Friday, July 23, 2010

Cowboy Stuft.....

Love Daughter In Law's Palm Hat in this Picture!
Backside of Muddy Mountain looking over some Big Country!

I cannot believe it's almost August and we have been so busy we haven't even gone up to the mountain to ride yet this summer.  Bummer.  But it was such a wet year that it was not good riding until July so I guess we really only missed three weeks so far.  Boy there has been a LOT of rain this year.  The grass is up over the fences on the highway right of way.  Son #2 and his wife have been up and gotten in some good rides. 

Hubby told me a story about Horse Whisperin' the other night that left me grinning.   He has two friends who are brothers.  Several years ago the younger brother, Clyde was into the Horse Whisperin' techniques and had gone to several of Top Notch Trainer Bucky Duckette seminars.  Well Clyde also had a young horse at the time who he was breaking using his new-fangled techniques.  Fred, the older of the two, has fantastic horse pens and a old-style round pen with solid wooden sides.  So Clyde hauled Young Horse over to Fred's place.

They put Young Horse in the round pen and saddled him up.  Clyde told Fred that the main problem with Young Horse was he bucked when you kicked him into a lope.  "He doesn't know how to lope, that's the problem.  He don't know how so he bucks." Fred believes Clyde was quoting a seminar instructor from somewhere.

Clyde gets on the horse and reaches over, and with a FLOURISH, takes the bridle OFF!!  (Just like the Horse Whisperin' Instructor!) And kicks Young Horse into a lope (well a buck at first) and gets him going without bucking.  Then Young Horse starts gaining speed and pretty soon he's lapping the round pen about three boards up like a motorcycle in a velocipede!

Fred  reported with glee, that Clyde on that darn horse looked just like a Monkey on a Border Collie!!!    But you know what?  That horse never bucked going into a lope again and Clyde had him until he was an old, old horse!
Click on Whip's name above to visit him!

One of my favorite things has always been watching my husband work a horse.  His dad broke horses in the military prior to WWII for the cavalry, and an old cowboy named Hap Sankey gave my husband some horse breaking lessons also.  Hubby's techniques are military/old cowboy with some of his own techniques thrown in. Hubby has passed all this down to the boys.  Now Hubby has sworn he was too old to break horses and the boys need to do it now.  But the boys are pretty busy this summer so.....

Releasing the hind foot.

Starting to Ground Drive the horse

Going good in this photo, horse is allowing Hubby to be behind him.

Starting to Unsaddle, End of Session

Hubby always tries very hard to end with a positive for the horse. 

Since I last posted, we had one of these .................
Merci had a Buckskin filly on July 14th!  Isn't she cute!  We are going to name her AFS Ryder High Brida.  In our neck of the woods there was a fine lady named Brida Gafford who had been a World Champion Bronc Rider back in the 1920's and had traveled with the 101 Ranch.  You can read her story here.  Since the sire of this Morgan filly was a cremello Morgan named BDM Border Ryder the name made sense.  Well to us anyway!

The mares & babies are out on the pasture now.  I went out to take some pictures but they didn't want me to get close, the stinkers.  

And that's the news this week from North of Nowhere!

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Beach Sunburn! Ocean at Shelter Cove!

Black Beach, Shelter Cove, California
Warning Sign on Black Beach
This is DEFINITELY bigger than a horse trough!!  This is Black Beach near Shelter Cove and the beach was all this black gravel/rock.  Near the water is was smaller but never sand grain size and then became larger up towards the shore.  It was deep and hard to walk in.  Warning signs were posted all over about the dangerous rip tides and to stay out of the water.  Sadly, my friend told me, people ignore the warnings and there are several drownings every year on this beach.
 We had my friend's Patterdale terrier with us and she found a place to cool off at Black Beach in a small fresh water creek that ran to the ocean.
People on the beach at Shelter Cove

We then drove south to this beach but I don't recall it's name.  It's the cove part of the shoreline and here people were swimming and sailing.

Just beyond the rocks you can see a sailboat in the distance from the shore at the cove.
We had lunch at this nice cafe with a patio overlooking the ocean.  I had fish and chips.  Is there anything else to order for lunch on your day at the Beach?  The seagulls were very experienced scavengers at this place; they perched on the roof just waiting for you to drop something.

Seal Beach
After lunch we went over to Seal Beach where we saw.........(drumroll) SEALS!  They are kinda like rock slugs. Not much action there.  This beach had California sea lions.  The males were huge and one male wanted to go back in the water so he inched down and then waited for wave action to lift him off.  It must be very hard for them to navigate around on the rocks.
A view of some of the homes in Shelter Cove.

While at this point of the beach we could hear all this commotion.  It was the bird above, and another one who were doing some sort of ritual thing.  Maybe a mating dance? Or mating shout-out would have been more like it.  We watched them for quite some time.

This was my last day in California and I got sunburned!  So when I got back to Wyoming I made SURE to tell everyone I got the sunburn at the beach!  LOL.

