A miracle occurred:
- Alice had a Wednesday off
- Jane had the same Wednesday off
- The ground dried up after three big storms had hit in succession
- Even though its November, the temperature is trying mightily to hover up near 80 degrees.
- Bella texts Alice: “Wed off? Take the rig, take Dinero, go for a trail ride. Maybe Jane…?”
- Alice texts me: “Wanna go on trail on Wed?”
I have my moment of knee-jerk half-emptiness: I haven’t been on a real trail in so long…I’ve probably forgotten everything. Certainly the finer points of etiquette. Can I do this on Hudson, on a trail I’ve never ridden? Will he spook? Will I be a total moron?
Oh for Pete’s sake. There won’t be any giant purple people eaters. It’s late enough in the season (and likely too close to the coast) that mountain lions will have moved inland and rattlesnakes would be far too cold to show up. It’s not like I can’t ride. And I’ll have plenty to hang onto. I can borrow a western saddle from Bella: I want a thick pad on Hudson for a long ride. My saddle fits, but a dressage pad isn’t made to disperse weight and provide a comfy trail ride for the horse, even with the extra fleece half-pad.
(Ideas, anyone? Thin line pad? I find foam shifts, and gel gives ricochet action for the rider.)
To combat my inner Eeyore, I took aim, and leveled one of my favorite quotes at myself.
If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? If not now, when? ~ Rabbi Hillel
The Rabbi had a good sense of personal/global balance. I’m onboard with Rabbi Hillel. If not now, when?
I text Alice back: YES. You pick trail. We go. 🙂 Exciting!!
I text her again later: Um. You may have to babysit me a teensy bit.
We go to Point Reyes National Seashore; to ride the Bear Valley trail. “Wednesday” becomes magical: this trail is closed to horses on weekends and holidays. Alice and I discover we have identical check lists for a perfect relaxing trail: wide enough for a truck (we can ride near each other and there’s still bonus room for spooking!). It’s shaded. The trail winds on gentle inclines under a canopy of California rainforest-type foliage: tree branches arch and meet overhead, a stream meanders along, the hillsides are stuffed with ferns and mosses of all kinds, it’s gorgeous. It ends at the ocean.
Perfect trail for an If-Not-Now-When? ride.
We pull into the parking area. I know where we are! When Shaun first moved to California, I stupidly planned a picnic here so she could have the fun of standing directly on top of the San Andreas Fault. (1906 earthquake, anyone?) It’s what we do for fun in California. I had to throw myself between her and the car, and wave a deli sandwich under her nose to get her to come back to the picnic table.
There’s a couple of other rigs neatly lined up: the park has perfect rig parking. There’s even a fresh, clean, water trough near the trail head. They like horses here. Morgans dot the hillside, on the Park’s Morgan horse ranch.
We’re backing the horses out of the trailer when The Giant Purple People Eater arrives.