Yesterday it was easy to fall in love with Three Sisters, they looked so beautiful. This photo was taken at the top of a knoll near Black Butte Resort that I’m pretty sure is called Gobblers Knob. Whatever it’s called, this was a great place to be on one those cool, clear June days in central Oregon that makes you feel, “Everything’s all right with the world so long as there are still places like this.”
It’s Laurel’s double-nickel birthday next Monday. So we started celebrating early with one of her favorite activities, a two-hour Black Butte Stables trail ride. I hadn’t ridden for several years, so I was rusty at deciding what to wear for the occasion.
Black cowboy boots seemed both fashionable and practical, but I went back and forth between black baseball cap and black cowboy hat. I remembered that most of the stable guides wore caps themselves, and I wanted to fit in. However, I ended up thinking, “How often do I ride a horse in central Oregon? If this isn’t the time to wear a cowboy hat, what is?” I think we both made some excellent fashion choices, though my blue sweatshirt looks a bit wimpy.
There were just two other people on the ride, a mother and daughter from the Tiburon area in California who had roots in Oregon. I and my rather stout horse had ended up last in line, while Laurel and her even more rotund steed were behind the woman. I couldn’t hear all of their conversation, but it didn’t take long before Laurel said, “My husband does martial arts too!” At canter time I convinced the guide that my horse was faster than Laurel’s, so for the rest of the ride I followed the woman and chatted with her about martial arts this and that.
She practices a mixed style with lots of ground fighting/jujitsu training, and is going to take her black belt test in the fall. She told me a story, with considerable relish, about how she got to apply some joint lock technique to a jerk in a bar. So here’s a tip: if you’re in some Bay Area watering hole, and you see a petite woman with distinctive flowing hair (as in the photo below), act nice around her. Unless you’re into pain.
I gave her my weblog address and told her I’d post a few photos of our ride. So if you see this, Karate Woman (forgot your name, I’m afraid), forgive me for not asking you and your daughter to turn around when I snapped this picture. Or course, since you didn’t bring a camera and I did, I suppose any photo is better than no photo at all. Next time you’re in Salem, drop by the Pacific Martial Arts dojo on a training day (Tuesday and Thursday 6 pm, Saturday 10:30 am) and make some new marital arts friends.