Archives for February 2014

Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014 – Second Fabulous Ride at McKinney Roughs

After a not-so-great night sleep, Hubby and I were raring to go riding again this morning. After a quick blueberry pancake breakfast, the horses leaped into the trailer and off we went. Miraculously, we only hit two red lights on the entire 50-minute trip, which has to be a new record! Arrived at the 71 trailhead, which already have half a dozen vehicles in the parking area, with at least 3 or 4 other horse trailers, with riders saddling up, round-penning, then heading out. We quickly got the horses ready and followed suit. Our goal was to try to finish off as many of the trails that we had missed on our previous ride as possible. I had programmed a route in my GPS that would pretty much do the trick, so we got started, out White Tail, right on Bobcat Ridge, right on Riverside for a short jaunt to Bluestem, north to Coyote Road, then a couple of loops round Deep Sandy and Pecan Bottom (which took us past a huge 200 year old pecan tree, as well as past the Hyatt Lost Pines golf course), then a fairly steep climb us Buckeye. We were actually cantering up the hill (horses' choice) when we ran into our first riders of the day, naturally, on a narrow stretch of trail with a steep drop on one side. We didn't seem them coming, so we almost ran into them on a corner, but after one of the guy's mule kicked back at Apollo (he missed), they found a spot to pull over and we passed them by. Finally reached the top of the long hill, and rested for a few minutes admiring a pretty nice view by a picnic table that was on a short spur off the main trail. Buckeye ran into Road Runner, which we then took south back to the section of Coyote Road which we had been on yet, and that took us back to the other end of Bobcat Ridge and back onto White Tail to the trailhead. What a great ride! About 8.25 miles in all, took us a little over three hours including several stops along the way. There was a beautiful overlook along Bluestem where we tied up the horses on the fence and walked up, to see a great view of the Lower Colorado River. Just after we moved on from there, we discovered a picnic table and hitching post just north, which would've been a good place to stop had we gone just a bit further. The loops near the Hyatt Lost Pines were gorgeous, with most of the trails being dirt, and looking like they had a lot of traffic, so I suspect there is an equestrian concessionaire at or near the Hyatt. Lots of grass in that area as well, which looked gorgeous. This day had so much variety, from down by the river to up in the hills, dirt trails to rocky roads, quiet places to others loud with traffic. Highly recommended, though as I mentioned before, $12 per person/horse, so $24 for the day, a lot when you're not even camping, but that's the way Texas does things. Lower taxes overall, but higher user fees for those that partake, which seems fair enough. While I appreciate free horse camping in New York State, I wouldn't want to be a taxpayer there! In any event, it was a great day! Stopped at Walmart on the way back, arrived home just at the far end of dusk, got the horses fed and put away before total darkness, and we settled down for the night, exhausted but delighted with the day!

Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 – Ride at Turkey Bend and Last B-Ball Day

Got up early because we decided we could fit in a bunch of errands as well as a ride today before heading out to my niece's last basketball game of the season. By making a big circle around to Marble Falls, I found a park on Turkey Bend, one of the many recreation areas created when they dammed up the Colorado River to make Lake Travis, under the control of the Lower Colorado River Authority. After stops at Carquest, Radio Shack and Walmart, we headed out to Turkey Bend, put our check in the honor box and headed down to the lake. It didn't take long to saddle the horses and put their boots on, though this will probably be the last time I can fit them on without trimming them again, and we headed out. Hubby and I got into a disagreement about which direction to take, as there was no trail map and not marked trails, and even though I had a plan for covering the whole park, I held my tongue and let him take the lead. As a result we got lost and ended up only covering about a quarter of the park, most of it on one utility road that we ended up having to come back on as well (not a fan of linear trails), though we did manage to get down to the lake so the horses could get a drink before we rushed them into the trailer. Most of the trails were hard packed dirt and sand, with some sections of road quite rocky and gravel-ly. Pretty much the same kind of terrain as Pace Bend, a big hilly above the water line. The lake is incredibly low, and most of the boathouses across the water were way above the current water line, some sort of toppling sideways. Lots of stairs that ended way above the water line as well. They sure could use some rain! Anyway, other than the tension of getting lost, it was a nice ride We were running much later than I had hoped, but managed to arrive at the game with about 5 minutes to spare. Our team won, yeah! With one more quick stop on the way home, we got back before 8:00, got everyone tucked in, and had a quiet evening.