unexpected experiences

Our Fall trail riding trip up north came & went. It is one we will not soon forget, for different reasons...

We headed out with Cierra & Koda in tow, leaving Nemo behind for the first time. Brad's trusty trail horse. Our rock. It just wasn't going to be the same with out the big guy. Here is an update on Nemo, incase you missed it. However, life is meant to be lived and we looked forward to making new trail memories. We saw multiple rainbows on the drive up. I didn't catch it while doubled up, but here is the tail end of the wonder...

What lies at the end of our rainbow?
We arrived at the cabin later then usual, too late to get much of a ride in. We prefer letting the horses settle in anyways. Got them fed & watered and then it was our turn. We headed out to one our favorite local restaurants. We pulled into the parking lot, and it was closed? Weird. It's a popular bar eatery. A car had followed us into the lot. As I was calling to see what was going on, the owner greeted us at our window. Yes, they were closed but told us to come inside. He needed to talk to us and I didn't need to be crying in the parking lot. My heart sunk to the ground. This couldn't be good news. With suspense, we walked through the backdoor, through the kitchen, into the bar area. It really was terrible news, but at least there was still hope. You see, his wife is a Type 1 diabetic. We knew that, and of her struggles. We listened to the heart wrenching emergency story, and learned she was in the ICU fighting for her life. It is nothing short of a miracle she is still with us. 

We aren't particularly close friends, in fact we are regular seasonal customers, but there has always been a connection between us. Over the years we've gotten to know each other through our shared stories. When we walk in we are greeted by name, and frequently leave with a hug. 

He was hungry, we were hungry, and he needed someone beside doctors and hospital employees to talk to. We walked across the road, ordered some food & beverages, and simply listened. Poor guy had a couple tough weeks. First burying one of his best friends and now almost losing his wife. This man is not a touchy-feely kinda guy, and is always joking. There wasn't much to laugh about that night, but he still managed some. Between the tears. Have you ever seen a grown man unexpectedly cry? Broke my heart. His wife is one year younger then I. At that moment he needed a friend, and we are so thankful we could be there for him. We've since been in contact. She pulled through, is progressing and doing as well as can be expected. Our first night of this trip will forever leave a lasting impression on how delicate life is.

We woke up to a new day, and headed out on the trail. It's been years since Cierra has been trail ridden, but she took it all in stride. We started north, and ended north. It was a nice looong uneventful ride... 

Cierra is trained to move out. We had to catch up, a lot.

Puddles, puddles, everywhere. 
Everything looks better together
Cierra (L) Koda (R)
We weren't always behind

It's been an odd year for color, you'll notice a lot of green trees and yet many had already fallen. I hate pictures of me, always look terrible. But whatever, I need to get over it. Not sure what's worse the helmet or my rolls. Since Koda acted up on these trails last time, I decided to wear a helmet for the first ride & see what horse I had. The rolls, well unfortunately I wear those all the time these days. Note to self: suck your gut in - good grief!!!

Hmmmm, which trail is the right one?
Koda "chomp, chomp, chomp" just pick one!
Taking my picture?
Here's a picture for you, said with tongue sticking out
That night a brisk cold rainy front moved in. We waited for it to pass before heading out the next day. The rain did, but our horses were feeling the weather. Koda in particular. He was spun up, in a way I've never seen him. We decided not to head out on the trail, and instead worked with our horses at the ranch. Sure we could have cowboy'ed up, they eventually would have calmed down. Maybe. 

We enjoyed an early evening meal, and a warming campfire afterwards. We couldn't see either of our dark horses. It made us miss Nemo all over again, we can actually see him. He does the most soft campfire knickers!

When the weekend arrives, we are usually ready to head home. Sometimes we get one more ride in, and sometimes we don't. The flood gates open up and people arrive by the trailer full. This year every cabin, paddock, arena and area capable of holding horses was taken at the ranch, most doubled or tripled up. The four wheeler traffic rolling down the multi use trail quadruples. It gets really busy and noisy up north, it's a great time to leave!! 

Surprised looks arise from many when we talk about our one really nice long ride, but we don't trail ride to reach benchmarks. Honestly we don't care how far, how often, or how many hours we ride. If that's why you trail ride, in my opinion you are completely missing the beauty of it all.

When we head north, it's for an experience that encompasses everything the area has to offer. The beautiful woods, tranquil trail rides, cozy cabins, quiet campfires, relaxing, eating great food at family run restaurants, visiting with the locals etc. We had a wonderful trip! Full of colorful memories, some unexpected experiences, but all of them treasured.


C-ingspots said...

Sounds absolutely wonderful to me! And I am right there with you on the trail rides, we call them adventures, usually heading out for who knows where, and just enjoying all the experiences as they come. Your recounting of your trip makes me wistful for our last outing with the horses...rare, but good times.

Yes you do need to get over yourself about the pictures!! You look beautiful, and it's so much fun putting a face to the person we get to know through writing. And I hate to burst your bubble, but most of us have rolls at this stage in life! I hate my rolls too, but am also thankful for my body as it still serves me well. :) Sorry Nemo couldn't come... hope he's getting better.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I think you trail ride for all the right reasons. You should definitely not have an agenda but just enjoy what you can while you're with your horses. And don't worry about the rolls,you look fine. I've got plenty too. I'd like to say I'm working on getting them a little tighter but, ah, ya know, I'm not really. But I do think about it a lot! That's why you never see pictures of me on my blog.