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[RC] Oh the Weather - Nancy

I am so sorry to do this to all you who are stuck inside with the bad weather, but…..  We rode in 70+ degrees today with California poppy, lupine, wild potato and wild cucumber all in full bloom. The white lilac is just finished and the purple is just starting.   The trails are finally dried out and safe.  Lots of seasonal streams are running so we had lots of water for the horses and Zak, the run away dog who escaped and found us.  The views were forever, the  Pacific Ocean to the west, Cuyamaca Peak to the south east, Palomar Mountain to the north east. 

I forgot my GPS, too excited to ride.   First we climbed up the old rutted fire road up the face of the ridge just to the south of my property.  It is almost a 1,000 foot climb, straight up. This got the bugs out real fast.  Once at the top we found an old single track through the fresh sage, bypassing the steep gravel road to the foot of the dam. 

We were alone, just us horses and one lab on a mission to find water. In minutes we found Mishu Creek singing happily as we passed the galloping sculptures frozen in concrete next to the bottom of the dam.   Then it was up, up, up the Surge Pipe Trail to the top of the Reserve.  I have always thought this trail should be called “Rattlesnake Trail” as its southern exposure is prime snake habitat coupled with its snake like curves.  Luckily we found no rattlers today; our passage was fast and safe.

At the top the Olivenhain Reserve and it’s 8 billion gallons sparkled a deep royal blue in the brilliant spring sun.  Small groups of hikers were out enjoying the fine weather too.  One group included a large black umbrella that made Jazzi very nervous.  Thankfully they lowered it as we passed with Jazzi’s head 20 feet in the air. She was sure it would somehow bit her.  At the picnic area we dismounted.  A large tub was filled with water for the horses.  Zak climbed in and drank and drank and drank.  The horses were not interested in the water as it was now contaminated with dog germs. 

A short flat trot to the top of the Way Up Trail and we started our 750+ foot decent to the parking lot and the Escondido Creek.  I dismounted and walk/ran the entire distance thinking about all the food I could eat later as I saved Jazzi’s front end, working on my rear end.

On the way we passed a United Nations of folks, Japanese, Indian, French, even good old Americans!  One amazing mom carried an 18 month old and had 3 others all under 6 hiking with her.  She is a stronger women than me.  At the bottom we found the rangers sitting in the back of a pick up eating Mexican food as if they had not eaten in a year.   The horses now knew were they were and knew home was not too far away. 

After chatting with a neighbor the port a potty stated ringing…my cell phone ring!  Yep, I left it on top of the paper dispenser so it would not fall in.  I guess that makes me one of the fools God protects at times.

We crossed the creek and trotted on home.  It was a beautiful ride, on a beautiful day….How did I get so lucky to live in this magical place, be owned by such a wonderful horse?  Some days, life is so good!

Nancy Reed

Lazy J Ranch

Elfin Forest, CA (next to the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve)