A 6.86 mile trail ride in 3:28 minutes. A LOT of stops and moseying around, by the 100 or so riders.
Typical of an event honoring a politician, the day began late with thanking lots of people I had never heard of and the presentation of the flag and singing patriotic songs.
We tracked up parallel to Brown's Canyon Road, then turned over onto the Curaco Trail.
These are some of the Sheriffs who came along for the event.
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Mounted Posse has existed since the Department’s inception in 1850. Often used for crowd control, they appear at the scenes of demonstrations and unruly assemblies, adding "high profile crime suppression" as they tower over mere humans on foot.
Here is my pal Ben from Boston, who came out to add to his tattoo collection and to go on this big adventure with me.
He will henceforth be able to claim the honorific
He has had very little equine experience, but he piloted his rental mare through some obstacles that called upon all his athletic skills.
Any time you have 100+ people on a ride, there will be incidents. The two people I saw fall off were a Sheriff and an EMT.
A Sheriff fell off into poison oak.
Many horses jumped the water and made precarious landings.
Tobe was awesome, with my encouragement he walked steadily through all the boggy bits. Being a mule he takes his time and considers a route, then calmly proceeds through it.
When I first got him he'd jump, but that can lead to mishaps and so I have learned to ask for slo-mo.
Once again, the mule team showed that perseverance and training lead to competence.
Not to brag too much, but I have a darn good mule.
Makes me look good on these adventures!
Same thing in a big group ride.
The afternoon started to turn windy.
We passed through rock formations with intriguing shapes.
I felt very fortunate to be able to ride in such a beautiful natural place, with long distance views and tiny spring wildflowers up close.
High up the yuccas were blooming, nearby small purple and yellow ground cover tinted the land.
One man on the ride told me that he and his Arab ride these hills regularly, and that they cover the came trail in half the time it was taking us today.
That's OK, we had a lot of people of varied skill levels, a third of whom were on rental horses, and that makes slow going an important precautionary method.
But wait, what are those white strings visible on the hillside? What could that mean?
What will be known as Hidden Creeks Estate Development plans to cut 400 trees and build 188 houses on 150 acres on this property called Porter Ranch.
Aside from the destruction of beautiful natural watershed, there is something even more ominous.
On 10/23/15 a 40-year-old gas injection well, SS25, at the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Field started leaking due to well integrity failure. The odor from this leak was SO STRONG, that members of Save Porter Ranch immediately called 911. They were initially told by SoCalGas that the smell was coming from routine monthly natural gas releases at the Storage Facility.
On 2/18/16 officials announced that the leak was permanently plugged. An estimated 97,100 tonnes of methane and 7,300 tonnes of ethane was released into the atmosphere, making it the worst natural gas leak in U.S. history in terms of its environmental impact.
Is this the right place to build new housing?