Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Weekend at Bev's House!

Bev on Sadie and Shannon on Seven!
View from the front of Bev's house!
View Sadie had while grazing!
Here are some photos we took at Bev Jernigans house last weekend! She is on top of a hill with West Jefferson below her. It was nice a cool and breezy all weekend! She has such a pretty view every where you looked! The one place she can't see the mountains is her friend Cheryl's place. She doesn't even need air conditioning because of the nice breeze all summer!

Only problem we had was that I could not get my big horse trailer up the steep driveway. Had more to do with one sharp turn rather than how steep it was. So I parked the trailer in the Senior Center's parking lot at the bottom of the hill and we rode the mules up and down!

We had a good time Saturday and stopped by The Cabin Store, a natural Fiber Yarn Shop that was incredible and the Farmers Market. Charles the Ashe County Extension agent and friend of mine was doing a demo on sheep shearing. Nancy the Yarn shop owner had her pet Angora Rabbit there and I got to hold him. I love am in love, it is like holding a cloud!

Saturday afternoon we washed the mules off and then I got to take a nap while they where drying! Bev has a nice covered area on the side of her barn to tie the mules. We took the mules over to the show arena where quite a few others where also riding! I took Sadie and about five different people rode her around while I practiced on Seven. One of Sadie's riders was the 82 year old father of the show manager. He looked like he was having a ball! When we got home that evening we rode the mules back up the hill again!

Sunday I got to sleep in till 9:30 and then Bev's husband Millard kindly made us breakfast! After a ride back down the drive way and them a drive over to the show grounds we started the show at 2PM. Sadie and Seven stood politely tied to the side of the trailer. We left for home at 8PM.
Thanks Bev for your hospitality!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blowing Rock Mule Ride

Truck Stop Beauties!
Jane and I took off EARLY for Blowing Rock and on a rest stop I had to get my camera out for these beautiful flowers with the morning sunlight on them!

We arrived and got the trailer set up and equines settled in their stalls! Others from the group arrived including Blue, Barry, Teddy & LuAnn, Holly & Bruce. Andre was ready to ride first. We had a good ride down in the Maze and to the Apple Orchard and Barn. It was warm with a cool breeze once in awhile. Much nicer that is was supposed to be at home!

We arrived back at the barn to find some others had moved in. After dinner we piled into and on the back of Danny Tart's truck and off to the Ice Cream and Fudge Store we went! After getting our goodies we sat on the flat bed of his truck and acted like a bunch of of goofy kids! I have not laughed that hard in a while. A quick trip to the hat store and we headed back up to the stables.

Saturday morning the place was a buzz with activity. We decided that sitting back and watching us try to get ready that morning would make an interesting reality TV show! A group of 19 people including Marty and Stacey Sims in a nice trail wagon took off at 9am! New members (At least by the end of the day) the Annas Family on four good looking mules joined us for the ride. The sky went from blue to cloudy with some wonderful breezes to keep us cool. We headed for Rich Mountain for lunch! It was so nice that we stayed for quite a while and even had time for a meeting for the Ladies Leatherwood Weekend Menu!

Some time during lunch Jane noticed the new brand on Holly's mule. She asked if it was a pickle? (Jane works in a lab with pickled foods) It is a holly leaf but that made us laugh and stuck in every one's mind. By the end of the ride Holly's mule had been re-named from Blackeye Pearl Louis to Blackeye Pickled Pearl. Luann also thought that would make a good name for a restaurant.
Some how this club always relates everything back to food!

That afternoon as the group rode into the barn the showers started. Bev and I took the mules straight to the stalls to wait it out. It would dump and them blue sky would appear and then before it would stop raining again it would get black and start dumping. Blue and Jane got greedy and had wanted more riding, so they got wet! We had another nice dinner at the Daniel Boone Inn and an informal meeting.

Sunday started with big black clouds moving across the sky and the threat of a line of storms coming our way. We moved a little slower in getting ready, Holly was down right depressed. Donna Spoon and John Lea joined us for this ride after attending a cousin's wedding on Saturday. The report we got just as we were ready to ride out was that the line of storms was moving the other way and should miss us!

We headed for the Lookout Tower for our short Sunday ride. This ride found my stuffed animal Possum along for the ride on Seven. When we got to the Tower I took him up for a photo at the top! I then dropped him from the top of the tower to the waiting mule riders below to catch. Teddy was the lucky Possum catcher! Jane started trying to throw him back up to us, when of all things, he got stuck hanging from his tail in a big tree near the tower. Oh My! I told everyone that although Possum was really funny hanging from the tree I really wanted to take him home! So the sticks and rocks started being thrown. Barry got hit with a stick in the head! That is when John Lea came to the rescue with his water bottle. He climbed out on to the edge of the tower and on the second throw was able to knock Possum out of the tree! What a rough day for the poor guy!
As we packed up to head home and said our good byes we remembered how lucky we are to have such great mules to ride and great friends to ride them with!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Published in a National Equine Magazine!

