Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hot Trip To Leatherwood!

The group coming down part of Frog Pond Pass!
Shannon and Seven, Tollie and Sadie ready to ride up the Tom Seay Trail on Sunday!
Sadie ready to ride, hanging out in her stall!
We had the trip planned for weeks and as it approached the temperatures just kept climbing! We decided to go anyway and just ride out as early as possible! Bob, June and her sister Carol all came with three short ears on Friday. It was really hot so they just cooled off by the trailer for the rest of the afternoon. I raced home from work on Friday and found Tollie and Amiee waiting with everything loaded. The mules loaded well and with a quick stop at Toaco Bell we were on our way. We arrived at 9:30 pm and it was still hot! Cooler than where we left but still very hot. We set up the mules in their stalls and then went over to set up camp next to Bob and June's place. We all hurried to get to bed because we were going to get up early to ride out before it got hot!
We were in the saddle and riding past the Leatherwood's on-line camera just before 8AM. We took it slow and steady, stopping to give the equines many breaks as we climbed the hills. The cool canopy was so nice. A light breeze would brush by us every now and then. As we climbed up Tricky Creek, a beautiful bird broke the quietness. Bob told us it was a Wood Thrush, so pretty sounding, like a flute! We climbed up to the Daniel Boone trail and took a long break at the over look with the picnic tables. Sadie and Seven both got to hop around and eat grass with their hobbles on. We talked to a few people who who rode by. It seems others also had our idea too!
We rode back going down the easy trail called Ramblin. About 3/4 of the way down the trail our group stirred up a very angry nest of bees. Bob and June got caught in the worst of it, as they were in the back. We got their horses caught and moved everyone way from the area, but then had to move again because some of the bees followed us! After two doses of Benedril each for them, we regrouped and quickly rode through the meadow to get back to the barn. Poor Bob and June. They both got stung over 10 times each! They said they felt hot and stinging all over. We sent them back to the trailer to clean up and try to recover while we took care of their horses.
By late afternoon and everyone having a nap, some snacks and a shower we headed over to the restaurant. Bev showed up to eat dinner with us too! I was so nice to see her! We all had a great meal! The food was good and Carolyn, our waitress was great, keeping all our glasses full! After dinner we all stopped at the barn and got the mules and horses out to hand-graze them for a little while. Then we headed back to camp. Being as it was too hot for a nice camp fire we took two of our box fans and made an L shape and put a lantern in between them. So we gathered around the Fan-Fire and enjoyed the evening!
The next morning the short ear riders decided to head back home. (Can't say as I blame them) so the three mules headed out for another early morning ride! We took Tom Seay trail to Rainbow up to Eagle Eye, to the look out at the top. It was very pretty and clear and only 9AM in the morning! We took some photos and then headed off to ride the rest of the loop. As we rode in we met up with Bob, June and Carol just about ready to drive out! We said our goodbyes as they headed out. We packed up, took showers and had a nice lunch in the restaurant while a big thunderstorm dumped rain and rumbled a lot. We then headed off for home! This was Amiee and Tollie's first trip to the mountains on mule back and it was fun to hear their first impressions of things like steep hills, bridges and Leatherwood. Amiee was very impressed with how well her mule did in the mountains! He did do very well, but I do not expect anything less from these wonderful long ears!
Bob and June Hogan and June's sister Carol in front of Keys Cabin!
Amiee and her mule Henry, Tollie on Sadie at one of the great overlooks!

No comments: