Horsing around

A horse bypass leads to a saddle. Irony scratches her mosquito bites.

The day after a national holiday weekend is generally top notch for riding trail, if the weather permits. Everyone who hasn’t tripped the Bug-O-Meter® or gotten arrested for fleeing the fuzz is back to work, or school, and a fella has a little elbow room out there among the cacti and buzzworms.

But for some inexplicable reason I decided to take a hike instead. Go figure.

I got the traditional late start (O’Grady Standard Time), so with the sun up, the wind at my back, and a steady uphill trudge for most of the first hour or so, I was sweating like a sausage in a skillet, doffing my hat at intervals to mop the brain-case with a bandana.

Slouching up Trail 365 I turned for no good reason onto the Embudo Trail Horse Bypass, mainly because I’d never used it and was idly curious. Generally I loop around on 365A and head back down to El Rancho Pendejo.

The bypass wound upward to a ridge that overlooks Embudo Trail 193, and so did I. Thought briefly about following it down to where the two trails merge, but I didn’t know exactly where that was, or what the footing might be like after the monsoons. Plus I’d been out for 90 minutes already, probably sweated off all the sunscreen, and was down to about a half liter of water and a half tube of Clif Blox.

Hey, it was a trail for horses, not a horse’s ass. I turned around, whinnied, and hoofed it home.

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14 Responses to “Horsing around”

  1. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Those trails up behind your abode are not to be taken lightly. Although I only hiked up there one afternoon when I visited I could see plenty of opportunities to screw up and make an unplanned visit to the sawbones Good to read you’re picking and choosing your battles. Could be your ankle chronicles raised your IQ at least 10 points. Me? I sliced deeply into my pointer finger while prepping some end of season eggplants. If that’s not enough doltness, the day before I managed to super glue several fingers together when the fekking tube split open. I had big plans involving power tools and some sore muscles for the next several days but those projects shall remain on hold until I get my damn poop grouped.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      I leave a band aid in my kitchen knife drawer to remind me that my favorite knife, a Kanetsune Santoku, will ruin my day if I don’t pay attention to the task at hand! And, mi amigo, I am so stealing “poop grouped.” It’s new to me, and I thank you.

      • Shawn Says:

        I believe the “damn” needs to stay in with the poop grouped. There is no such thing as an un-damned poop grouping when such a phrase is appropriate Although if you eat a lot of fiber I suppose the damn (dam) and poop grouping kind of goes out the window.

        Kudos to you Pat for your phrase-ology and getting me to think about sharp knives and poop this am.

    • SAO' Says:

      I saw the Ankle Chronicles open for Radiohead in ‘96, Merriweather Post Pavilion.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I saw The Cankles open for Stumblebum & The Support Hose at the Varicose Center back in ’02.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        I saw The Cankers in 1984 opening for Moan and Groan, The Agony Brothers.

        • Herb from Michigan Says:

          At Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake years back on the day the tornado hit town ( I shit thee not) I saw a band called The Drunks at a punk club next to a tattoo parlor. And they certainly were…drunk that is. The lead singer got into a fight with one of the tattoo artist who had worked on a few members of our party who were decidedly….drunk. We got thrown out just before The Itchy Nipples did their set. Things got so sideways that I commandeered a big ass U-Haul cube truck in order to get back to my hotel in one piece. For the record I thought I was going to dinner with some rational media folk and some mellow hippie types. What dinner? I learned later…some in our party never did make it back the next day to the Salt Palace

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        I also saw Heel Spur, opening for Shank’s Mare, at the Iron Horse Music Hall In Massachusetts.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The interesting trails have roughened up more than quite some thanks to all the runoff. Rutted all to be damn and right down the center, too, the borders overlaid with teensy weensy gravel goodies guaranteed to put some glide in your stride.

      I take my big-ass Brazos stick with me so’s I don’t have to hunt one down at trailside if/when I take a digger and pop something that impairs forward progress. And if I don’t think I can get back down, I don’t go up.

      That being said, I need to get back up to the Candelaria Bench Trail and have a look around. It’s right out the door, and I like it up there, though I have slid out on the descents more often than not. Where my chairlift at?

      Careful with them sharp objects, Skeeter. I ever tell you about the time I nailed myself to my own damn drawing board with an X-acto knife? I’m still not quite sure how I managed that, but I don’t expect those darn drugs helped any. Just say no, kids.

  2. carl duellman Says:

    i love a good hike but i don’t do it often enough. part of the florida trail runs through our area along with several spur trails. they aren’t epic hikes but they are nice enough. one portion is out at the beach. i did an 8 miler a few weeks back on a trail that follows a creek. i thought it would be cool down by the water but it was muggy and buggy. the route back was more upland in the pine forest and it was cooler but not by much. no copperbacked rattle moccasins but i did come across some wild turkeys. i’m hoping to get up in the mountains of tennessee in a few weeks before hunting season starts and get in some gravel rides and some day hikes.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I have to get out and about on my own two feet from time to time, just to make sure I still can.

      Yesterday’s march was also an eight-miler, which was just about perfect. There’s nowhere to hide from the sun out there, though, not the way I went.

      I need to explore some other options that put me into the trees. But I’m limited by stubbornness — I’d rather not drive to a workout, which means I start hoofing from the front door.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      An 8 mile hike is almost into the epic category, especially in the mountains. Unlike cycling, descents on foot are as tiring as climbing, and they are more likely to put one on one’s ass. Upland? Carl, you sure you are in Florida?

      • carl duellman Says:

        yeah, 8 miles is a good day’s hike. i can do more but it gets into the suffering category. there was some elevation change but probably no more than 100′. upland around here implies it’s not wetland. back in the day my girlfriend and i hiked a portion of the inca trail in peru. that was a lot of climbing and very little oxygen. the downhills were rough on the knees. so worth it though to get into macchu picchu before the tour busses got there.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Eight miles is about right for Your Humble Narrator, Paddy me boyo. Like Carl, I can do more, but it’s gon’ hurt.

        And the downhills! Judas Priest, etc. My shocks are about shot. I don’t bounce off stuff anymore, I sag, with ominous crunching noises.

        The trails around here are not-so-pulverized granite sprinkled with “kitty litter,” which is an invitation to sand a few layers of fat off the ass if you don’t watch your step. I have to keep what remains of my mind on a short leash because if it wanders, as it will, my feets will soon follow.

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