This past week has seen rain and storms in my state, and many rivers have broken their banks and flooded towns. I’m lucky that my home is well above any flood level. Probably the last time the area was under water was before the last ice age.
However, yesterday I did have a little adventure because of the river. My terrier accompanied my horse and I out for a short ride up the road, across the river ford. The water was still under the ford, and even though it was possible for the water to be coming down from further upstream, I deemed it safe to cross as I wasn’t planning to be away for long. Ten minutes later when we returned, the river was over half a metre high and rising and rushing with great force. My nearby farming neighbours had driven down to see the flood, and we yelled across the water about my situation. They gave me instructions on how to negotiate their paddocks and to find my way across to the township several kilometers away where there’s a substantial bridge across the river. I’d always wondered about a track I could see in the distance….and so here was my chance to find out. I had a great view from one spot of the river raging downstream – a perspective I’d not otherwise have seen. The only problem was I had no camera with me! In fact, because I was only going for a short ride I had no water or other things I usually have in my backpack when I go walking.
So off we went on our little adventure. At one stage, we had to negotiate very tall grass and so I dismounted and put my terrier on the horse’s rump, and then remounted and put him in front of me. He likes riding because he can see much further than his little short legs usually allow, and the horse is very accommodating. Once we’d completed that section, and gone through the last of the gates, I stayed walking to give my mare a rest. It’s only in the last few weeks I’ve begun riding again so both of us aren’t particularly fit. And we walked…..then once on a back road, I was met by my neighbour who had brought out a bottle of water for me, and a visability vest to wear on the highway. Such kindness and thoughtfulness is very much appreciated. We continued on and once we reached the bitumen road, with more traffic, I took one rein off the bridle and used it as a lead on the dog and walked along the side of the highway……
Luckily, when we reached the bridge, which has a long span, we encountered no traffic on the narrow section. We didn’t want to have a big semitrailer pass us as even though my horse is generally quiet with traffic there are limits. On the other side was the township and a shady park, so I unsaddled and we rested there for ten minutes. Halfway home point! We sneaked through the side of the township as I didn’t want to encounter dogs rushing out at my little chap and we were finally out on the dirt road heading towards home. At this point I mounted again, leaving Fred to explore the new surroundings as there’s very little traffic along this section. A while later, another chap who had heard of my situation, drove out and met me with more water and an offer to give Fred a ride home. Fred is very loyal and wouldn’t accept the offer, although I was very grateful for the water, having finished the first lot some time ago. Jim lifted Fred onto Sally for me, and the terrier rode the last 4 kms home. Altogether, a valiant effort for a little dog, and for an aged mare.
Our ‘short’ ride had ended up a three hour expedition! Later that afternoon, we went down to the river to take this image and could see the level had dropped a little from its earlier height but was still flowing strongly.
We’re all taking it easy today:-)