With the gain in strength and so on, I keep waiting for the pounds to melt away--but so far, though I can feel harder muscle under the flab, the flab is still with me. Better than no hard muscle. The last pictures were from September 28, so even counting the 2 weeks of travel and some sick days, there's been a solid month of riding since then. I'm covering more distance. The pictures in that post were taken from nearer the house than those today--my husband walked out to very near the dry woods.
I rode out the gate near the front end of the tractor, and am partway across the near meadow, soon to cross the old ditch at the rock crossing. (This picture's been lightened some--moving clouds affected the light unpredictably.)
Coming up the trail to the dry woods from the ditch, and about to ride over one of the old terrace berms that lie across the slope. The picture doesn't show how much more easily I can ride up this slope than a month ago. But that's not all. I don't stop at the dry woods corner anymore.
I'm starting the turn and climb up onto the top terrace berm, and will ride along it, then come down on the left and cross the dry woods swale before turning onto the trail across the front of the dry woods. I found this up-ward turn scary until this past week. Now it's routine.
Riding the mowed path on top of the berm; tall grass conceals the drop-off on either side. The trail turns, dipping into a shallow area that collects water when it rains (you can just see the gabion--wire sausage filled with rocks--that helps control erosion in storms.)
When I make the turn and come across the dip, I have a choice of two trails:
The one to the right goes into the dry woods on a winding path that leads upward through brush, then a flat open area, then onto bare rock, and finally Fox Pavilion. To the left, the trail runs along the front of the dry woods, beside the dry woods swale. The berm that confines the swale angles away. Today I rode to the other corner of the dry woods (into a head wind) and then came back. on the same trail.
Here I'm coming back across the dry woods swale, having ridden across to the far corner of the dry woods and back--much easier with the wind behind me, having turned right onto this part of trail and about to turn left and up onto the berm..
This is an easier, gentler turn and rise than coming up the other way, where the turn is sharper and so is the rise--it's not high, but it's still steeper.
Up onto the berm, just about level with the end of the gabion (barely visible through the grass.
And from there, back to the house, first mostly downhill to the rock crossing of the ditch, and then up the slope of the near meadow into the horse lot, through the yard gate, into the yard.Although the "short loop" ride is open and easier for the photographer to get pictures, we'll try for some in the brush and woods later.