Monday, July 19, 2010

Sauratown Trail Mule Ride

On June 4,6 & 6th my friend Bev Duval hosted the Carolina Mule Association for a ride on the Sauratown Trail System. I could not come until Saturday morning but Holly and Jane met Bev to for a ride on Friday. They had been riding for a little while when Bev's horse (Yes, she was riding her horse and not her mule) tripped in a large tree root. She and the horse hit the dirt unfortunately not in a very graceful way. Lito the horse was OK, but Bev was hurt. She had a bloody nose, the wind knocked out of her and her neck hurt. Holly stayed with her while Jane took off on Val to meet the EMTs that had been called and then led them back to Bev. Good thing they took all those precautions because poor Bev was really hurt. Once the EMTs took her off to the hospital Holly and Jane ponied Lito back to the barn where they were all camping.
Bev's friend owns the barn where the ride took off from so she was able to take Bev's horse home and then run to the hospital to check on her. They did not let Bev come home until early that morning so we did not see Bev until later the next day for an injury report!
Saturday morning I left the house at 5AM so I could make it to the barn by 7AM and be ready to ride by 9AM. Most of the group lives locally so they started arriving and parking up on the hill and riding down to say hello. We had a pretty good group to go out even thought the day was VERY HOT! We rode 6 or 7 miles to another parking lot that is part of the Sauratown Trails for lunch. Along the way we rode on many different types of trails, our favorite ones were in the trees and by a rolling creek. As we went along the trail passed some very green grass off to the side. Everyone was pointing as they went by it. As I got closer there was a baby deer, with big round eyes laying in the grass. It was staying very still and I don't think the mules even knew it was there.
This is the technique that Mother Deer use to hide their young as they go out to eat. The baby deer are born with almost no scent so they will not be sniffed out by predators. I just hoped that the deer would not move till the whole group got passed. It was strange to this this now, twice in just under a month. Seven nearly stepped on a very young baby deer just a few weeks ago.
When we arrived at the parking area people took advantage of the many tie rails to secure their mules. We also took advantage of the nice covered picnic table for lunch and I laid down for a nap. I could hardly get up after about 20 minutes but my back sure liked the stretch. We rode home with the day still getting hotter!
When we arrived back at the barn we were all surprised to see Bev! She had two black eyes a bloody nose and a neck brace on. You could tell she was sore all over! Turns out she cracked a vertebrae in her neck and is very lucky to even be here! The barn owners surprised us all by having cold drinks for everyone and home made ice cream! Wow what a treat and a surprise!
The next morning Holly, Jane and I packed up and drove to meet Teddy and Luann, Max and Lu and their son. We rode out from a different area of Sauratown Trails and part of Pilot Mountain State Park. The ride was mostly down to the Yadkin River and back up. Teddy, Jane, Holly and I all crossed the river which was very wide and flowing pretty strongly! It was really neat to be out in the middle and see nothing but water. It did not seem to even faze Sadie Mae who was more worried about keeping up with Jane's horse. On the was back she grabbed a branch off a tree and carried/ate it as we crossed back over. Bev continues to get better each day but I am still glad she was not hurt worse than she was!

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