Camping, Round Two had some great moments. Lola was one of those, she was a fine addition to the party. And she loved it. What's not to love? Woods, lakes, another dog, her people....I am so glad I brought her, we'd thought to try it to give Cabal a bit of a break, but having her along was no bother, and made for a delightful time.
We have a lovely place to camp. I could never "camp" in one of those places where tents and campers are all over each other, like little cities, only one is sleeping in a tent or camper. What's the POINT? Camping should be out in the wilderness, and should not involve a host of other people, in my humble opinion.
Our site is little more than a clearing. No showers. No water. There is a sort of toilet. A real hole in the ground affair. But that's it.
The clearing is off a dirt road, and does have three areas where one can tie horses, tho we put up our own lines, and we bring everything we need. There is also an information board. One side has a half eaten map of the trails, and the other more BEAR info that is strictly needed for confidence, if you ask me.
I think this would do:In regards to BEARS, if you see one go the other way for Gods sake. Don't run, hope the BEAR is in a good mood. Don't leave your food out because there is no way you have brought enough anyway and you will need it all for yourselves, let alone feeding any random wildlife. If your dog barks like a crazy thing you might want to consider the safety of your car.
I've been riding a horse named Chanel, who belongs to our friend the Awesome One (as we fondly call him, and he is) She is a big bay, might be part Thoroughbred/Quarter Horse. BIG. And she knows that she can intimidate me, as we recall from last time. If she can get me to quit, she will. And it's scary. Mel says it isn't "Bucking" she is just "Throwing her Ass in the air"
Ok. Fine. Whatever. It's scary, especially going downhill in the woods on a narrow trail.
I'm not going for it anymore. Decided before we even left for camping that wasn't going to happen. Well, I knew it WAS going to happen, the ass in the air bit, but it was NOT going to work this time.
I am happy to say it didn't. The secret is, much like being on stage, to act like you know what you are doing. No fear. You can't let it in. You cannot believe, or even think, that you might fail. Or you will.
When that ass goes in the air, you whip the reins around and smack it, and let that horse know EXACTLY what you think, in language more suited to a waterfront bar than a gentlewomen. And she will try again. In fact, on a three hour trail ride, you might spend just over half with your horse trying every way she can to intimidate you into giving up.
It's wearying. Fear wasn't an option this time, but I was pretty close to worn out by the time she grudgingly gave up and went nicely. It being over 90 may have helped this.
I need to ride her more, a few times a week, out where she lives, and let her know she is GOING to behave herself.
Or I will smack that ass.
You see, these rides have been sort of warm ups, my horse friends tell me, for the rides we are going on later this summer. And I need to be ready.
What else did I learn? There is no joy that can compare to an icy cold beer in the middle of a ride, taken from your saddle pack, drank down in one or two drinks (all the while alert for Ass in Air)
Drinking NA Beer is really handy for this moment, as you CAN drink it down in one or two drinks, and still remain upright in the saddle. Perfect.
I also learned that when you bring only a finite amount of food and then need to cook it on the campfire at the end of a long hard day of riding, WHATEVER you have to eat will be the BEST thing you have ever had. Burghers, potatoes, carrots onion and cream of mushroom soup in a foil packet cooked on the fire?
Best meal ever. Hands down.
You and your little dog may also be in your tent and asleep by 10 too. Despite the fact that even tho you remembered pillows this time, you have realized a few pillows do not a bed maketh. Got to work on this Bed Thing. Chased my sleeping pad and sleeping bag around the tent half the night. No idea what their aversion to me IS.
However we camp next time, I do know a few things. My friends will be there. I will play violin while dinner is cooking. Chanel will know who is the Boss.
And we will bring Lola.
Love and Camping Lessons,