On Sunday, we woke up, fed the ponies their hay and then fed ourselves breakfast. In the continued theme of I enjoy camping for the food, we made chocolate chip pancakes. They were really good.
We eventually pulled the beasts in and saddled them. Our goal was a 10 mile round trip up to a burnt-out cabin on the other side of the park. One of the cool things about the park was all of it's history. The park used to be a working cattle ranch and a lot of the historic buildings are still there. In the horse camping area, there was even a horse trough from the 1800s that was used by the stagecoach horses traveling to the Mt. Hamilton observatory, which we could see from our camp site.
The Pala Seca Cabin we were riding to was a hunting cabin built in the 1800s. In the 1920s, president Herbert Hoover stayed at the cabin for a hunting trip. Unfortunately, it burnt down just a few years ago, so all we got to see was a cement foundation and a sign.
It was still a great trip though. We rode up into the rolling grassy hills you can see in the picture above. The views from up there were really nice. We could see down into San Jose at some spots, but in most places, it was just rolling hills and oak trees all around.
The trails were mostly fire/ranch roads so they were wide and not too rocky in most places. After we left the cabin, we rode through a really pretty valley that would probably normally be a marsh if California had received any rain this year.
On our way up we had taken the Halls Valley trail because it said bikes uphill only. The Los Huecos trail did not say this so we figures the Halls Valley trail was probably the steeper one and we should take the Los Huecos one going down. This was the wrong decision. The Los Huecos trail was very steep at many points and I had to get off and on a bunch of times to get down the hills.
|This sign should have been a warning|
We did eventually get back to the campground and had a late lunch. We had moved the horses over to the pens at the empty sight next to us because those pens were bigger. The ponies got their beet pulp while we had sandwiches.
While we were eating, this big turkey vulture landed on the fence near our site and proceeded to stretch his wings. It was ery cool to see though I don't know enough about birds to understand why he was doing it.
After lunch, we took some watermelon over to see if the ponies would like it. They were pretty freaking enthusiastic about it:
After watermelon, we turned the ponies out in the pasture at the campground. This campground really has everything for horses. Of course, ours just stood around and stuffed their faces with dead grass instead of running or rolling or doing any pasture sort of activities:
Shortly after this my friend arrived to spend the night camping with us. She was also watching our dogs for us so she brought them with. They were very excited to go camping, but they were also pretty cold. We had to wrap them in blankets as the sun was going down.
Around sunset, we went over to the amphitheater again to watch the bats come out of the bat boxes they have behind the amphitheater stage. It was pretty cool watching them all coming swarming out at the same time. Then it was back to the campfire for more s'mores, hot chocolate, and campfire time. It was an excellent end to another excellent day.
Labels: Horse Camping, Mule Riding, Nilla, Shasta, Trail Riding