We seem to have tracked the shape of Africa as we rambled across the Arroyo Burro trails.
We did not have too much of a plan, just to be above the city and in nature.
Because the land is technically part of the Los Padres National Forest no chainsaws can be used.
So if a tree falls across the trail a work-around must be created, instead of cutting a passageway through the trunk.
This leads to a lot of detours.
For me, I like best passing through the oaks, feeling like I am back in time and voyaging across landscape in another part of the world. As we head into summer the green is still with us, not yet the high fire season.
We passed the entrance to the White Oaks Camp of the Santa Barbara Trail Riders.
All I know is it is exclusive and online it says they are a non-profit with 95 members.
Well heck, we've got the MeetUp with 421 members and we like everybody.
So we headed back down toward the river. Tobe and I often mosey along this far back, it is the best of worlds. We have the safety of being with friends, but the sensual experience of being out alone. Plus if I want to sing silly cowboy songs to Mr Mule no one laughs at the lyrics.
This very strangely formed rock placed on a boulder seemed like a signpost, but for what I will never know.
It qualifies as found art.
Here the trail meandered back and forth, sometimes dropping with very rocky sections, causing what the mule guys would call a "pucker factor."
But if the horses ahead of me can manage, I must not fear, for yea I go forth on a mule.
Tobe Mule would always rather snack on water plants than have a drink, so he appreciates the time-out.
Walking up toward the barn we saw a massive amount of piled up deadfall branches. A combination of trees dying in the drought and not being able to burn campfires.
That was certainly my introduction to equines, half a century ago, but then it was in the mountains of Pasadena, California. How much more splendid these landscapes here, how very lucky I am to have the ability to explore them.
“Bilbo was sadly reflecting that adventures are not all pony-rides in May-sunshine...”