The other riders in our group who were all in, in the end, were all out. I like to believe the intention was there, but when time comes to commit it often falls to the wayside. Must be common. The couple we met last weekend at White Mound said their riding buddies bowed out as well. We all agreed, the ride goes on regardless.
We ended up sharing the last leg of the trail with these nice folks. They were parked right in front of us, and waved as we pulled in. The only other riders we encountered on the trail was a large family group that was just heading out. Our paths crossed with this couple two other times throughout our meandering ride, all pleasant encounters. I can't help but wonder if these things happen for a reason?
Trail experiences were shared, as best we could while maneuvering single file down a rocky rather challenging trail. All of us were thankful to be out enjoying our horses, exploring the beautiful surroundings. It felt like we were kindred spirits of sorts. We chatted some more back at the trailers, shook hands and went our separate ways. We surely would have become friends, if only it wasn't so odd to give out ones phone number to people you've just met.
I opted to not bring my pocket camera for this ride. No surprise I only have one iphone photo to share, not very impressed with my phone camera... The park is very pretty, it's also very hilly. It does offer prairie riding, but to fully enjoy the trails you ride the steep mound where you are either going up, or down - and sometimes sideways.
I always check websites for trail updates, before heading out on our trips. It mentioned they were looking for riders to try out a new trail. No clue when that was posted. We knew we found the new trail the minute we started riding it. It wraps around the lake, high above, weaving and crossing the hillside. You find yourself traveling in the woods surrounded by many tree's, riding sideways, while heading mostly downwards. Brad mentioned it reminded him of our Colorado rides, on a smaller scale. It's very pretty. You can actually see the lake from a birds eye view in one area. We really enjoyed the new trail! However I would be remiss if I didn't mention there were some rather dangerous parts, when our horses were sinking and sliding. I certainly wouldn't want to ride this trail when it's wet. Nemo was in the lead, and I kept seeing his back legs slide out - especially the downside one. Koda and I tried to avoid the treacherous parts, but there were spots were you didn't have a choice. In the worst spot, all four of Koda's legs began to sink and slide, and he started to panic. He stopped, listened, and trusted me enough to guide us through that sticky area safely. I was really proud of my boy! This new trail is not for the faint of heart. Any new wooded trail means uprooted or cut trees, even with best efforts it leaves holes, and lots of loose dirt - but when that's done on a steep sloping hillside it adds another level of difficulty. I don't know what it is about White Mound, but that place is always a fun adventure!! Altho it was only a couple hours of riding, it was one tough ride.
It isn't all hills and thrills, we enjoyed a couple small water crossing's on the flatter area's. We came upon disgusting deer remains lying across one of the roadside prairie paths. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! Koda didn't want anything to do with those lifeless beady eyes, me either. I tried not to look, as we rode waaay around. Shortly after the first stream is a nice stretch of trail that is safe for a faster paced gait. We trotted along, until the wooded paths started up again.
By the time we got back to the trailer, Koda & Nemo were soaked to the bone. We had such a wonderful ride, enjoying many of the things we love!! The yellow, orange, red and green landscape was so pretty on our ride home. We wrapped the day up by giving the boys a nice rosewater bath back at the barn, hand grazing them while drying off in what was left of the sun, and tucking them into their stalls with supper waiting. We were all exhausted, and happy.