We started at the bottom of this map at the Hazard parking area, tracked parallel to the road through the forest, went down to the beach and rode toward Morro Rock, then back up through dunes to the woods again and back to the starting point.
We started out with the rumor of the good intentions of several other MeetUp members to come along, but as it turned out we had this small and stalwart crew: our trail boss and guide Devyn on JakeQuarterHorse, Noe on MarcosAndalusian, and me on TobeMule.
So off we went, into the eucalyptus forest. It was planted 100+ years ago by someone who intended to make his fortune selling the fast-growing wood for railroad ties. Unfortunately he soon discovered it is completely unsuitable for that use, and now it is a State park.
Some grow straight and tall, some are bendy and twisty.
But always a forest is fascinating.
Here they are:
As scary as an unexploded bomb, puma pawprints in the sand!
But then it was time to turn around and head back to the starting point.
Trails with branches and roots, rocks and ground squirrel holes, no problem for a Kentucky Mule. They truthfully call mules sure-footed, and they keep their rider safe with accurate hoof placement.
No need to travel to another state or country, California offers such a wealth and variety of landscape to explore.
But wait, first we stopped at the Sea Pines Resort that astonishingly offers livery, so we were able to give the animals a paddock to rest up in and munch their dinner.
What a lovely end to a fine day!
"We are tied to the ocean, and when we go back to the sea we are going back from whence we came."
- John F Kennedy
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