6.11.2011

spur of the moment

We just came back today from our first overnight trip with Koda & Nemo, at Spur of the Moment Ranch!  Altho I wasn't really ready for the challenge, I had the trip booked & planned long before I had hit the sand, and was determined to make it a memorable trip. After all, it was my birthday gift to my hubby.  It turns out we had a good trip, loved the ranch and area in general!

Arrival day was really hot, high 90's. We were warned horses in the past had become ill, when taken right out on the trail after a long hot trip. We were in no hurry with our young boys anyways, and just wanted them to settle in.

spur ranch 2
Nemo & Koda settling in
I had to chuckle upon arrival I saw huge rocks everywhere, including an arms length away from the paddocks. Much to Koda's dismay, there was no avoiding those horse eating grey mounds. Altho he still looks wonky at them, he has learned they don't move - at least they didn't that day!

horse lots
The chairs came down, but that rock didn't move - whew!
We had put the boys together to start, it wasn't busy so we ended up separating them into neighboring paddocks.  Nemo was claiming both hay bags, no matter how far apart they were. Some things don't change. We were impressed with the horse accommodations, complete with watering station & hose right next to the paddocks, wheel barrel etc.

spur ranch 3
Nemo, surveying the scene

spur ranch
Koda, wondering what he is in for
Our full housekeeping cabin was equally impressive, spotless and comfy. The boys were very close, it was sooo nice to be with them 24/7. We enjoyed a campfire both nights, that didn't faze our nearby horses.

ash cabin
Our cabin
After Koda & Nemo settled in, we went out for a good burger at a local eatery called Mulligan's.

The following day it had cooled off to a gorgeous high 60's and sunny. We headed out on the trail, but not before warming up with a half hour of Koda snorting at everything that didn't move - but might. Sooo many new sights and smells! There were two other groups of three horses & their people in the lower cabins. We ran across one group while at the ranch, and the other on the multi-use trail. It was nice chatting with them. The ranch itself has some equine, including a few mini-donkeys which intrigued Koda & Nemo. They could see the short grey funny things with long ears from their paddocks, across the ranch. We all heard the occasional hee-haw, that brought perked ears and smiles. We want one of our own someday, when we have the space.

One of the not so silent things at the ranch were the wandering fowl. They really get loud, thankfully only during the day. After finding about 20 ticks on the boys, they were a welcome sight.

new guinea fowl
New Guinea fowl, eat their weight in ticks
We headed out on the multi-use trail, you have to take it to get to the gorgeous off beaten paths. Every ATV we encountered slowed way down when they saw us, most crawled by super slow, and all greeted us. The boys didn't care about the ATV's, and did very well each and every time. We didn't see that many, but were glad to get off "the main" trail regardless - it was less then ideal for our barefoot horses. We will get boots for the boys next time.

nicolet_atvtrail
Multi access ATV Trail, 30 miles either direction
Throughout the ride, Koda would suddenly back/turn around. I tried to catch it and keep forward movement. Dealing with it proved hard with many drop off's etc. 

Once off the main trail, you didn't run into a soul. We were surrounded by greenery as far as the eye could see. At one point we came across unavoidable sinking muddy sand. Koda was funny, looking down and wondering about the soft ground that swallowed his feet. We forged through it, and just as fast as it came upon us, it ended. We had a nice morning ride, and headed back to camp for lunch and to give the boys a break.

Early afternoon we headed out the other direction, and eventually found beautiful deep sandy trails with varied terrain.

nicolet_trail
Entering the pines, with Nemo in the lead for a change
I didn't get many pictures, Koda was increasingly naughty challenging. I tried really hard to keep him moving forward. It became more frequent, he would stop/turn and started refusing to turn right (even on the way back) no matter what I did. Nice. My frustration grew. It wasn't my idea of fun and I dismounted for a while. Needless to say we had ridden far enough, and headed back to camp. 

We washed up and headed out for an amazing birthday meal at Maiden Lake Supper Club, Walleye that melts in your mouth ~ mmmm!! A night to remember! We met nice people, and actually closed the place down. Nothing crazy. It was 10-ish, they just close early unless they are busy.

I wanted to ride again the next day, with hopes of ending the trail on a more positive note - but we woke up to cold, wet, and sprinkling weather. Nothing you can't ride in, however we opted to pack up and head for home instead. It's all good, at least I stayed in the saddle. After some discussion, our trainer used "teenage year" analogy, and assures me this too shall pass. I believe her, and instead will focus on the good memories from the trip. It was overall an awesome first overnight experience. The ranch owners were super hosts. We definitely plan to go back. Among other things, there is an ice cream shop with a hitching post that has my name on it. Not to mention 661,000 unexplored acre's!!

nicolet
Riding the back trails in the Nicolet National Forest

4 comments:

juliette said...

So beautiful - great photos and it sounds like it was an above average outing even with scary rocks!

Shirley said...

What a beautiful setting. Love that cabin! Koda sure is a pretty boy, and as he matures he should get over his issues, especially since you have a knowledgeable trainer to work with. Sometimes it's discouraging when they get silly, like last year on our blogger trail ride when Beamer was acting up and refused to cross little muddy streams unless I got off and led him over, but would go across big wide creeks no problem- go figure!

Jeni said...

What a wonderful trip! I didn't know there were such places. Koda just needs more miles that's all.

Breathe said...

I appreciate your comment on my blog and the place you are on this journey. It sounds like you handled things well, but I know those "teenage moments" are no fun to ride.