Yes that's right - cow trails. For the lay person or non-rancher or city folk, a cow trail is a trail through a pasture usually between water and green grass, but there can be multiple, and they can meander all over the place. Cows are kind of like ants in that they tend to follow each other and walk the same path over and over.
So when one is up at the mother-in-laws ranch (soon to be our ranch) over a weekend, what a great opportunity to work on trail running and riding. So Saturday morning I went for an easy and short run and Sunday an easy and short ride via cow trails. I found trail running interesting in that you are too busy concentrating on not twisting an ankle and looking out for snakes that you forget about the breathing or lack of and the scenery when you take a moment to look up is great. Same goes with the riding, though you can look around more, but you have the added challenge of wondering what the freaked out cows are going to do (run away from or run at you) as you ride towards them.
The trail experience is slower (at least for me) because in my opinion it is more technical,and I feel it is a bit harder due to the uneven and varying terrain. But I had fun even with the freaked cows, and one rattle snake I did see.
I definitely need more trail training, so this coming weekend (I actually plan to be home) I hope to borrow the company's survey wheel, and mark out distances on our 240 acres in Artesia via cow trails (its the engineer thing). I've already been riding some oil field roads in the early am rides, so plan to increase that as well. If only I could simulate the altitude... Fat Tire Tri Fort Collins, watch out!