Wednesday, July 23, 2014

sweet ride

On Tuesday morning, my 15 year old man-child was up and ready to leave the house at 8:20am. This unprecedented arising sliced a good 3-4 hours from his normal summertime beauty sleep regimen, and although it wasn't easy to accomplish, I only had to re-awaken him once. We were off on an adventure! When I had mentioned the idea to him last week, his enthusiasm was immediate and infectious, so I booked it. It was not cheap, but I reminded myself that certain other offspring of mine were enjoying the fruits of ungodly expensive airfare and camps this summer while this boy was sleeping, yes, but also volunteering at a pet care business and doing odd jobs around the house and neighborhood.  So I booked it. We drove about an hour to find our designated meeting spot, then we geared up

and met our sweet rides

The brown one is Tanner, he was my ride. My boy rode the lovely Luna in the background
When our guide said that Tanner had arthritic knees and liked to stop for snacks, I knew we were a match made in heaven.Neither of us had any real experience atop a horse, but our rides were sweet and gentle and forgiving. We set off on the trail through the beautiful Santa Margarita Preserve. It was beautiful and hot and dry, and as we meandered along we got the hang of it, steering gently around obstacles and pausing wherever green things shot up for restorative snacks.

I don't have many photos from the ride, because I was afraid of: a) dropping the camera. b) falling off of the horse, and/or c) whacking my face on low lying branches if I didn't steer around them.

I did get one good action shot, though, in a place where the terrain wasn't quite so dry

Our guide Susie rode Cisco, a big tough looking horse who was equally terrified of stray hikers and microscopic lizards

The river was absolutely spectacular. It felt so good to splash through and cool off. The horses slurped up drinkie poos and munched on greens. Epic happy place.

After a while we stopped to give the horses a rest and have some luncheon in a shady spot by the river. But first

geek alert. (vodka arms)

I loved my view

Step away from the snacks, Tanner

The ride back was exciting, because some boneheaded delinquents set off firecrackers and sparked a wildfire right along the trail! We saw the plume of smoke then people hightailing it out of the area that our guide said was a swimming hole frequented by hikers (rookies). She was calm and focused, led her skittish horse by hand for a minute while we followed close behind until we were safely past the fire and the access road that was soon swarming with emergency responders. My heart was pounding right out of my chest, and my eyes stayed locked on my boy in front of me. Neither of us had a prayer if those horsies took flight, but Susie was right that we were a safe enough distance from danger and it would have been much worse to walk them 2 miles along the highway to get back to her trailer. Whew.

We were sad to get back to the trailhead almost 4 hours after our 90 minute guided ride began. We said our goodbyes and promised to return, and I really hope that we do. It was a sweet day. We had a sweet ride.

ps: screw you, July stupid 23rd.


Beth said...

Yes, agreed, July 23rd sucks.

SO impressive, J! And seriously, firecrackers AND a fire? That is some Excitement, with a capital E. Glad Tanner and Luna kept it cool and mellow during the crisis.

Love that you and your boy had such a sweet time.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh how utterly lovely. I love poor ol' Cisco, equally terrified of stray hikers and microscopic lizards. I mean, how terrifying, both of them!

What a sweet day with your sweet boy. Making memories, baby.

And we're doing the same with your girl. And taking good care of her. Mostly.



mom said...

Love it, and love your boy... xoxo mom