It was a wonderful trip with a great traveling partner, and I saw many of my good friends and visited their farms and horses, and basked in their wonderful hospitality.  Thanks to all of you.  YOU ROCK!
(In fact, we had such a great trip for 2011 we are planning on riding the Amtrak Coast Starlight, probably south from Sacramento!)

And now back to my regular rambling blog.  Hope y'all enjoyed the trip.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Awesome Redwoods, Ferndale and Best Road Trip Ever!

Today we are going to the Humbolt State Redwood Park and it is IMPRESSIVE.  One of the things I discovered is there is so much canopy overhead that photos do not really come out well, but a photo cannot really do justice to these magnificent trees.
The Eel River on the drive up to Humbolt State Park

I asked my friend why it was called the Eel and she said she thought it used to actually have eels in it.  This river flash flooded in the 1960's and wiped out small towns located near the park.  What was amazing was how high the water must have been to have gotten up to those points!  Signs were along the roadways warning we were in a flood area.
A Flood Warning Sign
My photos of the Redwoods are poor quality.  Stupidly, I had left my wonderful digital camera on my table back home.  So I grabbed some "Fun Savers" but found out by the time I paid to develop these poor photos I could have purchased an inexpensive digital camera for about the same amount of money.  I did discover the HD Fun Savers took much better pictures but could not find them in Redway.
A fallen Redwood at the Park Entrance

Redwoods only exist in a 45 x 250 mile long swath along the Coast of California.  They need certain climatic conditions to exist and one of those is fog.  They do not have deep root systems and gather most of their moisture from fog.  Because their root systems are shallow and they live in a fairly wet zone, they are prone to falling over from wind and other factors.  Can you imagine one of these giants falling?  The largest redwood ever recorded  was in the Humbolt State Park and it fell sometime in the 1990's I believe.  They could hear it for over a mile and it was so loud they thought there had been a train crash.  Another tree had fallen and had hit it on the way down.
A View of the Canopy

Forest Floor in the Redwoods showing the Ferns

 Small Redwood is growing out of the burl on the roots of the mature tree on the left.

I know now why there are preservationists who want to preserve the old growth forests, particularly old growth Redwood. Out of 1.8 million acres of  original redwood forests less than 82,000 acres of old growth remains!  It is spectacular with a very primordial feel.  Redwoods existed in the time of the dinosaur and the old tree I mentioned above that fell was a small burl redwood when Christ was born!  

And as I said my photos are poor and really do not do justice to these magnificent trees.  While we were walking through the redwoods I decided I needed a pine cone to add to my trip scrapbook.  I could not see a single one.  Finally my friend asked what I was looking at.  She bent down and brushed through the undergrowth for a minute and handed me one.  Turned out the Largest Trees I've ever seen have the smallest pine cones I've ever seen - the size of a grape!  Well it fits into my scrapbook much better than one 2 feet long! 

The next day we did a road trip, making a loop first to Ferndale and then down a small highway that ran along the coast for quite a ways, through some really nice ranching country, and back through the forest to Home Base.
Ferndale had a lot of old dairy farms (and some current ones) and the town itself has preserved a lot of their Victorian structures along with the pioneer history.

Ferndale Mansion
Home in Ferndale
View of street and Church in Ferndale
Ferndale has quite a few shops that specialize in 'yesteryear' goods.  What I learned is that quite a few people are making a living off of stuff that I threw out years ago!!  We ate lunch that had a small little cafe in the back of their second-hand craft/art store and then went for our road trip down the coast.

First Glimpse of the Ocean as the highway drops off the cliffs down to seaside.  It was a pretty big thrill for a Wyoming Girl to whom the phrase 'body of water' means a horse tank!

Ocean view from the Highway.  Interesting Large rock in Ocean don't you think? 
Once we dropped down on the highway, we had high hills to our left and the ocean to the right.  Every so many feet there would be a sign that said WARNING! Tsunami Area!  You can see one of those in this photo.  Cattle were grazing on the hills to our left which was a surprise to me, that they would have pastures right up to the ocean's edge.

Now we are coming back up the hills above the 
Tsunami areas.  Here is an old corral sitting above the Ocean.
Cattle grazing in the hills.  I just loved this area of California.   It was pretty remote and was full of ranches and the kids all must belong to 4-H because I saw a lot of 4-H signs just like you see in most rural areas of Wyoming (I spent 14 straight years the last week of August in a camper at the Wyoming State Fair.  I have been bitten, kicked, and peed on by every type of 4-H/FFA project imaginable).  These ranches were pretty remote and the towns were very small, maybe 150 to 300 people.  I could easily move here and feel right at home!
This is where we dropped down into a valley to a little town called Petrolia.
Petrolia is the site were one of the first oil wells in the United States was located back in the 1860's.  They had a sign up pointing out that fact. 

