RM and I left the barn at 4:30 for the fifteen minute drive to Hart Park, which is just a mile or two down the road from the zoo. We had just enough daylight to tack up and start our ride. As we ambled along the river's edge, the last of the sun's light disappeared, and we were left walking in the dusk. Within minutes, the full moon, large and orange, crested the top of the hill. With a full moon and clear skies, the ride along the river was dramatic. Both horses seemed to enjoy the outing and marched quite perkily toward the zoo.
Our plan was to ride along below the bluff on which CALM is located. This is the back side of CALM, which is mostly concealed by a stand of trees. We could see some lights as we approached, but most of the best view was hidden. As we rounded the corner and climbed the last small rise, CALM's entrance lay before us. The dazzling lights left us a bit speechless. My pictures do not do the display justice.
We carefully navigated through the busy traffic and crowds, pausing for a few quick photos. CALM's traffic people were eager to see us move along so we didn't get to stand and ogle as long as I would have liked. With the display behind us, we rejoined the trail, and headed back towards the park. The moon was now fully risen, and our path was bathed in silvery moonlight.
When we retuned to the trailer, the horses enjoyed a quick hay snack while we sipped on hot chocolate from thermoses. Suffice it to say that it was a very enjoyable ride with a very pleasant riding partner!