Saturday, April 10, 2010

Scoping Out the Eq-Trails

My son got a Saturday off from his track meets, so we decided to go on a photography expedition coupled with exploring equestrian trails in the Washoe Valley south of Reno, Nevada.

I set everything to automatic on my new Nikon D300s DSLR camera, because I wanted to see the choices it would make. I learned that on cloudy days, it makes bad choices. Most of my photos came out over exposed and I'm too lazy to PhotoShop them at the moment. Here is a view of Mount Rose in the Eastern Sierra behind Washoe Lake.

Mount Rose is my favorite ski resort in Lake Tahoe. We were looking for Deadman's Creek Hiking Trail, but took a wrong turn and hiked up a hill a ways until we found someone's illegal dumping ground and a telephone pole that was hit by lightning.

From the top of the hill, we could see the parking area for the right trail, and drove on further down the road.

This trail is supposed to be a good equestrian trail, but I felt it was a bit narrow and the west side was too close to the road.

This is the only picture my son got of me. He was too lazy to look through the viewfinder, so he just tossed the camera up in the general direction of my face and pressed the shutter release. Nice.

I had contemplated bringing Lostine along while we explored the trails, but I'm glad I didn't, because all these dead tumbleweeds had fallen down the mountain and were piled up in the middle of the trail. We had to climb around them, because there was no place to relocate the weeds. If we put them to the right, they'd just roll back down onto the trail, and if we put them to the left, they'd roll into traffic on the highway and cause an accident.

I saw a ton of deer hoof marks, but no evidence of horses until we reached a fire road.

Then I got out my telephoto zoom lens and spotted a couple of what looks like Clydesdales off in the distance.

They would have to cross the highway to get to the fire road.

We decided to look for an equestrian trail on the other side of the lake and took another wrong turn. We ended up on a trail behind Bower's Mansion.

It led to a grave site.

Eventually, we found the right trail at Davis Creek just down the road. We began hiking up toward Mount Rose.

We had to cross a couple of roads and then came to a bridge. Hmmmm. I haven't trained my horses to cross bridges yet.

A small tree had fallen and was blocking horses from crossing the creek itself. My son cleared it out of the way.

We came to a second water crossing, which my son fell into. He wasn't happy about his wet socks. Each time I stopped to photograph something, he ran and hid from me. I made a game out of sneaking up on him and taking his photograph.

By the time we reached this sign, my calves were already bulging and the arrow isn't exaggerating when it points up.

That weird thing on my son's fingers is a splint. He jammed his middle finger playing football. It makes it kind of hard for him to pole vault, so I'm glad he got the weekend off. However, the injury didn't prevent him from climbing and swinging from trees.

He left his signature for other hikers on the trail.

At first he didn't want his picture taken, but eventually he was trying to ruin every shot by jumping in front of my camera. Of course, it just made the pictures better.

My son is a lot of fun to hang out with. Our family has a silly sense of humor. Along with water crossings and bridges, there were also a lot of low hanging branches.

There were also very narrow parts where the drop off was quite steep. In one spot I saw by the hoof prints that a horse had gone over the edge and had to climb back up. Davis Creek had trails all over the place, but horses weren't welcome on all of them.

I decided that the trail I've been riding on is the best, and I don't need a brand inspection to drive there. On our way home I took pictures out the car window of the neighbor-free ranches I'd like to own some day.

Now that is what I call SPACE. Check out this next photo. Can you tell what that fencing is?

How about from another angle?

It's someone's private horse race track! Isn't that outrageous? What I wouldn't do for that barn and race track. Here's another, more traditional looking barn.

Sorry for the blur. We were going about 45 MPH. I was hungry and didn't want to have to stop to take decent pictures. Last, but not least, a lovely splash of color.


Breathe said...

What a great hike! I love how Colt was trying to "ruin" pictures. Too hilarious!

You know you could always walk your horses on the trail, expose them to all that stuff...

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Sounds like you and Colt had a nice little hike. I love all the barns around you.

Sydney said...

What lovely trails. Theres nothing like that around here.

fernvalley01 said...

What a nice way to spend your day! And a lucky mom who has a son that is willing to hang out with you!

Leah Fry said...

What a wonderful day and great pix to show for it. I love the way Colt signed his name — very clever.

And very nice future digs.

Dreaming said...

Great pictures and I do love your son's antics.
I too gaze adoringly at beautiful acreage and barns along our travels. I love to fantasize about owning them. Oh, and yes, I admire the horses too!
Thanks for sharing the pics of the trail. It looks like it would be fun, even with the challenges. It would be a tad far for me to haul to, though!

Mikey said...

Love the scenery and all the pics. Your son is hilarious :)
Beautiful country!

Rising Rainbow said...

It sounds like you had a great day with your son. The pics show his playful personality.

Many of the trails here have bridges too. Sometimes I end up doing my schooling over bridges on a new trail.

Jen said...

Terrific photos - thank you for taking us with you on your trip (I had a really good time; heh heh heh ;o)

Grey Horse Matters said...

Great pictures. Looks like you had a great time hiking.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Colt is just the coolest young man! My twinlings are growing up to be a lot like, and willing to poke fun at themselves and be silly. I, too, love hanging out with them, especially while out hiking and letterboxing.

The photos taken with him in the photos are my favorites! The photos have such a wonderful composition and interest to them.

The hike looked like fun and very interesting trails, too. It's nice that there are water crossings, so that you can water your horses, too.

Oh! And I love that nature signature of Colt's. I'd have that enlarged and framed. Very clever!