Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Pre-Ride!

As a PNW and a DESERT cowgirl I belong to 2 great riding clubs. Both have their own unique style and RULES! As a cowgirl I know all rules are meant to be broken...except "the rules of the trail!" I was asked last year by our desert "trail boss" to be on his committee to help select the trails for the 08 /09 season and be available to lead/pre-ride a trail. The desert club is very diligent about pre-riding any trail that has not been ridden by someone in our club when it is not in "our backyard". Our "backyard" trails are the ones that many of us ride on a regular basis as opposed to others that as a group, we only ride once a season. This is the longest, hardest ride of our season and has a history in this club for being an event not to miss! I "cowgirled the fuck up" (25 cents in the cuss jar) and said I would pre-ride this trail which means I would ride it before the club ride and then again with them! (12 hours plus in the saddle for this cowgirl on top of our Sunday ride in between them.) However I am a very wise cowgirl and would never go on a ride this long without a "trail buddy"! I wisely select The Bossman to be my "trail buddy"! Not just because the Bossman will groom and saddle Jesse. And not because of the fresh OJ mimosa's he will make before we mount up. Not even because he convinced The BIGFOOT to take us to the staging area and drop us off in the wee hours of the morning! I picked him because we have such fun riding the trails together!Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Jesse!
This picture was taken after the usual toast to "Happy and Safe Trails" before we hit the trail. as you can see Jesse was impatient and did not want to pose for our "photo opp"! Had he remembered the Bossman's rule" no mount till the bottle is empty" Jesse would been more careful not to unseat mom! Little lady tried several times to convince me to let her have a taste. Had it not been in a glass goblet...I would have let her have some. Then maybe I could have laughed at the Bossman trying to mount a "Drunk Lady"! Oh the places I could go with that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There we go...much better to listen to mom BEFORE we start the 8 hour trail ride! heard me, 7 hours in the saddle, one hour stop for lunch! Here are so photo's of the ride before the lunch stop 3 hours later!
A look back to the staging area and the highway!
This is where we are going! Up and over...and up and over...up and over!

Jesse loves to follow Little Lady! I go where he goes!
Our last look at civilization for many hours!

Hay Bossman...keep your eye on the trail!A hidden Palm tree oasis!

And with only one..."potty stop" 3 hours later we arrive at the picnic area for lunch!

Look in the far back ground...see the tie rails...Jesse and Little Lady! Below are some other pictures of the picnic area.
Old abandoned earth mover that was used to make the dirt road in the next photo.
This is a road that was made in a "fools Foley". Kinda like the "road to nowhere"!

Some trail head signs!

Jesse and little lady each had 2 bottles of water before we had our lunch. Then after our usual "BLT smorgasbord" we give the kids 2 more bottles of water each and then they get lunch! Carrots, frosted shredded wheat, apple and oat cookies...oh my! As I start walking back to the tie rail I hear the nickers...they both know that they have a lunch in the saddle bags too! It took us 3 hours to get to this point...can you cowgirl up with us for another 4 hours???

Now...what you don't know is that this ride combines 4 different trails to get "The Big Ride". We will now start our 2ND trail!
A brief look at the valley below to give you an idea of how high we are. We round a bend and are back in no man's land!
This is looking down the trial from the saddle, the next 2 pictures give you a birds eye view of being on Jesse and looking ahead and down!

This segment of the trail is about and hour and a half long which will be followed by a short crossing thru a dry wash to get to our next trail. However at the end of the dry wash segment Jesse was short stepping a bit and we decided to go ahead and give him some bute for the steep 2 hour decent home. The Bossman dismounts and gives it to Jesse...I stay mounted. Other than a tiny refusal...he took his medicine with out incident. We now start the big decent... the valley you see at the bottom on the Mt's. is where we are going, the stables is at the bottom of the Mt's.

As you can see the sun is now setting behind the Mt's. and we get the 1st phone call from the stables checking on our status! They thought we would be there by now!!!! With no more light and some pretty steep switch backs on the trail this is our last picture to share with you. Besides next time I ride these 2 trails I will make a horror story of it for you all. The desert riding group will be taking a different way down the Mt. than the last 2 trails...which will cut about an hour and a half off the ride but requires a trailer ride from the "backyard" staging area to the stables. The Bossman and I rode right in! The 2nd where the fuck (25 cents in the cuss jar!) are you call came as we hit the wash behind the stables, only this time the caller said I can see you from are on your own. Now...this is what I love about our stables...they were looking out for us and did not want o leave for the day till they knew we were home safe! They have been known to go out for a after dark rescue up into these Mt's. Glad we did not need to use that service this time!

The Desert Rose!


  1. Thanks for taking us along!! Great pictures. What a ride, I'm pooped! ;) Glad the rest of the crew was checking up on you, and of course, that you don't go alone! The Bossman makes a great trail buddy!

  2. WOW! What an exciting adventure!Don't know if I want to go on this one!

  3. I wanna ride with you!!! WOW...beautiful !

  4. Auntie J, you are making me miss the desert! I would rather be there than here in the snow and rain. Great pix!


We wish you Happy Trails
Jesse and his Desert Rose!