I rode out of Hopewell Lake this morning on Takoda, leaving my mom to pack up camp and load Shyla in the trailer. It was a good thing that I took Takoda, too, as there were quite a few downfalls along the way, and Takoda is a better jumper than Shyla, so he handled it all very well. Still, there were definitely times when the trail was almost obscured by downed trees--a real tangle of obstacles that Takoda sometimes jumped over, I sometimes sawed through, and we sometimes managed to find a way around. The tree below was one that I first sawed some branches off in order to allow Takoda to be able to clear it; the jump was chest high, and as usual he cleared it from a standstill after I lead him up to it. I was very proud of how agile and athletic he is when faced with obstacles.
This was actually the first time I had ridden Takoda along on a trail outside of Topanga since we did some sections of the PCT in 2014. So he was more than a little concerned about heading out without Shyla. But eventually he settled down. And we did see a cute horned lizard along the trail!
My mother’s job was to drive the camper and trailer down a dirt road outside of Canjillon, NM, where the CDT crosses the road, and meet us there to camp for the night. It was a difficult last few miles of road (and that will be a theme in the future, I am sure!), but she found a great camping site on a grassy hill and waited for us to arrive. As happens with a lot of the CDT, this part of the trail passes through cattle range area, and in the morning we were awakened by about fifty cattle surrounding our portable pipe corral and trying to sneak a bit of the horses’ hay and even their water. My mom ran out in her PJ’s to scare the cattle away, but they were quite persistent and kept trying to circle back around for more, until they finally got the message that this was a private buffet.
Overall, Takoda was a good boy today, and he got the separation anxiety out of his system; since that first day alone, he has gone out often to do his share of the riding duties, and he has never been concerned about leaving Shyla behind--although both of them are always glad to be reunited at the end of the day, regardless of who is being ridden and who is getting a rest day.