A lucky seven group of riders invited by the MeetUp and the Santa Ynez Valley Riders convened at La Purisima Mission in Lompoc, CA, to take a stroll through the Mission grounds. Once one of the chain of California Missions established by Fra Junipero Serra in 1787, it is now a beautifully restored educational center and a fine place to ride.
Recent rains made this a good choice, the land is very sandy. We were on the trail for exactly 2 hours and covered 5.59 miles. The average walking speed was 2.8mph, but a few times I asked the Trail Boss's permission to rack Tobe on ahead and the GPS monitor said he was going 6mph. That's a land speed record for Tobe Mule!
What kid of trail ride would this be?
Fortunately he seemed like his usual self, not psychedelicized, and ready to be my trusty Centaurian lower half and carry me into the wilds.
The ride started with a pep talk by La Presidenta of the SYVR, giving us the common sense rules of the trail, and then we headed off to climb up to the water tanks and see the view.
We were ready!
There are quite a few of the original buildings still in place, in different states of restoration.
Pretty soon it started to feel like a Drivers' Ed training movie, with obstacles like baby strollers, bicyclists, maintenence crews in jeeps, bicyclists and joggers darting into our path. Mule keeps it cool.
The landscape was the typical spring lushness of coastal sage chaparral, but the artistic forms of bleached bones manzanita rose above the greenery.
Finally we could see our goal above, massive blue-green water tanks on the Mesa.
Then, dagnabbit, he almost broke his ears! Those vital echo-locating mechanisms must be kept in the alert and ready position!
and I took portraits of all the riders.
Hooray for technology that brings people together for such a nice excursion, and for blogging which gives me a way to share these pleasant equine adventures.