up all day and evening. A few trees swayed in the middle of the afternoon, but less than if it had been a decent thunderstorm. No limbs down, I think I saw a couple of leaves go by with one gust. Other than that, just a nice rainy Sunday. Sorry for all the folks who lost their electricity and had damage, but by the time it got here it was gentle as a lamb, and glad for it. Horses had a nice day off, and so did we, watching movies most of the day, after I got some paperwork and logistical stuff done in preparation for the upcoming busy month of September. Needed a rainy day like this anyway!

Saturday, August 27, 2011 – Lunch and Hurricane Irene Prep Day

Got up a bit earlier today to go for that longer ride we were planning. Discovered that a bunch of people were packing up to leave because of the impending “hurricane” that was headed our way. As a veteran of several hurricanes and many frenzied-forecaster false alarms, I was much more inclined to downplay it. Even the local forecasters here were calling for winds around 25 mph with gusts of maybe upper 30’s, along with the usual rain. Having easily survived 60-70 mph winds in Colorado, we’re not worried. The ranger came around though, with all kinds of dire warnings. Apparently all the state parks in the Catskills and Adirondacks were being evacuated, but since this isn’t a state park they can’t make us move. He warned that if electricity went out there would be no water and no telling when it would be turned back on. He said we probably wouldn’t be able to get to Providence, even after Labor Day, because of all the roads and bridges that were going to be washed out by the hurricane, or blocked by trees falling down. He told stories of what happened when a microburst of winds came through back in 1999 and all the devastation it caused. Even our friends decided to leave early, worried that it might get bad, and the trails would be too muddy to ride on anyway (even though we had been earlier regaled at how well the trails dry up here after a rain!). I made it clear that we weren’t worried, we could handle ourselves, though we appreciated his need to warn others for their safety. He ended up telling me where the nearest access to the river was, in case we needed to bucket water in. Anyway, after all that, we saddled up and headed out for our much anticipated Saturday ride, enjoying the fabulous weather, mostly sunny around 70 degrees (calm before the storm?) We headed out the much used Blue Jog Trail, turned south on Confusion Flats, the east of Florence Pond until we picked up Florence Trail heading southeast. From there we took Crooked Creek Trail, where we were delighted to find not just one but TWO water crossings, which was so funny because earlier in the ride I had commented to Hubby how we hadn’t done a water crossing in a LONG time. They were good ones, too, belly-high and about 6-8 lengths wide. I had to draw my feet up to keep my new sheepskin saddle cover (which reaches all the way down to the stirrups) dry.

Friday, August 26, 2011 – Another Fabulous Ride Day

Finally had a good night sleep, slept until 9:30, thank goodness! Even had a few hours of really deep sleep, which I desperately needed. I feel more rested than I have in weeks. After a leisurely breakfast and a few chores, we saddled up and headed out about 1:30. There are so many trails here, the combinations are practically endless. We headed south on Twin Ponds, then Glendale, then Hiawatha, then Florence Pond, then I can’t remember where, but everywhere we went was wonderful! The only part that got a bit too muddy was along Icicle Trail, but while I was riding my brother called to wish me a belated birthday, so I hardly noticed it, Apollo just kept trudging along like the trooper he is! Along Aspen Trail we found a gorgeous pond with a hitching rail where we stopped for a short break. We’ve been doing a lot of trotting and cantering, as the trails really allow us to, and the horses seemed quite willing after their long hiatus. Another ten miles or so today, getting us back around 4:45. Finally had a relaxing evening, watching a PVR movie before calling it a night. Plans are to get up early and ride to a trailside restaurant south of the wilderness area. We’ve been told it will take about four hours of riding total, plus the break for lunch, so we want to get an early start.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 – Rainy Work Day

Spent the day really trying to get caught up, though the morning was wasted trying to help Hubby get a satellite signal, which he did even as it rained outside. He keeps getting a reading about the switch not working, but he finally gave up around noon, then headed out to do some running around, including getting our own adapter for the silly water spigot. While he was gone I got LOTS of work done (amazing how that happens : -)! which made me feel better after I was able to know out a couple of major projects done that had been bugging me. Finally managed to feel a bit more relaxed. Even though the campground is very crowded, it’s still quiet enough for me to start feeling more relaxed, though I’m still not sleeping as well as I usually do. Hoping to do better tonight, now that I have a few less things on my mind! Though it rained in the morning, it cleared up late in the day, and the weather forecast is for a couple of beautiful days ahead. There’s a hurricane (Irene) sliding up the east coast, but we’re so far inland, and on the far side of the mountains, that I don’t see it being much of an event here. Maybe a bit of rain on Sunday, but that’s about it. That’s good, because the horses will need a day off by then!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 – Birthday and Fabulous Ride Day

