Our first day of the coast to coast ride started with an interesting twist. We had ridden out to the coast the night before (about 8 miles). We spent more time than intended visiting with Richard’s family, so we left late, literally skied down slopes of mud to arrive at our campsite after dark. Our cell phones didn’t have reception- our only source of time and alarms. We set the alarm anyhow hoping they have an internal clock. We had to be down the beach 3 miles to meet our send-off party at 10am. In the middle of the night, we heard the cell phones run out of battery and power down….. lulled by the ocean waves we slept until well after daylight and had no idea how late it was when we woke! We rushed to pack up, skipped breakfast, and hurried down to the beach to see the first glimpse of the ocean to meet our party.
The horses were quite nervous about the waves and walked in a zigzag line- everytime a wave came in- they headed towards the land! We had a beautiful 3 mile ride down the beach and met our welcoming party- miraculously at 10:03 according to their watches! Matt, our new local friend, came with pastries and coffee- thank goodness for that! Richard’s mom, brother, and our nephew met us, as well as a local reporter and photographer.
Jeannette took her saddle off and loped up and down the beach bareback- a first for riding on the beach- and a great birthday present! We took all the horses down to the water to get pictures of all of us in the Pacific Ocean- then the next wave came in….. and they all ran away! We managed not to plow anyone over or get wrapped up in ropes, but realized we better do this one at a time! We took each horse to the water- they would back up furiously every time the foam came at their feet, then walk towards it curiously. We captured a picture of Apache nearly sitting on his butt because he backed up so fast! We managed to get them all in the water individually- then took them all in at the same time again and took pictures of “20 feet” in the ocean- 16 hooves, and 4 feet—- very quickly! Then hung on as they tried to run from the waves again! It was quite entertaining!
Pictures satisfactorily taken- we said farewell and took our first official steps on our journey. Our first night stop was actually back at Point Reyes Station where we had been staying- but this time we slept in Matt’s barn with the horses. In the beginning, we are trying to rest the horses after 2 days of riding- so we took a rest day after our first ‘official day’! Good thing too- it rained pretty hard that day. Richard’s family took us out to dinner for Jeannette’s birthday, and we enjoyed our last day in the very welcoming town of Point Reyes Station.