Tuesday, January 23, 2018

2018/1/23 Oceano Dunes with the MeetUp

The day started out with a bit of a panic.
A tsunami alert was announced for the whole West Coast, and getting swept out to sea on my mule didn't sound like a good option. But thankfully by the time I'd finished breakfast it was called off, so I wrangled up Tobe and headed off North.

It continues to astonish me that there is a beach park that allows vehicles to drive on the sand.
It seems so retrograde,
so 1950's Beach Blanket Bingo.

But since Tobe Mule would be hard pressed to keep up a pace over 15mph, we are happy to be allowed to join the dunebuggy thrill seekers and SUV joyriders and boom box sunbathers.
As usual we started out with a stroll through the dunes, our leader performing her civic duty as a Volunteer Ranger checking the area for illegal campers.
The variety in the plant species is always fascinating to walk through, changing with the seasons, and providing different color displays depending partly on whether it is ocean-facing and absorbing more salt from the onshore winds.

We stopped at the beach entrance for the depositing of the hours, a ritual observed by all the Volunteers. The civilian animals watched intently, perhaps wondering if they too might someday be Rangers.

Then we followed the Gypsy Vanner down onto the beach.

 Much as I am loath to admit that             anything frightens Tobe....                              he won't yet go in ocean waves.
He is ever so brave on the sand, loping and racking along at speed, but not past the foam onto the wet places. Not quite yet.

So we return to the sea and every time it is a bit easier.

And through the magic of MeetUp we have nice people to ride with and make it a pleasant outing.

Today we rode for just 90 minutes and went 3 miles, part of which was a lope on the beach that broke a sand speed record with 9.5mph !
We will be back to work on improving that record !

Then again, as Mahatma Gandhi said:
                     “There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.”

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Sunday, January 21, 2018

2018/1/21 Riding the Nipomo Mesa with the MeetUp

A bright sunny day and the Horse & Mule Trail Riders of the 805 MeetUp  brought a group of pleasant people and animals to Nipomo, for a ride led by a local to explore the periphery of the eucalyptus groves on the Nipomo Mesa.

We rode for 2:40 hours and covered 7.55 miles.

To read more about the history of this area click HERE.
The Blue Gum eucalyptus were planted in 1908, and the forest still exists as a buffer between the houses. Dirt roads cross the acres, and make for perfect riding trails.
An astonishing number of the trees were piled up, being removed because they either died in the recent drought or were considered weakened and dangerous.

Sad to see these giants 110 years old being cleared away.

Trees make good neighbors.

Tobe Mule,
he thought he was going for a walk in a forest and he saw a graveyard.

But what the heck, if there is a place we haven't been we are glad to go.

This was the first trail ride of 2018 for Tobe and I.
The end of 2017 was a season of forest fire and smoke in the air, and then 2018 began with a tragic flood and mud disaster..... so only now are we getting around to that New Year's Resolution that said RIDE MORE.

 And how nice would it be if all towns set aside space for trails like these, with pretty barrier fences dividing the wild from the civilized.

 The trails were well signposted as we meandered.

It was easy to see that the eucalyptus were planted with precise rows, and in the places where some have fallen small ones often come up from the roots left behind.
Once we got onto the portion of the trail adjacent to the golf course the landscaping was very tidy indeed.

Here is a lovely example of the mixed-use planning so obviously well thought out here. We are on the trail with houses on the other side of a foliage covered fence to our left. On our right is a bicycle path, then landscaping, then the street.

We stopped for a picnic lunch at a nice area with tables for humans and tie rails for the creatures.
Tobe and his new friends had lunch also, munching contentedly on fresh new spring grass.
Then it was time to head back to the crossroads where the ride began, to my trusty SubUrban and BrenderUp, and head down the highway for home.

Once again with the magic of the internet the MeetUp brought together people with a common interest who spent a lovely couple of hours engaged in a pleasant activity and left as new friends.

                                 'There are no strangers here;

                               Only friends you haven't yet met."

                                       - William Butler Yeats

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There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met. William Butler Yeats
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/friendship