Tuesday, September 13, 2016

2016/9/13 Ellwood Mesa and Beach ride

A beautiful sunny late summer day, and Mr Tobe Mule and his friend Ananda Arabian took their owners for a stroll at the Ellwood Mesa and then onto the beach.

You can see on the map how we did a big circumference of the Mesa, which is criss-crossed with many trails, And then the long straight line is our romp on the beach.

We went a total of 4.5 miles, and actual riding time was only 1.5 hours because we dawdled and stopped often to talk in the shade. The Ellwood Mesa is host to the Goleta Butterfly Grove, what shows as darker trees in the map, between the edge of the Mesa and the nearby homes. We did see a few monarch butterflies, but this is not the time of year when they mass and cover the eucalyptus trees.
We stopped to check out the welcome sign, and then headed out to explore.

The Mesa is directly adjacent to a very large golf course that is also right on the ocean cliffs. Tobe took a good look to see if there might be a certain Presidential candidate out on the links.
But no, just guys in plaid, so we made a bee-line for the ocean view. Directly in front of us are some of the offshore oil platforms.

Tobe has been taking lessons,
working on his collected stance,
and here we see the arched neck of the stallion believes himself to be.

And here is Cowboy Bob, on his pretty alert Ananda. She is a very reactive girl, always on her toes, and I think she likes Tobe's quiet calm strength when she isn't sure about unusual things in the environment.

One of the nice things about having just two animals on a ride is being able to have teachable moments.

Ananda wasn't at all sure about this strange brick pillar, so we stopped and let her approach it at her own pace, and reassure herself about it.
This panoramic shows the oil tanks that are presently being decommissioned, and this area is being returned to native vegetation. This is the point where we turn down to the ocean access.

And now, the trail down to the sand is straight ahead.

I for one hope they never take away the eucalyptus trees, I like them very much.
And then, postcard of my happy life, we were on the beach!

Tobe says to Ananda "Let's RUN!"
and so we did!

We walked briskly,
we matched Tobe's smooth gait with Ananda's trot, and then we cantered and had the
"Black Stallion" on the beach moment
that all equine enthusiasts yearn for.

A wonderful time was had by all.
Another beautiful day in the Land of Climate, on the Edge of the Continent.