After dealing with rain and mud, the temperatures are rising back into the triple digits in mid-October. This is unusual, and we could possibly set a record. People are getting grumpy about the heat, including myself. I've been feeling frustrated over the limited amount of time I can spend outdoors before I feel depleted. I wanted to ride a horse, any horse, any time, anywhere -- I didn't care. I just wanted to ride a horse.
The problem I've been running into is timing. I tend wait until all the horses have eaten their breakfast before attempting to ride. I get up before sunrise to feed them, and it takes them until 11:00 AM sometimes to finish their hay and grain. By then it is practically mid-day and the sun is blaring straight down on us pretty forcefully. I usually let the horses out of their stalls, clean up more manure, and then stagger back to the house for water and a place to sit down before I faint. I've had many false starts when I got a halter out of the trailer to catch a horse. Somehow something happens to distract me and eat up all of my energy, and next think I know I'm back in the house trying to recover with a glass of water and air conditioning.
So, this morning I approached things differently. I went out in the morning when I was ready to ride, not caring if the horses were done eating or not. Rock still had plenty of hay left, but wasn't interested in it, so I saddled him up and left all the other horses in their stalls to finish their breakfasts. Amazingly, there wasn't a single whinny as we rode off. The horses were too busy eating to care.
I have even driven my truck up and down our road, stopping in front of houses to pick up trash, hoping neighbors would come out and ask what I'm doing, so that I can tell them just how much of my time is spent cleaning stray garbage off our street and bridle trails. They need to know. I call it "neighborhood awareness".
There were truck tire tracks going all over the desert. Usually, the power company trucks just stay between the power lines, but since someone was discharging firearms in the desert on Sunday night, and I didn't see any tire tracks out there on Sunday during the day, I suspect the tire tracks belonged to the police looking for the gunman.
Camping is illegal out there and no one is supposed to be there after dark. Most of the homeless people go into town during the day, and then sneak out to the desert at night to sleep, so hopefully I won't run into a crazy person by checking it out in the day time. I'd probably be safer on horseback than on foot, but I can be more stealthy on foot. I can also pick up trash more easily without a horse in tow. I still need to train my horses to be pack animals, so they can pack my garbage bags out of the desert.