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Although I didn't get in nearly as much trail riding as I wanted to, I did have a couple of memorable rides.
One was to the top of Mount Mueller in August with former Port Angeles resident Dena Reiter.
As it had been for weeks, it was a beautiful sunny day in Sequim the day she trailered her horse over from Auburn.
When we arrived at the trailhead off U.S. Highway 101 just west of Lake Crescent, the skies became dark and cloudy.
We were there to enjoy the magnificent 360-degree view from the top, but alas, by the time our horses huffed and puffed the 3-mile uphill trail to the top, the mountain was covered in a thick fog. It also was drizzling with a slightly cold wind.
Instead of continuing the remaining 7-mile loop, we turned around and went back down. Yet we enjoyed it.
I feel it's always a treat to ride our region's wilderness trails.
The other was a six-hour loop I rode with friend Z. Barker from my place near the Cassidy Creek DNR over to Blue Mountain and back.
It's been a few years since I've ridden that loop.
I got a bit disoriented at the Blue Mountain side when I discovered a gravel road where the trail used to be.
So we probably rode an extra hour while we wandered around a bit, had lunch at the Old Schoolhouse, then picked up the trail again behind Serenity Farms.
Boy, was I tired and sore after that one — and so was my horse, Indy!
Katie Salmon-Newton tells me all five 4-H performance and gaming riders — Clallam County's Holly Cozzolino, Haylie Newton, Ciara Gentry and Cassidy Hodgin, and Jefferson County's Kaitlyn Meek — had a blast while competing at the state fair in Puyallup earlier this month.
Games at state fair
There were 111 tough competitors for Intermediate Games from all over Washington, with Ciara riding Stratus, Cassidy riding Missy, Haylie riding Bullwinkle and Kaitlyn riding Cass.
Kaitlyn appears to have had an awesome state fair, bringing home top placings in every gaming event, including a blue ribbon and first-place overall in barrels — also, poles (blue and third-place overall), showmanship (red), figure eight (blue and second-place overall), international flags (blue and seventh-place overall) and herdsmanship (blue).
Ciara: Showmanship (red), barrels (white), poles (white), figure eight (white), key race (white) and herdsmanship (blue).
Cassidy: Showmanship (red), barrels (red), poles (white), figure eight (white), key race (red) and herdsmanship (blue).
Haylie: Showmanship (red), poles (white), figure eight (white), key race (white) and herdsmanship (blue).
There were 119 competitors from Washington for intermediate performance. Qualifiers from our region were Holly riding Dee, Cassidy riding Chance and Haylie riding Major.
Holly: Showmanship (blue), stockseat (blue, eighth overall), huntseat (blue, fifth overall), bareback (blue) and herdsmanship (blue).
Cassidy: Showmanship (blue), stockseat (red), huntseat (red), trail (white), bareback (blue) and herdsmanship (blue).
Haylie: Showmanship (white), stockseat (red), huntseat (red), trail (white), bareback (white), herdsmanship (blue).
■ 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday — Harvest Celebration Farm Tour at Freedom Farm, 493 Spring Road, Port Angeles. Open to the public.
There will be pony rides, scavenger hunts, skits on horseback, riding demos and more. Phone 360-457-4897 for more information.
■ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 — Kids' Carnival at the Native Horsemanship Riding Center, 396 Taylor Cutoff Road in Sequim. Phone 360-582-0907 for more information.
■ Oct. 6 — Summer's End Riding Workshop with instructor Christine Headley at Heron Pond Farm, 152 Douglas Way in Port Townsend.
Phone Headley at 360-286-9256 to reserve your spot or for more information.
All proceeds go toward building the Jefferson Equestrian Association horse park.
■ 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 — Patterned Speed Horse Association game show at Chimacum Saddlery, 1091 Chimacum Road in Port Hadlock. For more information, phone Bethal Moore at 360-301-1547 or visit www.chimacumtack.com.
Karen Griffiths' column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears every other Wednesday.
If you have a horse event, clinic or seminar you would like listed, please email Griffiths at firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance. You can also write Griffiths at PDN, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.