Eric the Bold went on a whirl wind trip up near Portland, Oregon this week. He has a customer who wants him to cut some custom beams, and other lumber and our sawmill needed some fine tuning. He took the business end of the sawmill to the manufacturer and got it put back to specs and also learned a lot more about making lumber with our particular Mobile Dimension Saw.
Mark and I have been entertaining our oldest son and his friend Ryan. Of course by entertaining we mean we have been giving them jobs to do. Like fixing fence, cleaning the shop, rerouting water run off and of course, cutting firewood! Always the guys are cutting firewood. It pays the bills.
Today though, Mark and I decided to go for a horse ride before the rains set in again tonight. No photos though, I forgot my camera. We chose to ride Buddy and Stormy. We haven't ridden them in almost 2 months and I expected a little fireworks, but they were both lazy bones. The funny thing about riding this time of the year is that it takes almost all of your riding time to get the mud off before you can saddle them. They just love to roll in the mud after, during and before the rain and their coats get quite caked with the stuff. Their manes and tails too hadn't been touched for at least a month and some detangler was needed to get all the knots out. But finally I got them all groomed and saddled and Mark showed up to enjoy the excursion.
Today was sunny and then cloudy. Probably in the 50's. Everything quite green. We spotted some strange orange fluorescent fungus growing on fallen logs and the earth had that rich decaying smell that I so love. Saw deer in the prairies and coveys of quail.
We decided to make a loop ride connecting our Smith Orchard Road with the Big Redwood Road. This meant we needed to take a logging skid trail to connect the two. I had actually never ridden this skid trail before so it was new terrain for me. Quite a few trees were down and the ground very slippery. Stormy's arthritic knee was bothering her on the downhill so we opted to lead them down the steepest sections. Folks, it can get pretty steep here. Stormy led great and Mark had a 14 foot lead rope so he could get out of her way and let her slide down to him. Buddy is such a dork though that between me slipping and him trying to stay in my back pocket I often opted to just let him go and then catch up to him later. He was one big sliding and slipping awkward brute. I will say it got my heart to pumping and I realize I need to teach him not to follow so close. When we finally made it to the Big Redwood Road we were relieved and climbed back on board only to soon discover that a dead tree was down across the road and due to the steep bank hovering over the road on the left and the steep bank falling away from the road on the right, we were blocked. It looked like we were going to have to turn around and retrace our steps. I really did not want to retrace our steps. I had left my coat at home and it was beginning to get cold.
Mark then realized that if we got off and unsaddled the horses they could probably squeeze under the tree. It worked! I have to tell you that was a first for me. Many times I have gotten stuck on a ride due to all of the dead trees we have falling because of the fire in 2003. Numerous times I have had to turn around. Now I have a new tool to use. I'm excited. What we probably need to start riding with though is a chainsaw! Now a chainsaw could blaze a trail. But Mark has made me take a vow against ever using a chainsaw because I, like Buddy, am a clumsy brute, and he says that someday we will learn to dance western and we will both need both our arms and legs.