Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cloverleaf Wednesday

My profuse apologies to you, the readers for my unexplained absence the past couple of days.  Kind of like the dead air you hear on the radio when the dj doesn't que the song up at the right time.  I have been extremely busy with other work related web stuff and I'm also in the process of making some changes to the blog.

As I mentioned early last week, the boys and I went on the Cloverleaf ride for 4 days last week.  I have been on this ride myself nearly 30 years ago and strangely, hadn't been back since.  I have been riding since shortly after birth and while I'm not nearly a professional in the rodeo sense, I've gained the knowledge you would expect from 30+ years of frequent riding.  I've raised my boys the same way, having pictures of them in the saddle at a few months old.  They LOVE to ride, my oldest more so than my youngest and have been looking forward to this trail ride for weeks.

The weather was for the most part cool and cooperative, with the first morning verrrrry foggy until after lunch and peaceful as well. 

My dad rode with us on the first day (Wednesday) and also the last day (Saturday) and it rained like the devil.  Unfortunately I didn't have my camera on Saturday as I had left it back in camp.  As sure as the sun sets in the west, the day I don't have my camera there were spectacular river / lake views and tall rocky bluffs looking out over the fall colors and you could see for miles.....Sigh!

We went with several friends and stayed in the camper of a long-time friend of mine.  He and I have known each other since forever and have been planning this ride for months.  I didn't tell my kids about it until practically the last minute because I didn't want Murphy to get in the way and ruin a perfectly good plan :-)  They would never forgive me if they had looked forward to something like this for months and we didn't get to go for some reason.  Been there....Done that....

We got up early every morning, saddled up and rode out with all of the other trail riders each day in a different direction. Each day covered about 12-15 miles in the hills of Oklahoma.  I thought the ride was rather flat myself but many people would consider it steep and treacherous at times. 

After the end of the second day, the boys were getting tired and I made my famous Dutch Oven Beer Chili for dinner which you can find here by clicking on the link.  We didn't ride out the 3rd morning with the large group, instead making a leisurely breakfast....Breakfast the dutch oven again with homemade buttermilk biscuits.

After breakfast we saddled up and several of our group rode the back roads west of our campsite just taking it easy riding where we chose and covering about 6-7 miles.  We joked, laughed, and told lies like old friends often do and had a great time just being ourselves.  We got back to camp a little early, fed the livestock, and ourselves and relaxed the rest of the evening.
My trusty mount Buckshot....

The morning of the fourth and final day, dawned hot and humid, with the sky covered in dark clouds just promising to get us wet.  We saddled up making sure we had our slickers, the extra large long kind that cover you and the saddle and rode out around Brushy Lake.  Right after lunch we got pounded with those big, fat raindrops that you know is just the beginning.  And rain it did, with a couple of very close lightning strikes.  I don't mind riding in the rain one little bit....I've done it a million times....and when you have a good slicker and hat it can rain all it wants with little effect.

Lightning, however, is a different story.....We were riding in some old growth forest right beside a lake....not the best combination.  Lightning as you can imagine, can get you killed, or bucked off, or you can have a runaway and get scraped and bruised and just hurt in general.  Luckily, none of those things happened to the 150+ riders that day and everybody had a good time.  We had lake views, multiple river crossings, and big rocky bluffs that dropped straight down for 250'-300' that you could look over and see for miles.

All in all one of the most pleasurable trips of my life.  It was a tremendous amount of work but seeing the looks on my boys faces made every bit of the aches and pains go away.  Even though we took a mini-break on the 3rd day....we rode 50+ miles in total.  I'm so thankful for my family and friends that made it all possible and to God for giving me those boys and letting me wake up on those beautiful mornings and take part in memories we'll never forget......


a moderate life said...

Huge hugs Jay-man! I knew you were away having the time of your life with your man crew! Awesome story, photos and food! Hope to catch up with you more soon! Thanks for sharing with us! Alex@amoderatelife

J L Health 918-836-0565 said...

We did have the time of our life and I hope to do it again next year!!