This sign commemorated the old Pioneer Cemetery at Petrolia. It said it was about four miles south of here and sounded like it would have been a very interesting place to walk through.  We are 30 miles from Ferndale and this is the first town we have seen, very small.
As we drove further, the countryside began to change.  It became drier and more open.  Here is a shot of some horses grazing.  I'm not sure what is on the fence post but I think it is a pair of gloves.  Perhaps left behind accidentally while fixing fence.

What in the World?  A short ways down from the horses we saw this! A ZEBRA!  Now don't you wonder how in the world this zebra got to this place in Calfornia and why?  A mystery not to be solved!

I think the whole drive down the coast was about 60 miles or so and in that drive we only saw about 2 small towns.  Some tucked in valleys between the mountains that looked very "Vermont" like you see in pictures of that area.  Just Lovely and I enjoyed every minute of it.  It is filed in my Memory Bank Under "Best Road Trip Ever!"

Next blog - My day at Shelter Cove and the Beach

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Capitol Corridor and Amtrak Thru-Way Motor Coach

The Class Reunion was a blast.  I had not seen a lot of those people in forty years!  Glad I went and hope we do it again sooner than forty years! Now back to the trip to California...........................

Flowers Blooming at Quincy, California
Now back to my trip.  After we de-trained (is there such a word?) in Colfax, California, my traveling buddy and I spent a few days visiting dear friends and their Morgan horses in that neck of the woods.  I won't bore you with that part of the trip or post pictures of all the horses (I know, the Morgan people are gnashing their teeth right about now and rending their clothing)..

Then she and I got on the Amtrak Thruway Motor Coach to catch the Capitol Corridor in Sacramento.  We got on the bus in Auburn, California and I had the distinct displeasure of trying to print my tickets while the bus driver was impatiently waiting for me.  Why? Because I had stupidly misread the time we were suppose to leave and we almost missed the bus! YIKES.  But all is well that ends well I guess.  A miss is as good as a mile.

And in case you were wondering, the QUIKTRAK ticket thing-a-ma-bob is NOT quick when it is printing nine gazillion boarding tickets for two people and the Amtrak bus driver is checking her watch every 1 millionth of a second.   Oh, now that WAS stress.
 We got off the Bus and onto the Capitol Corridor train at the Sacramento Station.

I noticed a lot of Amish were on both trains we took.  Apparently trains are faster than horses.

On this leg of the trip, I found it difficult to switch from the bus to the train. Getting on the right bus was very easy as all of the buses were marked with lighted signs on the front which rotated the stops they were going to. NONE of the trains were marked and almost every single passenger that got on was worried they were getting on the wrong train. The conductors had to keep repeating the train's destination over and over and over. It seemed to me a sign like the buses had was warranted and would have made it much simpler. 
View of the Hills East of Sacramento taken from the Capitol Corridor Train

One of the ladies on the train said she rode this train almost every week and it had only been a few weeks earlier that the hills had been very green and then bam! they dried out very quickly.

Wetlands near Martinez.  Do you see the Egret?

At Martinez, we changed from the Capitol Corridor train back to the Amtrak Thruway Bus to head north to Garberville, which is near the Humbolt State Redwood Park.
Harbor at Martinez from the Bus
The Rust Bucket Fleet in Martinez Harbor
The 'Rust Bucket Fleet' was interesting.  It is scrapped naval vessels that are warehoused in the harbor.  They said they will need to do something to get rid of them as they were leaking and polluting the water.
Hills Heading North

Valley from Bus with fog as night nears.  Did you know that Redwood trees get their moisture not from the ground but from fog?  They only grow in a 45 by 250 mile swath along the coast of California. 
Almost dark as we near Garberville.

My friend lives near Garberville and that was Home-Base so to speak for the next few days.  A wonderful place to have Home-Base!  I really enjoyed her hospitality immensely.  And it was sure nice to snuggle into a bed after our arrival that evening.  A long day traveling!
Next Blog - the Redwoods, Ferndale, and  a wonderful car ride down the Coast.

How am I doing?  Still enjoying the Armchair Trip?

Friday, July 2, 2010

We Interrupt this Blog

Prairie Rose Henderson, Lady Bronc Rider from Lander, WY

To Wish Everyone a Happy & Safe Fourth of July!  And in Wyoming the Fourth is Always about going to the Rodeo.  In our case we will be spending the 4th in Ten Sleep, WY at my High School Class Reunion.  It is so sad everyone else got old but I did not.  They will be soooo envious (not!).

And I would like to take the time to introduce our newest addition to the Morgan Herd, AFS Heavenly Hi Note (ML Meadowlark Jazz Spur X Casas Heavenly Rose) who arrived while I was on my vacation.  She will be a tall little lady and will mature to almost 16 hands and be a real sweetheart like both of her parents.
AFS Heavenly Hi Note - June 7th, 2010 

Back to the Vacation Blog after the 4th!  Next segment will be Morgan Horse friends I visited, the Redwoods and the Beach!