Now that I've developed a real sense of where I'm going around here, I am obsessed with mapping my moves and my trails. Completely obsessed. I mean, I can't get to sleep at night because I'm trying to figure out which trails will connect up for me to do the big, long ride I'm interested in doing when I'm back in September. And then, when I do get to sleep, Gold Hill (I think it's not actually called Mountain, after all) figures in my dreams. Coupled with Spackle taking over 2/3 of the bed and Sadie continuing to protect us by barking at 1am (although not for as long as when she was down on the porch), I am not actually getting a lot of sleep. Keppra is supposed to make me drowsy? Not so much.
Anyway, in September when I come back, another riding friend will be with me, and we're going to take a trip that might take five hours and will include lunch (I mean, we'll pack a lunch and take a break to eat it). I am very excited, and have many of the legs already worked out in my mind, both from rides I've taken and walks with the dogs. Today, with Mom added to my posse of dogs, another leg was achieved by car and on foot—and lo and behold, our destination today was a place I'd been to, years ago, very accidentally. I've always wondered just what it was, and now I know—the summit of East Gold Hill. At the time, I was staying here alone and rode that day (possibly bareback) a sweet mare named Toby who is now the elderly horse to an elderly woman. I just kept following a trail up and up, and it kept going up, and suddenly we were very high and everything was level and there was a fire ring and the sun was starting to set.
There was still light by the time we found a gravel road, and Toby seemed pretty confident that it was a road that would take us home, and it did. By the time it was completely dark.
Anyway, it was exciting to find the place again today and, once and for all, set the destination for my ride in September with MS.
K has several Forest Service maps of the surrounding areas, complete with FS trails and roads identified, and topography. They're from maybe the mid-70s, so there are a few details that I'm finding are no longer correct—such as the trail we were on today does not actually connect, on the map, with the East Gold Hill summit. To make my obsession easier, when I was in Moscow the other day getting Mom (and a cowboy hat—I'll have to post a picture), I had some enlargements made of the maps of the Jerome Creek Road and Gold Hill and environs. I've been poring over those maps, drawing in my jaunts, reveling in the satellite feature of google maps (although the pictures, some of them, are very out of date. There are new clearcuts as well as older growth that are both misrepresented), and really, REALLY dorking out on the cartography. I've even taking to carrying a compass.
Having Mom here has been charming. I've enjoyed getting to show someone all my explorations, and she's been very good at entertaining herself when I'm off horsing. She took me to dinner at the Hoo Doo last night where I had the gravy-smothered Hot Meatloaf Sandwich with mashed potatoes and a Bud. I've been mostly eating salads and fish and organic beef, which I've enjoyed a lot, but the gravy-smothering was a nice change.
And, sighted today, no bears, but a big coyote, stalking across the path a couple hundred yards in front of me. Sikem, Sadie and Hoover didn't see him.
Everyone just arrived from their ride, and the dogs are going crazy (it's 11:30pm), so I'm going to sign off.