Okay, so it wasn't exactly horse camping. We stayed in this incredible cabin -- a place called Went North.
The horses were right outside, where we could see them from the dining area.
I loved this -- corrals with shelters for each horse. I get to put off my phobia of tie lines for awhile longer...
There was also a bigger area where we could let the horses out to stretch their legs and graze. Luke took the opportunity to get in a good roll as the cloud cover encouraged the gnats to come out in all their glory. The horse with Luke is his pasture mate from where we board so it was like home away from home.
We arrived when the sun was setting Friday night. Fortunately, we had bright moonlight and our trailer lights to help us get set up. We got the horses settled in with some hay and water, brought our things into the cabin, and spent some time visiting. It had been a 3 hour drive up to Went North, so we were pretty tired and didn't last long before we went to bed.
It had started raining sometime during the night and was misting while we cleaned up corrals and fed the horses. By the time the horses and humans had their breakfast, the rain had stopped. The clouds looked questionable but we were optimistic.
It turned out to be a great day for riding. Bow hunting for deer and grouse hunting were open, thus the orange vests.
Trees were starting to change and there was quite the pallet of color -- bright red, yellow, lime green, and rusty orange. We skipped crossing the river as it was too high. It would have been okay on a warm day but it was too far from the cabin to risk getting soaked in the cold.
We oohed and aahed over the colors, the sound of horses' hooves crunching the leaves, and the damp-rich-earthy smells. I laughed at Luke, who seems to quite enjoy splashing through water, giving the surface a couple extra WACKS! with his right front hoof. My friends learned to keep some distance away from his puddle playing. I wonder if he learned that from Java?
We rode about 4 hours in the morning. We stopped for lunch break after a couple hours and I made the mistake of giving Luke a taste of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Grass was no longer good enough. He wanted more. He got half my apple too. A begging horse is way worse than a begging dog...
We stopped back at the cabin to give our bodies a break. But then decided we wanted to go out again for an hour before going into town for dinner.
An hour trail ride turned into two hours when we had a few issues with a dead end trail and a puddle that seemed to go on forever. We went through quite a few puddles, some pretty deep, but we didn't feel like tackling one that had no sides to escape to and that we couldn't see the end of.
We made it back before the sun set, fed the horses their dinner, then headed out for ours at Companero, a Mexican restaurant in Dorset. Good margaritas, good food, good fried ice cream. Early bedtime again.
Sunday morning, same routine -- feed horses, feed humans, ride. This time I got to be the hunter alerter in my red sweatshirt jacket.
We got in 3 hours before we had to get ready to head back home.
This weekend was the stuff of dreams, my dreams, of spending time with friends, enjoying each other's company and our love of trail riding. Is there a word stronger than superb and awesome? Because that would describe it.