|Posted on June 16, 2012 at 9:15 PM|
It is amazing to me just how much room there is on the off side (the side vehicles do not drive on) of a guard rail! Pam and Jim made a big ole breakfast before I had left and in our conversation they mentioned how tight the road was in addition to the curves. It was kind of nice as Pam said she was going to worry about me until I got to Avon. Having this discussion had me ask as to whether they thought Ursa and Sierra would fit and it was their thought it would be tight…and they were right. I was glad they brought it up as it helped me to decide to give Ursa a day off. Jim was going to move the rig for me and Ursa would be in the trailer for the day. When I left their place I was even happier I left Ursa as within a half a mile it appeared that I had another dog with me. A cute Springer Spaniel, wet as a dish rag that never got rinsed out after a good soaking. That poor pup was shaking. I jumped down and thank dog it had a name and number, unfortunately there was no answer but I left a message anyway. Ok, not just a name and number but an address as well, and wouldn’t you know it, it was the same street as Pam and Jim! I gave Pam a call and she said she would give them a holler (I am not sure how many people will answer the phone when they see a number they do not recognize) and before I could bond with the dog I got a text that the owner was on her way. ….Whew (And the dog even got to ride a quad home J
So yes, the road was a bit tight and the railroad ran on the north side of the hwy. I was more cognizant of it as Sierra seems to go in and out of liking the big rattling caterpillar (ok, I actually think the key is the distance from the rail car and the sound of the load it is carrying). But the part I become cautious of when I saw it were the guard rails…….until I got close and could see just how wide they were on the off side! WOW!! In Washington it is not abnormal to see it right at the ledge……like I wouldn’t even want to walk it on foot without a horse close. As a matter of fact there were a couple of places where I remember starting to slide a wee bit in Washington…..Well, let me just say, that was the start of a beautiful relationship! I think we pretty much texted until I got to my hosts place in Elliston. It was nice for me as I had spent a lot of time talking to Sierra and Ursa. I think Sierra liked it because then I wasn’t talking to her. (yes, I so now understand why the ole cowboys talked to their horses). It was great that we were texting too because as we were ‘talking’ Pam asked what mile marker I was at. Well mile markers on this section , I did not see many…….and I told her I had not seen one in a while , but I was next to a power ‘company’. To which I found out was right where the house was that I wouod be staying at! Whoa, that was handy because we would have kept going (and it would have totally sucked to have backtracked). I was told they would be gone and to make myself at home. And I was so ready to use a bathroom. Yes, they are certain times being a woman is not an advantage, and one of those times is when you have to pee and you are next to a well traveled hwy. So to the drive I ride and what do you think they had there? …….A cattle guard….ok, look a gate J ….crud,,….horses and steers ……..and here is one to greet use. Dang, if I open the gate, there is a very good chance their horse will get by me and get on the hwy – a very poor way to meet your hosts I might think. Oh, and then there was a Very Big white dog that had decided to make its way toward us …..hmmmm, hope she’s friendly……..that question I did text to Pam and she did not know. But it became clear that although this is a breed used to protect a herd of say sheep from wolves, she was very friendly with people…..did I mention just how big she was (and on my gauge that is VERY BIG as I have a 100lb dog at home). She did tell me that Jim was heading back from Drummond and would then head over with the rig. Well, problem 2 solved – just wait for Jim and one person can shoe off animals while the other brings a horse through the gate. Now for problem 1………There just hits a point where a gal has to do what a gal has to do. I started gauging the traffic patterns. And took note that I was down low enough on one side that cars on the far lane would not be able to see anything. Ok, no the close side……hmmmm put Sierra between oncoming traffic and myself and listen hard for cars (some days it would be nice to have better hearing ). Then express pee, stand, pull up pants, pull up chinks (don’t worry yet about buttoning) and look like you are fixing tack on the horse. Yep, this could become an art form……..and ohhh the relief. So now sit down and wait for Jim. I had an apple, so sat on the bank until Jim pulled up. He opened the gate (which was tight for him so am pretty sure I would have had a real hell of a time getting it closed (another reason to be happy about the decision I made). After everyone was tucked into where they needed to be, Jim and Pam took me to dinner down at the Lawdogs saloon. We were sitting there and they knew a few of the folks there. They told them what I was doing and one fellow said – “Yea – I saw you down there eating an apple” and I thought, dang, I hope that was all you saw ;)!