Another Christmas and New Year have come and gone. Seems like the year is getting shorter or the stores are putting out sale items quicker -- saw some Valentine's stuff yesterday so Easter isn't far behind!
Hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year's Eve. Me, I had a nice Christmas. But the holidays are still 'rough'. There's always 'something' to remind me of the holidays with my husband, Den. We used to put up a BIG tree, decorate it, then trek to San Francisco to see the lights. Since he passed away, put up a SMALL tree, decorate it, allow myself one good cry but don't go to SF. I know he wouldn't want me sitting around feeling sorry for myself so on Christmas Day, saddled Nic and we headed up into the hills. New horsecamp going in on one side of the hills (private) so wanted to see what was happening. It's know as 'being nosey'.
We sure need rain!! Hills are dry. Hardly any grass left. Most ranchers are feeding hay from the back of their trucks. My daughter, Becky, is helping her 'partner', John. She's always been a morning person (does not get that from her mother!!!) so she's up at 5 am and by 6 heading out the door to go feed cows! Went with her a couple times. I get to drive the truck!! She sits in the back and tosses out hay. Soon as we get through the gate and start tootin' the horn, cows come to the top of the hills, see us and then come down the trails. Pretty soon we've got a line of cows following the truck.
Cows are funny. The momma cows come racing in to eat. The calves wander behind and the old bulls come saundering like what's the big hurry? There's hay for everyone. Then they wander from pile to pile pushing and shoving to get the best 'pile'. The calves feed around the edges and the bulls just stand there chewing and watching the cows.
Horses are a little different. The ones in pasture that are being fed come racing over the hills. While the cows keep a respectful distance, a couple of the horses will shove their heads in the cab as if they wanta drive! They'll even reach over the side of the truck and try to pull hay out of the bed. So usually Becky tosses the hay out and THEN I toot the horn.
Checked up in the Sierra and there is NO snow. Last year where the snow/water ratio was taken, there was 8 feet of snow on January 1st. This year, what snow could be found was 1/8 inch deep. So far California is say "no problem with water" but I can hear the agencies saying "to dry", close the camps. Seems with agencies it's either to dry, to wet, to much snow or we don't have the manpower to keep trails and camps open. Which is why it's IMPORTANT that when you camp or trail ride, you notify the agency who manages the site that YOU WERE THERE!!
I'll even make it easy for you to notify an agency. Send me your name and physical mailing address and will send you 6 "Trail Rider's Comment Cards". Free. I'll even pay the postage for the 6.
Comment Cards are basically 3x5. On one side you put in name, address, trail/camp you rode or camped in, date, what it was like and any comments. Then you turn the card over, address, stamp and mail. I keep a couple dozen in the glove compartment of my truck so when I'm done riding, I can fill one out while sitting around the campfire that night or before I load the horses into the trailer from a trail ride. Then either drop the completed card in an 'iron ranger', comment box or mail. If you wanta see a picture, go to Two Horse Enterprises (www.twohorseenterprises.com
). One the hompage, click on Items. Scroll down the page and there's a picture and description.
I'm a firm believer that if we don't tell an agency we were there -- camping and riding -- no one else will. So for the New Year, make it a resolution to start telling folks where you rode and camped. What have you got to lose? The "Trail Rider's Comment Cards" are free........
Bonnie (and Nic)