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.
There is a large burn area from a forest fire in 1978. We used to be able to see miles across the Basin from this trail, but now is has grown in so well, the views are more limited.
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.
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!!!!