Definite Lift-my-spirits and Feel-good Ride

Crow Hassan trail ride

I did it! I’m so excited! Luke and I made it to Crow Hassan Park!

I was pretty nervous about this drive with the trailer — narrow, windy roads and I wasn’t sure how the trailer parking would be. There were a lot of trailers there, but the parking area is so large that I had no problem pulling in and parking between two other trailers.

I was a little concerned about Luke too. A chill was in the air and some strong winds. It definitely felt like fall.

When I went to get Luke, he ran for about five minutes before he gave up and let me put a halter on him. I just stood in the middle of the paddock while he ran around. Silly boy…he can’t keep it up forever, but I do appreciate him running off some steam before I catch him.

Luke was more nervous than usual while he was tied to the trailer at the park too. Like I said, it was pretty windy.

When we headed down a trail into the woods, a big smile immediately covered my face. I hadn’t been to this park for at least twelve years and I’d forgotten how amazingly beautiful it is.

Unlike the state forest I was in last weekend, which runs through a mainly sand-based area, Crow Hassan is mostly on rich black dirt and is glaringly green when you are in the woods.

Crow Hassan trail ride

Outside the woods, there are wetlands, surrounded by goldenrod and other wild flowers.

Crow Hassan trail ride

Some of the trails were muddy, while others looked like they were sprinkled with river rock.

Crow Hassan trail ride

The grassy paths were soft and springy and nice to trot on.

Crow Hassan trail ride

I forgot that the trails went along the Crow River at a couple points. One trail by the river led to a horse camping site. There were quite a few rigs there. That might be a good place to try my camping skills and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Camping might be tough on my own, but I’m learning to like challenges.

Crow River

A red tailed hawk flew over us at one point and I could see the gorgeous colors in its feathers. Lots of WOW! moments today.

Crow Hassan trail ride

When Luke and I went back to the trailer at the end of our three and a half hour ride, a pack of coyotes started howling. I thought it was weird that they were making such a racket in the middle of the afternoon. I was glad I was back at the trailer as I’m not sure how Luke would have reacted if we would have run into them. I’ve been hearing coyotes more frequently at night too. Maybe that’s also a sign of the approaching fall season?

Luke was much more energetic on the trails than usual, probably from the chilliness and the wind rustling everything around him. I was taking photos of a pond when he became frightened and started backing off the trail into the brush. I was getting the jigging-explosive feeling so I just made him go forward and went back up the trail we’d just come down on. I was still holding my camera and couldn’t do much else as far as steering. He worked out of his nervousness quickly and I was able to put my camera away.

I don’t especially like having Luke react to things, but it does make the ride more interesting. Every time I manage to handle something out there on my own, it makes me feel a little better about myself. I can remain calm and handle these things.

It’s not good to be overconfident, but what I feel is more like my strength and confidence returning. It’s a feeling of belonging somewhere and being good at something. I can’t really express it quite right. But there are times when I feel completely in sync with what I’m doing. It’s a very peaceful and joyous feeling.

When I got home, I let Luke and Murphy out into the pasture, then unhitched the trailer — first time doing that by myself too. I sure hope I can get the trailer back on the truck hitch again because I’d like to take Murphy to the Rum River if I have time tomorrow.

unhitching trailer

Java jumped into the back seat of the truck, and we went to Fleet Farm and got the 6 x 5 x 15 dog kennel. I was expecting a struggle fitting the kennel into the back of the truck and strapping it down, but there’s the box below. Not at all the size I expected which makes me wonder how much assembly is involved.

dog kennel

I backed the truck to the spot I want to put the kennel. Struggled with sliding the box backwards (it weighs 185 pounds), got it back to the point of tilting and lowered the one end to the ground. Then I pulled the truck a bit forward to slide it almost out, but I didn’t want it to clunk to the ground, and I wasn’t sure if I could hold it when it dropped, so I put the stool underneath the box to help catch it. I’m sorry, but I think that was brilliant…

Java is already in her new kennel spot wondering what I’m waiting for. I’m wondering how I’m going to put the dang thing together. I also noticed that the slope behind the kennel is probably going to dump water into it. But it’s the only place I can really put the kennel. I just won’t put Java in it when it rains. It’s also going to mean moving or not using my clothesline. Oh, well. It’s all just temporary anyway.

dog kennel spot

After my amazing kennel unloading job, Java and I got out the tractor and cleaned out the paddock, then fed the horses.

By the time Java and I got in to eat, it was 6:30 PM, which isn’t so bad except I’d had breakfast at 8 AM and there was no time for lunch. I ate the rest of my leftover ribs from Texas Roadhouse. Gosh I love that place!

Tomorrow, maybe I’ll play it a little more low-key. Unless I try to put together that dang kennel. My title for that post will be $%&*@!!!

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  1. What a wonderful ride you had! It is very beautiful, so glad you have so many places to ride at. I wouldn’t like hearing the coyotes either. My neighbors came over today to tell me they saw a bear behind their shop, heading our direction, a what? I have never seen a bear here! And we were working out back all day, close to where the bear was supposedly heading! We never saw or heard anything. Freaky!
    It is easy to hook the trailer back up, the hardest part is to back the truck up to the hitch, especially when by yourself. I have it down now. Sometimes I have to back up, pull forward a couple times to get it just right, but the rest is a piece of cake, I have faith in that you will get it!
    Can’t wait to see Java’s new dog kennel!!

  2. It sounds like a perfect ride, and I love hear the confidence brimming from your writing. It is fun to explore new places and feel self-sufficient!

    I remember your earlier posts about feeling scared about trailoring and taking the horses to new places. Well, you’ve conquered that one!

  3. Good for you Mary…looks like you had a great time, and solved a problem. Don’t ya just love those kind of weekends?!

  4. Oh how I hate to let people down or disappoint them, but this weekend was one excellent day and one discouraging day, although I did manage to pull some positives out of it. Self sufficiency only seems to go so far. Sometimes you need an extra set of hands and it’s hell when you don’t have them.

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