Friday, September 30, 2011

Las Caballeras Fun Day 9-30-11

This day was devoted to riding up to the Rancho Escondido again and then many of the gals took part in a costumed "Parade of Pretty Ponies" and equestrian games. But I was watching the sky, and listening to the booming thunder, and a group of us decided we'd rather take a small cadre and ride back on an interesting trail than stick around gaming and maybe ride back in rain.

Length: 8.6 miles
Duration: 4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate. Some rocky climbs, single track trails, but nothing with a significant drop-off. 

Altitude gain: 1070 ft 

Grade: II

View Las Caballeras Fun Day 9-30-11 in a larger map

 Patient Tobe, dozing in the sun, ready to carry me to adventure.
 Off we go, leading the way out of the pretty campground.
 Everyone straggled out of camp in small groups. already I have found two gals with gaited Rocky Mountain horses, what Tobe's mother was, so we make a fine riding crew.
 There are a lot of clouds over the mountains, and the sound of thunder booming close by, and we struck out to explore, all the while aiming for the Rancho Escondido we had visited the day before. Fun how going the opposite direction on a trail makes it a whole new ride.
 Looking out to sea it is a clear summer's day, visual poetry.
 Relatively flat open areas gave us a chance to rack our gaited animals. Poor Tobe, he does his best but his rack is just not as fast as a full Rocky Mountain horse. I have to think that if I get him out on the trail to practice with more Rockies that he'll have an incentive to get faster!
 At Rancho Escondido the Wrigley family have a lovely small museum with artifacts from their time living on the island. This is a carriage used to bring people up to the ranches from the harbors.
 All of what is being done with Catalina today is due to the foresight William Wrigley, Jr. Without his stewardship it could so easily have been developed into a Coney Island West.
 This place is filled with history, and pride of accomplishment.
 The display cases had lots of silver-mounted saddles made for the family by Edward Bohlin, for use in events like the Pasadena Rose Parade.
 Walking down a barranca away from the ranch as the first raindrops fell.
 Following old roads, sensing as the smells of the chaparral are enhanced by the slight moisture falling.
 An open sided picnic house, that was built in the 1920's for dignitaries to be treated to an al fresco meal after a tour in one of the wagons or on horseback.
 A view across the interior, way out to the coast where we are camped. By this time the rain had stopped, but we could still hear thunder.
 Oh no, not another bison! So far we have not met any angry ones, but once I learned that they can out run any horse I have been trying my darndest not to let that nervousness transmit to Tobe. I know if I am scared he feels it through my legs, so as we go past these monsters I practice calm breathing.
 And there is our home base, a slice of paradise.
A sunset over my tent under the pam tree, a lovely cap for a pleasant day.