Bill told you about the llamas ... or llammers, as Ranger calls them. Jesse and I had more fun with the "trail"; a trail that obviously had not been ridden since the last time we rode it, over a year ago. A lot can happen to trails around here in a year's time, especially when a winter is included! One of our favorite passtimes is the 'cleaning/clearing' of trails, so how fun it was to find one at the END of summer.
Just at the toe of my right boot, you will see the beginnings of a trail ... honest, it's there.
Less than 15 ft. along the trail and you can see how overgrown it has gotten; the aspen leaves were a magnificent color and I love the sound when they touch you as you.
Next, we practice weaving between trees, some of the spaces not much wider than a certain horse's plump behind. (Are you listening, Mrs. Mom, if you think Luten has weight issues?)
A look ahead at the next obstacle (enlarge the pic by clicking on it, then describe what you see past my right shoulder) totally blocking the trail. Upon closer inspection, it was obvious we could climb to our right and cross more deadfall ... or go left down a steep embankment into the dry creek bed, but I couldn't see what the terrain looked like to climb back out of the creek. So......
... up and around we go, letting Jesse pick her own way. Bill thought she was going to high-center herself in a couple of places, but I trust that horse implicitly in these situations - her balance and strength are remarkable.
After we were back down on the trail, I chanced a look over my shoulder. Wow!
Bill and Ranger going the same way. Bill actually admitted he had to grab a handful of mane; yep, the angle is right. It was close to a 45 degree climb, but then these Mustangs think they are related to mountain goats, anyway.
Over the deadfall, and back down. Easy as pie. We did learn a thing or two from GunDiva a few years ago, though. If you are going to ride bareback, DON'T polish your horse first. When you come to things like this you cannot keep from sliding right off!
After "the tree", we descended down into the dry creek at the correct crossing and headed back up the opposite hill, just to encounter some really pokey stuff, which the horses stepped around and over with the finesse of their breed. At one point we had to step through a grouping of four slimmer trees, laying across the trail, about a foot high and only about two feet between each. Talk about working poles, these could easily break a leg if not done well. I was disappointed my picture came out too blurry. Probably because my hand was shaking thinking of a misstep, but I should know better. These guys won't go somewhere they think is too dangerous to their welfare.
At the top of the trail, in the middle of the National Forest, is this cute cabin. Boy, couldn't we all just live there for a time? Just threw this in to make you drool.
Finally, back on the road to home. Wait ...
We need to say good-bye to our new llama, llama friends. Jesse would have walked right up and touched noses with this guy, but I was afraid she would then snort at him and he would retaliate by spitting back ... and I would be the end recipient of that spray!
Ranger to the rescue - scaring the nasty male, stud llama away. Look at the llama's ears; he is very disgusted at that "other" llama that keeps appearing on the other side of the fence. We do love your ears, Ranger.
Juanita and I went for a couple hour bareback ride yesterday and headed to a trail head we hadn't been to this summer. The aspen leaves are just starting to change in earnest, and even though we were heading down a dirt road, it was beautiful.
Juanita and Jesse seem to have the same look on their faces.
It's like they are waiting for me to fall off my horse while taking pictures, or something.
There was motion just off the road, and Ranger and Jesse went on alert.
"Look Beel! What are they?"
Those are llamas, Ranger
"I think they scare me, Beel."
"Let's leave, Beel."
"Is this close enough, Beel?"
"Look Beel! The llammers are running away!"
"They all runned away from me!"
"Wow Beel! All of the llammers runned off! I must be very brave and strong!"
Yes Ranger, you are.
"Beel, did you notice how ugly them llammers are? Have you ever seed such goofy ears?"
Finally, after three years of begging, planning, scheming ....
So you want a shed?
Laying out 'the plan'
Load me up!
The three Musketeers? Concentration....
The Kid worked building pole barns for a couple years, so when it comes to chopping off posts, he was the expert.
Moved to the corral - taking shape ...
What twist in the beam - I'll just put a little weight on it ...
The brothers ... have drills, will travel.
Bill's helping hand ....
Flatbed truck beds make great scaffolds ...
An undercoat of paint, some slab siding and roofing material .... Voila! Shed!!
The Queen Estes approved when she got to eat her hay in it the first night, right after the rain started. The Mustangs were not so dually impressed. They have finally decided it is OK in the corral...and quit snorting at it.
Our daughter, GunDiva, had a couple of her friends come up to Allenspark to ride horses. TLB had never ridden, and his girlfriend had limited riding time, so GunDiva invited me along, probably to help if a problem came up. Surprisingly poor planning on her part. I tossed a sheepskin on Rangers back, tied both ends of the lead rope to his halter and away we went.
Things went well until we started a long, steep down-hill stretch.
"Bill, you are on the short horse, why don't you do a cinch check for everyone?"
No problem. I jumped off, checked everyone's cinches and as they rode off, I jumped back on. And right over the top of the short horse and onto the ground on the other side.
Ranger stood over me, looking down curiously.
"Why are you down THERE, Beel? That's not what you usually do."
Fortunately, the other riders and their cameras were well down the trail, so I put my hat back on and jumped (a little lower) and ended up on my horse.
Now, I'm not a great photographer. In fact, I'm pretty poor at it. But digital cameras are great as I can take a couple hundred pictures, and get a couple good ones, and trash the rest.
I had my camera in hand, late in the ride, and was reaching out at arms length to the side to take a shot. As I stretched out my arm, I guess I pressed the battery door. I felt it pop open. I lunged further out to keep a grip on the batteries and managed to LEAP sideways off of my horse. I found myself looking up at Ranger... again.
"PEGASUS ON A POGO-STICK! WHAT ARE YOU DOING, BEEL?"
"Look, Ranger. I was trying to not drop the camera..."
"BEEL, I WAS JUST WALKING!"
"Yeah, but see, I lunged for the camera..."
BEEL, THE FIRST TIME I WAS JUST STANDING THERE!"
Damn. This time I think GunDiva may have gotten a picture.
Well, I sent out an email to 'our gang' (all the kids) offering a chili supper to all 'supporting staff' who might want to help distribute the stack of wood to various locations at the lodge. I was NOT surprised at all to get a response from all of them, saying they would be there.
Everyone worked....right down to the littlest.....3 year old Asset....we missed the best shot of her carrying 3 sticks of kindling curled up in her arms...just like the big kids!
Many hands make for a fun time. Deejo's family laughed a lot; a first for the kids in their new Colorado life: Wood Stacking 101. They have just moved back to CO from AZ, to be closer to the family - and involved with our busy family life. What a start! We need to come up with screen names for them; for now we have (from L to R) SO, Kyzzer, The Boy, T from The Kid's family, The Girl, & Deejo.
The Boy and T....
Full wood shed.
Deejo and SO....
T and The Girl...
And the one and only injury. Asset needed a drink and a bandaid, for a splinter.
Ken...it's getting to be a tight squeeze....
The Kid and his BTB (bride to be) and T came an hour before and cleaned out the hot tub room, moved one ton of pellets into it from the wood shed, to make room for all that wood, and got one wall full before he had to take off to work. So, he isn't camera shy, just busy.
Works done....it's chili time. Nebalee and GunDiva made homemade tortillas while Ken and I took the kids for a two mile drag on the horses. It was a great day and many, many thanks for all that help.
Next project: build a shed for horse shelter. Looks like the horses are going to have to winter at home this year, and a wind break would be nice for them. Then, five ton of hay will be brought up. Gotta love our 'play days'!