After spending several hours unsuccessfully trying to get a satellite signal (the trees are too tall for this latitude), while I tried to make some headway with the business paperwork I needed to get caught up on, we finally headed out on our first ride, my birthday ride. It was lovely! The trail were almost all dirt or sand, very little stone, excellent footing for our barefoot horses, and only a few patches of mud despite the many days of rain they’ve had here lately. A very, very nice ride. Did some of the nearer loops, went maybe ten miles all told, didn’t want to overwork the horses considering they’ve pretty much been sitting around for almost three weeks now. Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! Got back and joined our friends for cocktail hour, then they invited us to join them for dinner, apparently they had spearfished some grouper not long before in Florida and had brought some with them. Delicious! In fact, they let me take leftovers, which I was happy to have, saves me cooking tomorrow night! A very nice day overall, but still exhausted from the past month. Not getting the sleep I need for some reason, keep waking up, probably because I’ve gotten so far behind with all the activities we’ve been doing and the jobs we’ve been getting that it’s bothering me. Just need to get caught up I guess! One of these days…

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 – Travel day to Otter Creek, NY

Got up pretty early, knowing we had a long day ahead of us. The actual drive was only about three hours, but we had a bunch of stops to make so we knew it would take a lot longer. First stop was a campground near Wolcott so that we could dump, then we were set to go to a propane place I had found, but was told the only guy who could fill our tanks was out for the week, but she recommended a place call the 104 Store (after the route it was on). Turns out they had a dinere, so we had a nice breakfast with what tasted like real range fed eggs, maybe even locally produced bacon (one nice thing about this area I had forgotten about was how much everyone supported local farmers, everyone has a farm stand here). They also had the cheapest price I’ve seen on diesel in weeks, so I filled up the truck as well. Topped off both propane tanks, too, so in less than an hour we got just about everything accomplished. Our last stop was at the Target north of Syracuse. Hubby had bought a Kindle at a Target on our way home from the airport the other day, but we bought the Wi-Fi only version. After having some trouble hooking up to a nearby wi-fi, he decided it would be better to get the upgraded wi-fi-3G version, which we did at the Target. We also did some more shopping, and finally walked next door to a Price Chopper to get the last of our groceries before we carried on to horse camp at Otter Creek, which we had heard about from so many people we had high expectations. The folks we met at Six Nations in July were going to be here as well, and we ran into them as we came into camp. There are three different camping areas nearby each other, and as there wasn’t really room for us in the one they were in, we moved to the next one that backed up to their’s and found someone just leaving from a perfect spot in a corner. Covered horse stalls were spread out around the camping area, and a pile of sand as bedding was deposited nearby. We found a water spigot at the back of the stalls, plenty close enough for us to reach with our shorter hoses, but unfortunately it had a stupid spigot on it that didn’t fit a hose, rather it was threaded on the inside. Fortunately, one of the other campers here had an adapter he let us borrow so that we could fill up our water tank. We got the horses settled in, got ourselves settled in, spent a little time socializing with our friends (I even had a glass or two of wine!), before heading off to bed after a long exhausting day.

Monday, August 22, 2011 – Four Compass Points… Done!

Our last item on our checklist for our trip here was to finish off getting the horses’ feet wet in the four water borders of the USA. Having done the Atlantic on Assateague Island in Oct. 2009, the Pacific in several places along the Oregon and California beaches during 2010, and the Gulf of Mexico on Padre Island near Corpus Christi, TX in December 2010, we finally finished off it off by taking the horses out to Chimney Bluffs along Lake Ontario. It’s changed a lot since I grew up here, much of the original parking area has been swept away by the waves, and the bluffs have eroded dramatically over the years, leaving a much less dramatic landscape than I remember as a kid. They’ve made it into a State Park, so naturally they’ve civilized it, with stairs up the trail and a fence along the edge where we used to climb, with warning signs about NOT climbing. Government sure knows how to take the fun out of everything for the guise of “safety.” Regardless, we did take the horses along the beach, though we couldn’t go very far, as the rocks and downed trees made it difficult to get around. The wind was strong so the lake was pretty rough, which didn’t make the horses very happy, but it wasn’t as bad as some of the seas we’ve seen, and they eventually settled down. They’ve been cooped up in a paddock for so long, I think they were just glad to be out somewhere, anywhere! Point is, we rode along the beach, finished off our goal of going to all four borders, and now we can check that one off the bucket list! On the way back, we stopped at a Perry’s Dairy Store (they make fantastic ice cream!) and got ourselves a cone on the way back. Did a few more chores in preparation for tomorrow, and hit the hay early, with the alarm on.

Sunday, August 21, 2011 – Prep Day

As we figured, the day was busy getting ready to leave, getting the RV clean, picking fleas off the dogs, hooking up the horse trailer to the van and everything else that needed doing. This has been a great stay, but we’ve been here too long, our gypsy ways are too strong and we’re desperate to get into a horse camp and go riding. Seems like forever since we’ve gone riding!  Here’s a couple of pix of what our “backyard” has been for the last five weeks.  Nice folks, been great the whole time despite our crazy schedule, hope to see them again next year!