Trail Report: Vepco 1/9/21 / Turner Run 1/10/21

February 4, 2021

I managed two solo rides over this weekend.

Saturday 1/9 I took both ponies out to Vepco Rd. I planned a short ride, parking at the first right hand fire road turn. Kitchie Mountain. I noted that there was a a crumpled up metal covert in the parking circle. I didn’t think too much of it at the time. We headed off through the fire gate, and bared left at the split. We wound down and around for a while and then came to where that covert must have been dug out of the trail. A new covert was not put in and the ditch was too big to pass, nor did I see a way around it safely. This is when I remembered riding Possum back here over a year ago and finding the ditch in place at that time.

It was a nice ride and I enjoyed it, although it was rather quick, maybe 45 minutes at best.

Sunday 1/10 I headed to Turner Run and parked at my normal spot. I quickly noticed the gate was still open, which is not usual during the winter. I went ahead and rode in which would allow me to verify that the road was still in passable condition. I found that it was actually in improved condition and if it is open the next time I go there I will drive in farther.

I also spotted a pile of tires dumped near the gate. This is not out of the ordinary for National Forest. But what was unusual is that the pile was crowned with a motorcylce tire. And not just any motorcycle tire, but one that looked just about spot on for mounted games standards. This is not the easiest and most typical size tire and has proven to be a little tricky, and often not inexpensive to secure. I snatched it up on the ride back out of the forest and tried it out. The weight and size felt just about right so I popped it in the trailer and have added it to my games practice equipment. Score.

Coming up on the first right hand side fire road, off the top of my head I want to call it Dave’s Camp, but I am not sure what it is labeled as, I could hear an engine being zipped around. As I got closer I took in a 2 door, home painted black, early 90s model Nissan spinning around in the mud and then heading my way. Oddly, when the driver saw me he threw it into reverse and backed up into the side of the road, nose out. I noted he had no front plate, but when he floored it on out of there I caught a glimpse of his VA rear tag.

This encounter reminded me that I want to start wearing a GoPro device when I ride on my own or on roads. It did encourage me enough to purchase a used older model one on Market Place that night for future use.

On previous rides ponying Neville, I have let him sort of do his thing as long as he kept with me and was not annoying. I even have let him off lead a few times for a short span to follow along, and lead the ride as he pleases. For the most part he has been good at staying with me and not being obnoxious to lead but he has been nippy and has irritated Simon. On this ride I decided it was time to work on leading properly. So I worked to keep his head near my knee. If he fell behind or got ahead I bopped his lead until he was back in place. If he tried to nip at Simon I bopped him again. There was a lot of licking and chewing. And it didn’t take long for him to start walking in heal position. We finished the day with very strong and consistent walking but his trotting was a bit hit or miss. Sometimes he maintained it well and other trot stretches he got behind and struggled to catch up and then maintain his position. I am looking forward to continuing this exercise with him.

It was a nice ride over lasting just over two hours with plenty of walking and nice sessions of trotting and a little cantering.

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