Bill and Juanita, owners of Allenspark Lodge B&B, are living their dream...

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Monday, August 8, 2011


August 5-7, 2011: our second annual High Country Rendezvous has come to end, with lots more smiles, giggles, sore muscles and most fantastic weather. The only sad points were not getting to see many friends made last year, due to family/work emergencies…but it has already been scheduled for next year, so there is a chance for redemption (hint, hint, HINT!!!)

Due to a lack of enough riding participants for horse games, Friday became a free day for sight-seeing in the area, then an afternoon and evening at the Larimer County Fair, where we enjoyed rounds of Cowboy Mounted Shooting, Splash Dogs, Fair food, tractors, small animals, big animals (I was taken by the Yaks!) and of course, the Draft Horse Pulls. (Killashandra, you need to post some of your most fabulous pictures from your free time and the Fair.)

Saturday, we awoke to beautiful weather and the rest of our riding contingency. GunDiva had arrived late evening from her stint at HorseMaster filming and a couple more ladies joined us from the Ft. Collins area, and we had Killashandra’s family from NM. Eight of us mounted up after breakfast to ride into Rocky Mt. National Park, namely Calypso Cascades in the Wild Basin region.
Gettin' mounted up:  Killashandra on Boone & W on Thunder
GunDiva on Estes, Autobot on Jesse (hidden), Bionic Cowgirl on Washoe....
GunDiva demonstrating a yoga warm-up stretch (heaven & earth?), our two friends from FC.

Leavin' town!  Yeah!
The line up:  me in front, Autobot, Killashandra, W, C on Chip, D on Ali, Beel, on Ranger, and GunDiva on the camera.
 Beel and Ranger, acting as outrider.
Two miles down the road we come to the entrance to RMNP and head up the trail.
The easy part is over as we start up one of the staircases along the way; this is a long, steep span with all eight horses on it at the same time.
Autobot on Jesse, taking a rest while all the horses finished the stairs.
Finally, a view from the top of the world, looking across Wild Basin to Pagoda Mountain.
Renewed growth....a healthy forest awaits us.
Yes, W, it was a long way up!  You and Thunder did a GREAT job!
We had just gone two miles up, now we have to go back down one mile to get to Calypso Cascades, and our adventures aren't over yet....
This log bridging on the side of the log slide is always good for taking your breath away, because if you looked over your right shoulder down that support, it's a really loooong way down.
Then we come to the rock slide area, getting closer to the cascades; after all, water running over rocks creates cascades, right?
Finally, lunch break.  We had left the Lodge at 11:00 am and made it to the Cascades about 1:30 pm.  This big flat rock is a favorite eating place - and check out the view.... below our feet....
... and looking up the hill.

Now we had some decisions to make.  Just before getting to the cascades, GD's horse, Estes, slipped a foot off the trail, getting some scratches and leaving her sore.  GunDiva had chosen to walk the rest of the way in and said she would walk Estes out, but going down the Wild Basin trail instead of the Allenspark Trail we had arrived by.  Upon further discussion, nobody really wanted to ride the same trail back - thinking about all those stairsteps - in reverse.  The WB trail is somewhat shorter, and less difficult, but it also meant some long stretches along the highway to get back to the Lodge.  Since all these horses are trained for riding along the highway and not bothered by speeding traffic, the decision was made.
Mounting up after lunch, rested horses, food fortified humans, the two youngest on the trip in great humor.
Since GunDiva refused all offers of a lift - most of these horses are trained to double - Bill chose to walk also.  GD kept saying something about her trainer was going to be so impressed with the "workout".
On the pretense of giving the walkers a rest after a mile and a half - OK, so maybe some of our seatbones were wanting a rest, also - we stopped at Copeland Falls at the base of the Wild Basin trail.
That water looked good enough to jump in, except we all knew how cold it was!

This is about the last of the pics; we were all too tired to keep our camera hands up.  We rode another two miles of horse trail after leaving the trailhead to get to Wild Basin Lodge, a mile of paved road through Olive Ridge campground, and a mile along the main highway back to our lodge.  We spent six hours on horseback plus another half hour of lunch time.  The kids were the greatest of troopers; not a whine out of either of them!

We ended the night with southwest pork steaks and brownie sundaes.  You know, ice cream makes everything better!!!!


  1. What a super cool trip! I'd love to go up there :) W did awesome too, that pic looking back looks steep!

  2. you rode for 6 hours????
    that's about 5 hours 49 min. and 10 seconds longer than I could of made it I'm sure.:o) but I am enjoying the pictures...LOL

    sounds like you all had a blast we really would of liked to have made it.

    Damn Parole dude....

  3. I was right - El Poquito Diablo was impressed about the hike. Said it totally counted as a workout, especially since it was done at altitude.

  4. What a beautiful ride and a terrific group. Someday, someday...

  5. As you know, I'm temporarily grounded from trails, so I'm living vicariously through you. Love the pics. And hey, walking is good excerise...not ideal...but every now and then.

  6. Well Linda, as GD said, walking on steep trails at 9000 ft. is good exercise any way you look at it. I am just enjoying the ability to RIDE the trails again. Yeah for modern technology!


    We really missed you guys! Mom starts her new chemo tomorrow, and her counts are down, otherwise we might have snuck away for a weekend. If she does great, maybe we can sneak an HCR 2-1/2 in? :)

    I love the scenery on the ride - just amazing. Is Estes doing better?


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