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Mnt Charlston Pony Ride

   Hi Everyone,
   I took John Parke up on his offer to ride one of his ponies at Mnt
Charleston. I had so much fun! Thanks John! Skjoldur was so smooth it felt
like we were rolling down the hills on wheels! Very Cool! Especially when
your used to a horse with a very choppy trot. I love this trail. You go from
pine and fur trees all the way down to yuccas. BTW John was wearing an
altimeter and the elevation gain was about 11,500 ft on the 75 mile trail!
These are tough little horses. Skjoldur was tired but still felt plenty
strong at the end of the ride. I think he would have kept going all night if
we asked him. This was the first time I rode after dark on a one track
mountain trail. Very interesting. There were some scary moments on the last
8 mile loop. 3or4 miles of which we hadn't seen in the daylight. At one
point we were going down a hill so steep the ponies were sliding a little.
It was one of those places where you would get off and walk your horse
during the day. I just kept telling myself, "trust your horse"! Peggie and
Claire  didn't help much when the next day they said you should see it in
the daylight, the drop off is straight down! Thanks anyway.<g> After we
crossed back over the highway and were back on familiar trail we had to
speed up because we were running out of time. We were nearing the finish
line, trotting up and down hills through the trees not always sure where the
trail was, (the ponies knew) I told John it was like riding Space Mountain
at Disneyland. You can't see the tracks! Well we made it just in time. I'm
sure Claire  Peggie and Barney were happy to see us at last! Now they could
go to bed. It was a great ride, I've been telling everyone who will listen
how much fun I had!
    Lori Cox
PS Poor John was up all night the night before the ride driving, so he
really had a challenge.

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