Monday, August 18, 2014

Mt. Rogers, The Right Way

If you recall, we had a recent trip to Mt. Rogers where we hiked.  This time J and I went with the Saddle Club, camped and rode.  It's a much nicer way to travel.  
Saturday we rode from the You Are Here sign to the scales then the Wilson Creek loop.  Sunday was the other side of the mountain that I had never ridden before.  (sort of the yellow dots in the upper left of the map)
 I think we ended up with about 15 trailers at the camp.  Some came Friday, some on Saturday, and one showed up Sunday morning.
Jessica was all decked out and ready to go.  J doesn't like how her mane won't stay on one side so I did it up in some braids for him.
 My start on Saturday was a little slow.  J had caught and loaded the horses while I was getting the people stuff together.  The trail riders were leaving out at 10 AM so we started brushing and saddling up as soon as we got there.  But this was what I found when I went to clean out Brother's feet.  And these were just reset on Friday the week before.  Well, after much discussion, I decided to just stay in camp for the day.
Brother got a good grooming and I had just settled down with a good book when a rider came back in from the trail.  His horse had thrown a shoe.  The rider was in his late 60's with a bad back but could shoe and there was another gentleman in camp with additional health problems but that carried some farrier equipment with him.  So, between the 2 of them they managed to get the thrown shoe back on and my shoe pulled, straightened and back on.  
 So we left to try to catch up with the rest of the group.
 We were lucky and ran into them about 3 hours later where they had picked clockwise around the loop and we were going counter clockwise.   I think it was a good thing for Brother though to just go out with one calm horse for a few hours before getting with the bigger group.
The blueberries were ripe and there were plenty of berry pickers out and about.
And as always, the views were magnificent.  I was disappointed that I didn't get to see the "wild" ponies this time.  Apparently, some of them have little mule babies!

 (imagine cute pony picture with tiny mule foal with big ears inserted here) 

 I rode for about 5 hours where as the rest rode about 7 1/2.
Back at camp Brother and Jessica hung out at the trailer while we enjoyed hot dogs and hamburgers at a pot luck supper.
 Sunday morning some of us were ready earlier that others (that may have stayed up partying a little too late) so we went in 2 different groups.
Brother, being a growing boy, took every opportunity to eat.
We followed the orange diamonds, markers for the Virginia Highland trail.   That is the same trail as Horse Heaven near our house.  I guess if we had wanted to we could have just ridden home.
We had 2 great days of riding with beautiful weather and Brother had his first overnight ride and did wonderful.  Jessica is geared up and should be ready to do 30 miles this coming Saturday.  J, I'm not so sure about.


C said...

I'm impressed at how prepared the group you were with was - able to re-shod a horse - amazing. Sounds like you both had a great weekend.

Allison B said...

Sounds amazing! I would love to have seen photos of tiny mule foal with big ears, though. I picture mass amounts of cuteness!

Laura Lee said...

What a fantastic weekend!

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