Still July 30, 2012. For some reason she was not easy to handle this morning. I know I forgot to put her wide band halter on when I staked her out last night. As her “parrelli” rope halter is our only “bit”, our only “brakes”! She also kept pulling to the left so my right arm and hand got tired. I had to stop for water (at the old hot tube spring) where Keith said the water was good. She did not want to stop and she wanted to leave with out me! But climbing Fisher Hill was helpful; seem to get her mind off the problems she was having. I suppose that was; pulling me and my cart across the country!
I was hoping we would lose the dump truck brigade when we turned up Fisher Hill but no such luck! However the weather was perfect for travel not hot with a cool breeze! We took a good rest at the top and I fed her some more soaked timothy hay cubes.
I had left over canned pineapple and half an apple for breakfast, Taboona gets the other half. While Taboona rests I do some stretching, off the back of the cart and this took some weight off her back. For some reason my right knee felt stiff and my left (previously injured) was hurting at home but now feels better, I hope this is all manifestations of too much coffee and now with out that, I will feel better?
After walking this same route in early June I must say it is interesting now to see this same country through the eyes of a horse! Everything that is unusual to her she is cautious of!
As we move along now I notice that Taboona has all the dump truck drivers trained. They all slow down now, both coming and going! Also to the credit of Klickitat County they seem to be non polluting; no black diesel smoke, no awful fumes!?
We stopped at the old homestead where I had camped in June but the access was very sketchy and the seeds heads were scary thick! So we pressed on and came to another cattle guard at the start of the Wahkiacus Heights Road!
I pulled her and the cart down by the gate and managed to open it and it was anything but safe to try to go through it from the angle I was presently at, so I took her up on the road again and then down through the gate, it was an ordeal but we made it! These gates are very seldom used, so they are not user friendly!
Once we got on Wahkiacus Hieghts road, I have to say it was nothing like it was when I walked it in June! It was six inches of gritty dust or deeper! And there were active log trucks using the road! We passed another cattle guard but the gate was easier and we rested there in the shade. Several log trucks passed and the dust clouds were horrendous! I was wondering how we were ever going to survive a complete black out that these trucks created? What seemed like the last log truck passed and he slowed down real kindly for us so we headed out.
Every mile or so I had to take her boots off and clean out the grit that was building up in the hair on her hoof bulbs where the back strap holds the boot on. This is one of the problems with boots, but usually I don’t ride in deep dry sand or gritty dust. I put a few miles on bare foot but I had just trimmed her and she was a little too tender footed to handle much bare foot time! I usually do not trim her until she is tender but I got involved in a hoof trimming experiment, that back fired on me!