Monday, August 4, 2008

Giddyup, Little Cowgirls!

We arrived in Seaview, WA without incident after a lovely drive up the Oregon coast and across the scenic Astoria-Megler Bridge. The bridge is certainly an engineering feat, spanning 4.1 miles at the mouth of the Columbia River. My mom and aunt both remember taking this same route by ferry in their childhood, years before the bridge was completed. It would have been a great thing to see under construction.

Seaview is on the Long Beach Peninsula, a jut of land on the furthest southwest corner of Washington. The nearest "big city" is not in Washington at all, but back across the bridge - Astoria, OR. Long Beach is the only stretch of Pacific beach in the U.S. (besides Pismo Beach near where we live) that provides vehicle access. The coastline is also known as the "Graveyard of the Pacific" for its long history of eating boats of all descriptions. The weather here can be relatively severe as it takes the brunt of coastal storms, but we've been here in sunny weeks and snow. As Californians used to sun day in and day out, the changing weather here is always a welcome departure from our norm.

Today, after helping me reorganize the van, the girls and I went horseback riding on the beach. E still vividly recalls her first ride, also here, three years ago. Now V is old enough, so she, too, joined in the fun.

There are two stables from which to choose at one of the beach entrances. One looks spiffier, the other (Skipper's) looks like it's been around perhaps too long. The horses at the spiffy one look more active and sharp, the ones at the old stable clearly have been around the block a time or two. I opted for the old school horses chiefly because we rode with them three years ago and they were great (and safe) with E. It was a great choice!

Our 11:30 a.m. ride included just the girls, me, and our outrider who led V onto the beach, then let us all go. We kept it down to a walk for the most part, and the girls did very well keeping their horses going in the direction the RIDER wanted, even when the horses knew it was time to turn around and head from home. (Our outrider wasn't ready to cut us off yet, so let us go on a bit longer.) At one point some of the horses spooked at a log on the beach. Both girls held their horses in without a hitch. Sure, it helped that these horses were very well versed at strange riders, and life on the beach. But after seeing the other stables' rides running rampant on the beach, I felt even better about our decision. Sure, I'd love to ride a spirited horse for a run up the beach, but this ride was really about the girls, their safety, and great memories for them. I have loads of fantastic horseback memories of my own, and when the time and place is more appropriate, I hope to make more.

E & V have been working alongside Grandma in the garden, weeding and trimming. The yard here looks really nice since the addition of a small fruit tree orchard which should be in full fruit by next summer. The flowers that the deer haven't eaten are coming along nicely, too.

I got to use my mechanical skills again today repairing V's favorite Red Truck. The back axle broke and released the rear wheels last summer while we were on the Dusy-Ershim Trail with Grandpa Randy. I replaced it with a threaded rod which finally failed after nearly a year of heavy use. Today I purchased a solid rod and a die so I could thread just the bits that needed to be threaded. V was super happy to have her favorite ride back on the trail. The neighbor from across the street came out to see if I needed help on whatever project I was working on. When I explained what I was doing, he raised his eyebrows and put his hands back in his pockets. Then he hung around for a bit to visit. It's nice to be able to fix things, and I enjoy the reaction from people when they discover what I'm up to! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog featured with: