Friday, August 20, 2010

Grayson -A break from the Heat!

I always look forward to the Grayson Highland Trip! I always want to leave early and never come back! Mom came up a few days early so that she could help me get ready and she was going to stay and look after the farm while I was gone. I headed up on Wednesday as early as I could since the AC was out in my truck! I discovered this too close to the trip and I did not want to leave, even an minute late, for the trip.
I had a hard time deciding which mule to take with me. All Spring I had been riding Sadie Mae on my trips as she is easier on my back. The fact that I was going to be gone so many days and might need to miss a day lead me to bring Seven this time, as he is very willing to stand in the barn while the other mule leave, were as many of you know Sadie is not so polite about being left.
It turned out to be the right decision.
Once I arrived and got settled a few of us took a short ride to the Ice Cream Camp store. We pigged out of on some Popsicles and headed back. On Thursday we headed out with a group of 11 to an all day ride. We rode to the Saddle and then down to the Maple Tree Trail. Jay took us by a HUGE tree that was dead and had been struck by lighting. I think the tree was well over 100 years old. Kind of scary and makes you respect the weather and climate at 5,000 feet!

Jay told us that there had been two huge snow storms over the winter, one right after the other. Because of this the people who look after the ponies could not get to them and give them the hay they needed. Many of the ponies had died. They will not be having a pony sale this year because of it. They usually round them all up in September and have a fund raising sale to benefit the local fire department. Very sad! So we were happy to see this mare and foal!

It was a great ride but done at a fast pace all day so I was exhausted by the time we reached camp. I had decided that I would not ride out with the group on Friday but rather sleep in and ride out to pick some blue berries and take some photos. I had a great time spending a few hours with just Seven and myself. He was very good and stood parked next to several bushes while I picked berries from the top of the bushes! Then we rode out with a few late arrivals from the mule group. I broke off from them once we got out the main gate and I headed up a hill near by to take some photos.
I was very pleased with Seven, he did not give me any fuss about being in the barn or leaving our friends after riding with them for a bit. Mules can be very tough about staying with their buddies but Seven did not. I hope he enjoyed spending the time with just me as I did with just him!
I started feeling sick later that afternoon and headed down the mountain to find a clinic to see a doctor. I got lucky and was seen, got my medication and was back up to the camp in about three hours. Saturday I continued to not feel very well and so I stayed back at camp and slept all day. Again lucky that I had brought Seven, as Sadie would have both hurt herself and taken the barn down by now! I did take Seven out to graze later that afternoon. Again he impressed me because I sat in a chair held his lead rope to graze him. At one point he got over near the walking path for people to go back and forth from the bathrooms, so I just raised my hand and did a "Direct and Drive" and he moved over to the over side of the chair! All those hours of training pays off once in a while!
Each night was had some great meals as Holly, Sandra and I took turns cooking for each other and Barry cooked Cobblers for dessert each night. Karen even made Home-made Ice cream one night! It was tons of fun to visit with everyone!
Sunday I was finally feeling better enough to ride so I rode out with a smaller group to take the Lost Trail. This is a great little over grown trail that was started as a cattle trail and goes down to a great hide-a-way place next to a rushing creek for lunch. It then carries you up to just below the Saddle area. It was a great change of pace from the open rocky trails we had been riding on.
I took my time coming home because I knew it would be hot and I did not want to leave!
Thank you Mom for looking after all others on the farm while I was gone. It seems Mom worked very hard and did a small make over on my gardens while I was gone too! A nice surprise to come home too.
Also thanks to for Seven for being a great friend and trail mule!

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