Friday, September 21, 2012

South Mountain Mule Ride

We all took off with some cooler weather for one of my favorite places to ride. South Mountains NC State Park. On the way there I stopped at a new place to get gas and as I took a short cut road to get back on track I ended up in an old mill town with lots of old houses. I slowed way down and wondered what this place was. Then I saw the sign in the middle of town, it was the place they filmed the town scenes from the Movie, "The Hunger Games" I had heard it was some were in Western North Carolina but did not realize that it was right off of Route 40.  I stopped to take some photos on my way back out! 

We had a nice ride with a small group on Friday afternoon and then the last of the crowd arrived for the night. After a nice visit by the camp fire, we had a nice night with wonderful cool sleeping weather! 
Saturday morning we headed out on the trails with some of us still in jackets! We headed up the Saddleback trail (My favorite) and all the mules were very workman like, giving no one any trouble. About half way up the three mile trail we came upon a huge rattle snake sunning himself on the side of a log. I was near the back and stopped to get a good photo of him, which we used later to count that he had 14 rattles! YIKES! But he did not even move as the rest of us rode by! This was the time I was glad to be riding a good mule who knew how to move off my leg. As I moved Seven to the very edge as we when by.  About five minutes later the mule in front nearly stepped on a Copper Head who was also sunning himself on the trail! OH boy!!!  
We rode on and went to a wonderful open area for lunch. We can hobble the mules and let them full up on green grass while we relax and have lunch.  As we were spread all over the field I noticed a hiker appear from one side of the meadow, he had one of those child hiking carriers with a young child in th back. I watched him for a little while as he stood with his hands on his hips and mouth wide open, chin dropped to the floor. Then he moved so he could see more of the mules and just stood and watched, chin to the floor. Finally some other hikers appeared behind him and they stood in amazement too! Rascel went over to them and talked to them, let them pet a mule or two. Rascal said that they did not even realize that there were mules till he told them, then he was even more amazed! 
We had a nice long ride and once we got in we let the dogs play before supper. They played hard and all had a good time! Levi was playing with his ball and then others joined in. Holly's new puppy Lucy, Max and Lu's puppy Dallas and Teddy and LuAnn's dogs Daisy and ____.
Bruce had a wonderful dinner cooked for us. A trail stew with all kinds of sides! Of course the deserts were wonderful with cobbler and Ice Cream and other things.  Toward the end of the evening, Jennifer got up to take her dish back to the trailer and she saw something moving under the table. When she looked down it was another bigger Copper Head Snake. Rascel chased it way! 
We had all been warned about a bear who had been coming and visiting the dumpster in camp, at this point no one cared about the Bear anymore! 
About 3AM the rains came. In the morning it kept raining lightly and then quitting. It seemed like every time we made a move to start to get ready to ride it would pick up rain again.  So we all packed out things, said our good byes and headed home! 
Here is a link to the video I made from our ride: 

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