No, not two rides on the same day.  One ride, two tales of the ride.  Hmm. . .”A Ride of Two Tales”?  No, that doesn’t sound quite kosher.  Refocus.

Not only do they have the nerve to go without me, but now they’re all chatty-Cathy about it.  Never before could I drag more than an OCCASIONAL comment out of them.  Now they’re happy to go on and on and on about what a great ride I missed.  If I didn’t know better, I’d think they were glad to have the peace and quiet.  Fortunately, I know better.

Now, for all the pics of the day go here.  This has Laura’s and Debra’s.

Here’s Debra’s Tale of the Tape:

Laura and I arrived at the parking lot for Pond Mountain sometime around 9:45.  Unfortunately, Buttercup, aka Debbie, would not be joining us for this ride.  I guess this is the part where I should say, “and we missed her terribly” since this is her blog…..but …….um… was a beautiful ride!!!!!!

After going through practically every outfit in her closet, Ms Toastie finally decided on which saddle pad she wanted to wear for the day;  and I must admit, it was a lovely choice, and coordinated very well with Laura’s attire.  I’m pretty sure it had nothing to do with the fact that Ms Toastie is a “chunky” girl, and Laura was just trying to get the best fit for her comfort without hurting her feelings.  It was a “does this saddle pad make my butt look big” sort of thing for Ms Toastie.

At approximately 10:30, Laura and the “wow look how tiny your butt looks in that saddle pad” Ms Toastie, me, the athlete in training Clementine and my German Shepherd/baby moose, Cracker Jack got on the trail.  At first, Ms Toastie wasn’t impressed with the fact that a German Shepherd could pass for a baby moose and decided her goal for the day would be to do her best to kill it.  That didn’t last very long though, because the first part of this particular trail is very steep, and Toastie decided it was too strenuous to try to make it up the trail AND kill the baby moose.  So, a dirty look and an ear laid back from time to time would have to suffice.

God provided us with yet another beautiful day to ride and admire the wonders of His creation.  I just love riding with Laura; not only because she’s a good friend and wonderful person, but because I always learn something new when I ride with her.  For instance, I learned that the beautiful orange blooms we passed were those of a Flaming Azalea.  The little purple flowers that were closer to the top, and plentiful were Wild Geraniums.

I’m not sure how long the trail is mileage wise, but the two athletes in training took about three hours to get to the top.  I don’t think we broke any speed records, but Clem and Toastie did a wonderful job of clearing out a lot of weeds along the way. Toastie is proving to be a worthy competitor for the grazing event at the upcoming Olympics.  I think Clem is a little worried.

Once we broke out of the trees, and rode out into the open fields on top of the mountain, it was absolutely beautiful.  We rode up on top of a little knoll and admired the beautiful area we are fortunate enough to live in.  The temperature was perfect, the breeze was blowing, and the view of looking down on mountain tops was enough to take your breath away.  Of course Toastie and Clem couldn’t have cared less about the view, but they did appreciate all of the good grass.

After soaking in the beauty for about half an hour, we decided to head back down the mountain.  It’s always quicker going back down, and this trip was no exception.  Neither mount was in a big hurry, and didn’t seem to care that we were headed back to the trailers, so we just meandered our way back down, training for the Olympics the whole way of course.

The last time we rode this trail, back in 2010, there were a lot of trees that had fallen across the trail during the terrible snow storm of Dec 2009.  We spent a lot of time on that ride trying to find our way around all of the downed trees.  I’m happy to report that the trail is now clear again.  You can see where a lot of the trees have been cut away, and in a couple of places, four wheelers have made a new trail around some of the trees that were too big to try to clear.  I’m not sure who is responsible for clearing the trail, but I’m grateful to them.

Cracker Jack did wonderful as usual.  She amazes me the way she picks up on a horse’s body language.  I think Toastie even decided she wasn’t so bad walking along beside of her.  She just has such a calm, unassuming way about her.  She doesn’t get to go very often, but I really enjoy taking her with me when I ride.

We got back to the trailers around 4:00, and even though Buttercup was not with us, it was a beautiful  ride.  I asked God for a perfect ride and a perfect day.  God answers prayers; it was almost perfect.  The only way it would have been better would have been if Debbie could have joined us.  (I had to add that part – it IS her blog after all).

I must say it is very nice to enjoy someone else’s account for a change.  Not that I would ever present a biased view, or leave even the slightest detail out, their view is pleasant to ponder periodically.

Thank you both for your delightful contributions.