Take a look at my muleskinner friend Kenny Tynall's new Blog! His first post is an article about his trip in mule wagons to Sunset beach! It was just published in Rural Heritage Magazine, Spring 2009 and was written by ME! I even got paid, per word, for the story!


Check out the Post: A day at the Beach.... Muleskinner Style

Logging at DuPont Forest!

Teddy Royal described some of the weekend in the best way so I decided to use part of his story about the weekend.
The Forest Rangers and the Friends of Dupont invited us to camp at the horse barn in exchange for 4 hours of volunteer work on the trails. On this trip we planned on dragging out 22 foot Locust logs that they wanted to build fences. We met up with Ranger Bruce and Ranger David on Mine Mountain trail, where there were about 12 logs waiting. It didn’t take but a few minutes to determine whom the lumberjacks and loggers were. Marty’s mule Deb disappeared over the side of the mountain with a log chasing her. She lost the log way down the hill but kept going and was found down on the paved road. Shannon’s mule Seven had trouble with Shannon staying on her feet, so he decided to drag the log and Shannon down the hill and back around to the starting point. I think the log rolled over Shannon at some point, because she was covered with dirt. Seven was OK and continued to pull logs throughout the day. (Teddy)

Yes, I did get run over with a log! Lucky for me it was a smaller one! I was covered in scrubs of dirt and bark all over! I was smart enough to keep my riding helmet on! Bob said I should have borrowed his riding vest too!
We hooked to our first log and and started down the steep hill. Let me just say that the Ranger told me they just got 1 inch of rain in the last 24 hours and there where sticks and leaves all over the place. Seven pulled nicely and as we headed in to the S-curve down hill to the log landing area I slid and landed on my rear end! By the time I got up Seven had shot forward a few feet and I had to get around a tree. I turned him hard to the left and he did as asked and then I tripped again on some other logs. About this time the log just started rolling over me! Ack!
Everything happened so fast but it did seem like the 14 or so foot log took a long time to roll over me! I kind of just kept rolling with it.

Seven picked up a trot with the log and went over the hill. I caught my breath and found that I still had all my body parts so I took off after him! He went down a steep him and down on to a trail, still with log in tow! Bruce also caught up with us!
With Bruce leading and my driving we went up the trail and found a shorter place to get up the hill and back to where we started! Seven hauled the log up with no problem. We went right by the place where we picked up the log in the first place and brought it down with no problem. Seven and I just needed a little extra help from Bruce! After a rest we did some more logs but boy was I sore and tired!

Kenny Tynall (http://lasthillmulefarm.blogspot.com) with Mary and Jane where the stars of the show! They did majority of the logs and stood solid while the ranger cut more trees down right next to them!

Saturday we went on a wonderful ride past the Triple Falls and several other water falls.
Kenny had an exciting time trying to get by some of the big rocks on one of the trails with his trail wagon but Mary and Jane did exactly what Kenny told them and they never lost their cool!
Stacey Sims and Bruce put together a Community Chile Pot! Everyone who wants to eat brings a can of Chile! It was so good! Once we had our fill we moved to the camp fire Blue had started and was treated for the second time this trip to Ice Cream from Teddy and Luann and Peach Cobbler made by Blue Friday night and Stacey on Saturday night! Thanks to all!

Sunday about 1/2 the group left for home. The group of about 9 took off on some of the back trails and had a spectacular ride! Mountain Laural, creeks, views and at several points the only thing you could hear was the mules moving through the woods!

Head Forest Ranger David who visited with us several times, asked for us to come back another time. He promised me that the next log skidding adventure would be on more level ground!

Many thanks to my good friends Holly and Bruce Fisher for coordinating all this and being great hosts!

Seven's ears and the mountain Laural.

Bev and Sadie Mae with the covered bridge.

Blue and Shannon, Triple Falls, (Second Honeymoon Photo)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Clown in a Donkey's Body?

Navarre is such a Clown! He is always doing silly things!
Chester's eye was bothered and swollen, so I treated it and put a fly mask on him! Well Navarre pulled that thing off in about 10 seconds and ran off with it! I had to put Chester in the stall to keep the mask on him!
The next afternoon I took the fly mask off and laid it on the stall door while I looked at his eye (which is all better now) Next thing I knew Navarre grabbed the fly mask and took off with it! Half running with it and half running from it! Then he stopped and spun around fast like a reining horse three times with the fly mask waving around! He then dropped it and proceeded to spook at it!
He is such a character!!
Then this morning he was in the feeding stall. He put his head over the top rail to see what I was doing with Chester. I looked over at him and had to laugh! His lower lip was hanging down and you could see his red gums. He looked like he had a big grin on his face from his lip drooping! I guess I need to just keep my camera on me at all times while I am around him!