Well, it was a good ride.  The weather not so good, although it was definitely one of the more pleasant rides I’ve had where it rained the whole time.  Normally I don’t like to start out in the rain.  If I’m riding and it starts raining, then I’ll live with it.  It’s just real hard to get ON in the rain and head out.  This was just an exception to the rule I guess.  No, it wasn’t raining really hard, and never did rain really hard.  It was a constant, fickle drizzle.  Sometimes it was a heavy drizzle, and sometimes a very slight, soft drizzle, but always a drizzle.  In my defense, it was NOT raining when I left home, and it was not raining when we left the barn.  It wasn’t even raining when we got tacked up.  We chilled for a while (tacked up) before it started raining, then we just covered our saddles til we were ready to go.

Somehow, amazingly, we managed to not only beat Carol and Bee to the church (they weren’t late either I don’t think), we were all tacked up and waiting for them when they arrived.  Debra thinks it was because she was not late to the barn, this time.  I think she was late to the barn, but I was able to make up for it and still get us there early.  She’s entitled to be wrong here in America.  Either way, it was really nice to be READY without being rushed.  Bee and Carol got ready pretty quickly since by this time it was raining.  We spent a few minutes deliberating our route as we noticed there seemed to be an unusually heavy presence of trucks, trailers, and ATVs.  Ah, as it turns out it was Youth Deer Hunting Day, statewide.  Pondering the possibilities of crossing the paths of camo-flocked youths armed with high-powered rifles led us to stay in the open for the day.  We had Samuel L joining us again, and were delighted to have the lovely and youthful Sophie, a 9 month old border collie.  Sophie is sharp and a quick learner, so of course she made it just fine.  Thus the troupe set out, in the rain, and rode for about 3 and 1/2 hours, in the rain.  It wasn’t cold at all, and underneath my trusty, dusty, duster I was quite cozy.  Again, for a rain ride it was one of the best.

We amused ourselves with close scrutiny of the rituals, interactions, and general hilarity of the bovine societies.  We noted as especially entertaining the vanilla wafers that so many of the youngsters seemed to be enjoying.  In the real world the yellow ‘wafers’ are actually anti-nursing apparatuses, but they were much more fun as vanilla wafers.  Be sure to look for the curious youngster who was asking us for pudding as we rode past, in the pics that I took.  Also we observed that ‘the younger generation’ is completely out of control.  They have earrings galore, nose rings, tattoos; their hair is unkempt.  Not really a surprise once you check out the parents!

Not quite as dramatic as the Red Sea, but just as we got back to the trailers where we planned to have lunch, the rain cleared.  We were treated to a delightful sit-down picnic in the grass.  Samuel L and Sophie kept a very close, like “I can feel your breath” close, eye on us.  Apparently, we looked as if we might injure ourselves; couldn’t have been the food.  The food was superb.  Rain or not, the Red-Neck Gourmettes know how to eat, and good.  We had a splendid variety of cheeses, crackers and melbas, salami, carrots, grapes, hummus, and some awesome spinach-artichoke dip.  Thankfully we made it thru most of the meal before the bees found us, because boy when they did they were relentless.  By then it was trying to drizzle again, so up we packed and out we went, but not without a plan.

Pic album is here.