Sunday, May 20, 2007
  Lost in the Mountains Part 2

Making the decision to ride cross country over mountains that exceed 7,500 ft in altitude as opposed to trailering through dangerous traffic situations was well worth it, even though we got "somewhat misplaced" in the process. Early in the afternoon we were surrounded by a thunder storm. Although we only got enough rain to cool us off, the thunder was loud enough that we could feel the vibrations of it. The lightning was fairly far from us, but we could see it. (There is something about the idea of sitting on a horse who is standing on steel shoes during lightning that is somewhat unnerving to me...) Neither of us knew how our horses would react to loud thunder or lightning. We need not have worried, they hardly paid attention to it. There were views along the trail that were beyond description. You can't imagine how it feels to sit on a horse going down a narrow, steep trail and look to your left and see a sheer drop of a thousand feet straight down. To your right is a vertical wall of rock. There is no allowance for a mistep and an ansy horse could put you in a life threatening situation in a split second. As hyper as Jericho can be, he seemed to know how dangerous the situation was. He put his head down, watched the trail, and carefully picked out each step. Whiskey picked each step carefully as well. I finally just dropped my reins and trusted Jericho to pick the speed and the footing. Both the horses seemed as if they had ridden mountain trails their whole lives. The veiws were incredible and the experience was absolutely priceless. I wouldn't have missed the experience for anything. (That's easy to say now that we are safe in the RV ...) Poor Marla... she knew we were lost while she waited for us in the Groom Creek Horse Camp. I know she was worried about us. The biggest concern Edie and I had was finding water for the horses. There was one place Edie found that was a fair sized rock pool with clear water in it. The boys got a good long drink there. Then, as she stated in her blog, there was the man made waterfall in the RV park. The man came out as we were leaving, and I don't think he was impressed with the fact that we had let the horses drink out of his waterfall pool. I hate it, but the guys had to have water. We rode 28 miles through the mountains, saw some of the most spectacular scenery you can imagine, shared a once in a lifetime experience as friends, reached another level of trust in our horses, and made it home safely, if more than a little exhausted. All in all, I'd say it was a pretty incredible day. Edie and I did make a unanamous decision... If anyone wants to do this part of the trail, they will have to hire another tour guide... We wouldn't have missed it... but believe me... once was enough for either of us! Andi

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