I don’t remember what season it was. Just that it was in the early morning before the sun came up. I dressed myself in blue jeans, t-shirt and a blue jeans jacket with Dove written on the back. I went down to Sony’s corral. I dressed him up for a long ride. I had some money in my pocket. Parents did not have a clue, only Ruff and her horse knew where we were going. But, we were going in defiance to their repeated nos. We were hitting that unknown trail to the beach. We did not know how we would get there, besides on the back of our horses.
We knew our way to Mulholland. The wild Santa Monica trails are old fire roads of adventure. We road towards the west / south sands of Topanga beaches. The Pacific Coast Highway were shining dreams to us. Ruff wondered how her horse would respond to the sound of waves. I told her I craved riding Sony galloping over salty ocean foam!
A long ride over the hills emptied us in the middle of Old Town Topanga. In the center of town was an old gas station. Ruff and I took turns at the bathroom. While I was alone in the restroom two women held me hostage. Crazy women that laughed as I confronted them. I ran for the door and didn’t look back. I heard them laughing as we jumped on our horses and trotted away with fingers in the air. The sun wan overhead. We walked the horses along the heart of Topanga. The traffic was building up which was dangerous for us as any biker.
The canyon turned and we rode as determined as a couple of teenage girls can get.
“Hold on, I think we can head down one of these trails, and ride a stream towards the beach. What do you think?”
“OK, let’s do it!”
We took the wrong path. Sony started slipping on falling rocks. I fell off Sony. I rolled down a hill landing on a big bouquet of fragrant ocean fennel. Sony took off by himself. He ran back towards the center of Topanga. Ruff helped me on to the back of Raubie and we galloped towards Sony. I was terrified that he might run into a car. After a few moments, we found Sony eating some grass on the side of the road. I hopped over my horse and we found another trail towards a stream.
“Hold, don’t you ever tell my mom what just happened! Or Raubie will be gone for sure!”
“Ruff, OH YA!”
The four of us traversed the spotty streams. Waterfalls, large boulders, and deep pools of sparkling water filled us with beautiful wild silence. We stopped and rested for the food that Ruff packed. A couple of sandwiches, a coke, and carrots for the horses. Ruff was a mastermind of probabilities because she read so many damn books! We both had a wild wonder in our bellies that pulled us on.
On the right side of Topanga Canyon, we came upon a large pond. The water was deep enough where the horses could swim downstream. A scream from Ruff alerted me to danger! Raubie turned around in the pond with Ruff on him. Ruff swam up from under her horse. Ruff was pissed. I tied Sony’s hackamore reins to a nearby tree and jumped into the pond. I got Raubie on land. Ruff followed safely. We were both soaked to the skin.
Eight hours and we were almost there.
“I swear I can hear and smell the ocean waves Ruff!
At Topanga Canyon and Pacific Coast Highway we crossed on a green light. Traffic exploited by. Two miles down on either side was a long fence. The beach was fenced off. We stood there with the horses’ ears sticking straight up. The waves crashed as our dreams dropped. Regardless, it is a magical moment etched in my heart.
“Hold on, I think it is time to get back before our parent’s start to worry about us.”
It was a long cold ride home. The sun set by the time we got there. I could hear Ruff’s mom screaming at her, in German, across our small valley. It echoed as my dad and I laughed. Dad was drunk on the porch looking over the San Fernando Valley lights. My mom had me take off my clothes before I entered the house. Into the wash they went. I cleaned up, dressed, and went back outside. I told Dad about my adventure as we sat and watched the valley lights together.
Ruff was not allowed to ride with me for a month.