I am gaining much more respect for trail biking! I have bruises between my thighs from braking hard and jumping off of the seat in order to prevent myself from crashing. I have discovered that you cannot use your front brake when you hit deep sand because you will go over the handlebars lickity split! Fortunately for me, I have been a horse back rider all of my life, so the urge to bail before I get into trouble is an immediate reaction to the first sign of danger! One must know their limitations, and in most cases, I most certainly do. I haven’t taken a nasty fall yet, but can only imagine not if, but when. It seems totally inevitable, so I brought along bandages and my trusty bandana just in case I loose a limb, break an arm, or worse, sever an artery or vein and bleed to death. I imagine head bashing is another thing to worry about, so we both wear helmets. You can see where the younger generation does stump jumping and rock bouncing and they must be able to become totally air born. I won’t ever get to that level of sportsmanship, but I did go over an embankment and land in one piece and I consider myself lucky. You also have to lean back and straddle the saddle with your thighs when going downhill and into deep sand, and that is a talent I am very good at. I have always had powerful thighs and Michael can attest to that, so my thighs have been a big help to me. That is also the reason why I have bruises between my legs. When I am convinced I am going to crash, I jump down with both legs to keep from falling over! When I land hard, I stop myself by planting both feet firmly on the ground and this bangs the bike frame into my thighs. Better that then landing in a broken heap. No shame in that! So, bruises between my legs at 61 years of age is a badge of honor, and I shall take it as a compliment to my level of skill at staying out of trouble. I am also having a little more difficulty with crossing my legs!:)
Callie woke up to birds singing and enjoyed watching them flit about outside the window. She loves RVing and I am so proud of her for being such a good sport. I made Michael a nice Father’s Day Breakfast and now that our bike ride is finished, we are going to have lunch and possibly walk into town for dinner tonight to celebrate. We may go to Lundy Canyon or Convict Lake tomorrow. Not sure which direction to go in as of yet, but staying out of the heat is a deciding factor. Fred made it safely home after a disastrous tire blow out near Indio and we hope he recovers from his big adventure as soon as possible. He attempted to travel with a fractured ankle and it was too much for him. Rest up Fred and get on that new awesome, Stumpjumper bike.
Happy Father’s Day to all the good men out there raising children. The world needs good parents!
It is beautiful here in Mammoth. The sky is cloudless and the sunshine just bright and warm enough to add color and light. Michael and I went off road biking after introducing Fred to some road biking around Shady Rest Campground beforehand. Fred bought a new bicycle yesterday and it is a beauty. We did some test riding and then left him back at the Campground to rest. The altitude takes some getting use to and we have been doing some hill work.
I would have to say that off road biking is about as good as it gets. It reminds me of horseback riding with just a hint of danger if you get caught in deep sand, or you run over a rock. I haven’t been thrown yet, but know it is inevitable. One minute you are speeding along, and the next minute you are stopped mid-track. We were able to bike on some well maintained logging trails that were shaded by massive pine trees and carpeted with pine needles. We did a loop around the Campground and it took us maybe 45 minutes. At one point we biked along an airplane and helicopter strip that must be used for emergency plane landings or for the forest fire service.
Callie had a long walk this morning and I would have to say that it was her best walk yet! She turns when I whistle and when I tug gently on the leash. She also walks at a pretty good clip. She has gotten the hang of it and enjoys seeing the sights. She doesn’t seem to smell everything like a dog does, but rather stops and stares and then stops to stare some more. Her eyesight is more dominant and she uses her eyes more than her nose. Our walks are lasting at least 30 minutes now and when she is tired she lies down and lets me know she has had enough. I couldn’t ask for a better RV pet companion. She is so tuckered out that I think I will pass on the bike ride with her in the basket today. We can do another walk later in the day.
I thought Morro Bay was the best place to bike after Anza Borrego in the winter…. But I have to say that Mammoth in the summer is about as good as it gets. It is a very bike friendly town. I am so appreciative that we have stayed put and can hang out until Monday morning. We are just now beginning to explore the bike and hiking trails and I much prefer it to road biking. I don’t like biking around cars. Two more full days of biking and enjoying ourselves at New Shady Rest Campground and then on to Convict Lake. I got a call back from the host and he said we will be able to have our pick of campsites after Father’s Day weekend…..
I mentioned in my previous blog that my sister, Gayle and I have a shared love of horses. We were given a horse, actually, a Welch/Quarter horse- pony that we shared with my other sister, Janet, when we were children. His name was Little Geronimo and he was a kind and hard working pony. I must have been around 12, Gayle, 11 and Janet, 10… We had Regina Marie Anne, her foal, Buffy Saint Marie, and the list goes on. When I raised my daughter Lara and we had to choose a sport she could compete in… soccer did not make the list. We decided on an equestrian sport with Arabian horses. Champagne Flight became the love of my life and a wonderful trail horse when he made it clear he didn’t like being on the show circuit. My husband Michael has been vey supportive about my need to have a horse in my life. Gayle and I have continued with this passion and to this day we are still riding together as 60 year old women. When are you too old to ride? I hope to ride until I die. Gayle boards Bella for me and I try to ride several times a month. It is a 2 hour drive, one way for me, so the desire to ride is still a passion for me! Gayle also has 2 fabulous dogs, River and Murphy and we have so much fun together. Bella was a rescue horse, and quite bitter and angry when we first adopted her. Now she is a jewel to ride and even knickers when I come to visit her. So Gayle rides her Morgan/Quarter horse Sargent and I ride Bella. River, the white shepherd and Murphy, the collie joyously tag along. It is a great way to spend a couple of hours together, and if horses could talk, what would they have to say about it all? Gayle and I talk nonstop and Bella’s ears twitch back and forth the whole time. Because they are senior horses, we take care not to move any faster than a walk. I believe we are keeping them young and I KNOW they are doing the same for us.
I am so fortunate to have 6 sisters and 1 brother and that I am right in the middle of a large and loving family. I have the advantage of being close to all of them. We lost both our parents several years ago and it is important that we keep in touch and continue to be loving and supportive of one another. Gayle in particular is my Irish twin and we are probably the closest. We have always ridden horses, raised a menagerie of dogs, cats, birds, and with Gayle, a donkey named Pancho. Today is my last day of being 60 years old and Gayle spent several days with me celebrating my birthday early in Borrego Springs, California. Michael is good about giving me time alone with her and Callie and I enjoyed her visit very much. We managed to hike Borrego Palm Canyon, swim and bike around De Anza Country Club Golf Course and Indian Head Ranch. We also ate wonderful meals and drank fabulous chardonnay wine called Big Churn. For any of you who want a decent buttery and reasonably priced wine, Big Churn is a bargain and can be found at Trader Joe’s. Gayle made me a beautiful doll named Joan and she exudes attitude and love of life. She also baked carmel apple cupcakes and brought Halloween and Autumn decorations so that I could get in the mood for Fall. Of course I placed my new doll, Joan, on top of my wine rack like she is riding a horse into the sunset. I also got a box of See’s assorted dark chocolates. When I was in college, an assignment called Fantasy was requested of all the students and my project was an oil painting of See’s Candy, Nuts and Chews. I still own this painting and have it prominently displayed in my entranceway. Gayle left today and Michael will return to continue in the festivities. Thank you Gayle for coming to visit. Turning 61 will be a pleasure.