Thursday, July 9, 2015

In My Absence

Various forces have kept me out of the desert most of this past month.  Today we had some clouds and wind, so I asked Bombay to accompany me on a hike.  I've been having to keep the horse trailer locked up tight between the high winds blowing doors open and burglars on the prowl, so I got all the way down to the trailer before I realized that I forgot to bring the key to unlock the tack room in order to get a halter.  It's not that far to walk... unless it's over 100 degrees F in the summer months.  Then it feels like absolute torture to have to hike all the way back to the house to get the key, even though I was going outside to go hiking to begin with.

Bombay was nervous and pumped himself up on the way out.  He started to jig, and I shook my head in frustration.  I just can't take any time off from working with these horses or those bad habits creep right back in.  We barely got through the gate to the bridle trails and ran into a bunch of garbage.  I figured it flew out of the trash truck as it drove down the street.  I told Bombay I'll have to come back out again with a garbage bag and some gloves.

Bombay was good about not pulling on the lead rope, but he was still all jacked up.  I ignored him the best I could and pretended like I was hiking alone since my horse wasn't being very good company.  He eventually settled down, and by the end of our hike he was back to the horse I had last month before I dropped off the face of the earth.

Everywhere we went, there was fresh trash.  Witches britches were caught in bushes and blowing in the wind, newspapers were blowing around, discarded alcohol bottles littered the area, and I found another Mylar balloon in the usual bush.  I'd swear that the same people must keep buying these balloons on holidays and special days, and they've made a tradition out of releasing them, and somehow the balloons always land in the same small part of the desert.

Bombay was doing a really good job of ignoring all the plastic bags and papers blowing around us.  I said, "I think I'm going to need two big black garbage bags just to put a dent in this."

It just goes to show you how much work I do on a regular basis to keep the bridle trails clean, because I haven't been out there in one month, and it looks like a landfill.  I don't know how that much trash can end up there in such a short period of time.  I know that when school let out in the past, the desert was the party spot for teenagers.  Long before I moved here, they'd have bonfires and race their vehicles around, but now the area is fenced in with a list of rules, which include no campfires, no overnight camping, no vehicles, and no littering.

Of course, Bombay held off on spooking until we got home.  I think he jumped because the neighbor's For Sale sign began swinging in the wind.  You'd think he'd be used to it by now since various signs have been posted there for over a year now.

The sun came out from behind the clouds and the wind stopped.  I felt like a castaway crawling up a beach on my way down the driveway.  My heart was beating so hard just trying to move in that heat, and it really hasn't been that hot.  The temps are below normal.  Still, it's dangerous to get caught out in the desert in the direct sunlight too far from home.

Last night the news reported that a grandfather and grandson hiked out into the desert to go geocaching and never came back.  Today the news reported that rescuers found them dead.  No water.  They had hiked six miles out from their car and turned back.  It appeared as if the grandson left the grandfather to get help, but he succumbed to the elements just a mile and a half from the car.  I regret not bringing a bottle of water with me if I just go down to the barn to clean stalls, so that must have been really tough going nearly 12 miles in 110 degree heat without water.

In the meantime, I've been looking at all these videos on Facebook of rain storms, hail, snow, and flooding in my hometown back in Nevada.  It's July, isn't it?  I'm not sure which weather I'd rather be dealing with.  Either situation makes it hard to ride horses.


ellie k said...

We are having hot and dry. I mowed today and don't think I had a dry thread on me when I finished, I still have the front to do tomorrow.

Mrs Shoes said...

In the photo Bombay's ticking seems to be quite red - is it really or is it a trick of the light, I am wondering?
So sad about the Grampa & his grandson... if only they'd turned back sooner. :-(
I hate when I'm riding down the road & see litter! I always wonder why the hell the ignorant SOB who chucked his empty beer can out on MY road can't just carry a damn trash bag like decent people do. (Possesive much? Guilty. My son mocks me about calling it MY road all the time.)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Mrs. Shoes - Bombay was born a bay color, but his freckles are quite red now. Sort of a reddish brown in the summer when he has shed his coat. Yeah, I can't relate to people who dump trash wherever they happen to be without a thought for the environment. I spend a lot of time in landfills dumping manure, and I'm amazed that with all the filth we as humans create, we don't drown in it.

Jen said...

We wind up with an annoying amount of trash in our little pasture; a lot of it pieces of broken glass that I guess have washed down the hill. Scary.

We've had a boatload of rain this month - the weeds are having a field day (which would be a LOT punnier if we weren't the ones having to deal with them and didn't have a dead tire on the sprayer *rolls eyes*). Higher than normal heat indices as well, which is no fun. I haven't ridden at all yet this summer. Booooo :oP

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I bicycled around the desert this morning picking up garbage. My suspicions were correct. It appears as if some high schoolers had a big party out there. I found a bunch of balloons for the "Class of 2015." Well, since the class of 2015 has already shown that they have no class by leaving all their garbage out on the bridle trails, I'm a bit concerned about the future of our earth.

achieve1dream said...

That is so sad about the grandfather and grandson! Heartbreaking really. They were just trying to spend quality time together and ended up dead. :-( I'm probably just over sensitive right now because my friend's son died yesterday falling off a cliff. It's scary how he was innocently camping after going to a wedding and now he's dead.

That's pathetic about the high schoolers. No respect!!