Friday, May 22, 2009

rainy days and mud-days get me down

Too late to add photos tonight. I'll add them later this weekend!

Not much rain Thursday night. Before I went to bed, I looked at radar, and we had some ugly stuff that was kind of heading this way. But, I don’t know the normal flow of the storms here, like I do at home, and which direction they normally track. About 10:30 this AM, rigs started to flow in. About then, I saddle up Hank, and grabbed Flag, and went for a ride up the small hill above camp. Both horses needed to stretch their legs. Flag actually ponied really nice, but Hank was feeling pretty cheeky, and wanted to GO! I checked the GPS at the top of the hill, and it was 7200’. Camp is about 6800. Took a photo of the camp with the early arrivals. Came back down, passed through camp, and found a creek crossing, which the horses drank from. Flag is not drinking super, but seemed to like the creek. Got back to my trailer and found I had neighbors. I can never understand when a ride does have a nice big field like this one does, that people feel the need to park super close to another rig. I understand some rides just do not have a lot of space, but this field is plenty big for all 65 riders, and have breathing room.

I got my rider packet, met a few more people, and told them I am horrible with names and faces, and no way will I remember everyone. Heck, I have trouble in my own region! The sky was getting darker up over the mountains, and I heard some distant thunder. I decided it would be best of I went and grabbed Hank, and got checked in before the rain came our way. And I managed to do just that. When done, some sprinkles started, still some thunder around us. Someone rode through camp and said a “lightning warning” had been issued, and I might want to get inside my vehicle. Texas is no wimp when it comes to thunderstorms. I have been stuck outside, even on the trail at rides when lighting is flashing so bright, even in the daylight it is like a strobe. But I had not heard of a “lightning warning”. Thunderstorm warning, yes. So, I did go ask, to make sure I was not up to speed on what to do if lighting is in the area, and also if we are on the trail, and a bad storm hits. One thing he said is if it is really bad. I mean, it is hitting nearby etc., you can get off the horse, scrunch yourself up in a tight squatting position, and keep both feet as tight together as possible, to have as small of a grounding area as you can. Made sense, and hope I do not have to try this out!

So, the rain is now falling steady. Horses have waterproof blankets on, and radar shows scattered storms all over the Southwest. But, I brought rain gear, and am prepared to ride in what ever weather we are given, as long as the trails are safe. So, I fussed with different rain gear, trying to figure what to wear, that will layer, and keep me dry, warm, and not too hot if the sun comes out. Hank is not broke to my wearing a riding slicker, so it is the rain suit and pants. I have a cover for my saddle, and it is on already. And even though I mentioned mud in the title, so far, this soild takes care of the water well. We will see after 60 horses tromp down the trail how it looks

After hours of a light steady rain, it was time for the rider meeting. Rain let up momentarily, until it came time to go over the maps and trail. The trail master was very thorough, and had it not been raining, and had folks not got cold, and anxious to get back to their rigs, she gave excellent, details of the trail. But most of us just shut down out thinking, and wanted to get the bottom line. What color ribbons will we follow, and where are the point markers. I’m just going to follow someone who has ridden here before until I can see her markings, and how well they have stayed up through the rain, and folks pulling them down.

So, since the meeting ran a tad long, and had a few more things to get done forf the morning, it is now bed time. Hopefully we will see the blue sky at least a little tomorrow!

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