Thursday, May 6, 2021

Pilchuck Tree Farm: Bracken three times over

 My therapist has been insisting that I engage in purposeful self care that's not staring at Merge Dragons late into the evening during my revenge bedtime procrastination. So I took a Monday (Jan18) off of work  and checked with a local acquaintance I 'knew' through blogger here and the endurance community to see if she'd be willing to show me around the Pilchuck Tree Farm. She was more than game.

I dropped kids off at daycare and met A at the Bracken Trailhead. There are several access points to PTF and Bracken is the one where the single track trails do not close in the mud season. Everywhere else restricts you to logging roads. The day was spectacularly sunny, a rare treat at this time of year (i.e. winter).

A and I are both believers in bedecking ourselves in purple. So Gwyn got to meet Fiddle, a lovely standardbred mare and off we went on a sedate loop. Trail etiquette and expectations are always good to communicate ahead of time so we had discussed pace, goals etc. She knew that I wanted something that would be more therapeutic for butts without being injurious. But also that I'm not a stranger to miles on the trail, so keeping things at about 2 hours of ride would be perfect (I still had to be back in time to get kids)

We are both believers in masking safely around people not in your pod. So masked outside in the woods because that was the CDC recommendation!
I didn't take many pictures because conversation was so engaging and enjoyable, plus I was making mental notes of landmarks as we traveled so I can come back! It's much closer than I anticipated, making this trailhead fairly easy for me to do regularly at about a 25 min drive from the barn.

About a week later, I returned with a barn mate in tow (literally). 

The day was much wetter but we soldiered on making a smaller loop since Henny was not going to be up for extended mileage. It was still a lovely day to be out. Mainly because we'd worn appropriate rain gear, haha.

Sporting work merch.

And then, there was March 1. I was getting antsy again. I hadn't been able to get out to the barn in over a week thanks to work stress. I'd even gone in a worked an extra day. So I told my boss to not expect me in on Monday. I don't get paid for extra days of work, so I would be flexing my time out. Firmly.

I didn't tell anyone to meet me there. I wanted a day free from appointments.

Gwyn was amped when we returned, this time solo. There were no other horses in the lot. She fixated on a hiker leaving the parking lot.

So I tossed her on the other side where she couldn't see him and let her stuff her face.

And then we went to get lost in the woods. My goal was to find new trails that I hadn't seen to get more mapping done for myself and to familiarize myself with the system. We didn't see anyone and it was lovely. 

It's so hard to capture the green moss of the trees

Gwyn had to walk the whole time, especially up the hills. 

I wrote this a while ago, before I felt like Gwyn had an all clear after her joint injections. I wasn't able to get out onto trails until Tuesday this week. It was too long.

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