No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Fall Ride

Well here it is...the weather every cowboy and cowgirl dreams of...fall! No more insects, burning hot sun, or sweaty horses. I know it doesn't last very long, but it is definitely the best ride of the season! A few weekends ago we decided to take one last three day weekend, camping trip. We loaded up the horses and headed to the Land Between the Lakes. It isn't my husband's or my favorite ride, but with good company and the cooler weather, any place is enjoyed on the back of a horse. Some of our "Bucksville" friends had stated that they were going to be there and with the Big South Fork campgrounds being full we decided to head there and join them. With the beautiful weather and the color fully covering the trees it was no wonder that primitive campsites were all that was available. Once we arrived, got over the initial irritation of being without electricity, and settled in we knew we were in for a really nice weekend. The smell of campfires filled the air and the feel of autumn lightly kissed my cheeks, as I started building my first campfire for the weekend with my step son. After getting the camper organized, eating a quick supper of brats, and the horses comfortable on the picket line for the evening, we headed over to the Gregory campsite to see what was transpiring in the way of entertainment for the night. For those of you who do not know "Big Kenny", let me say you are deprived. Let me explain..."Big Kenny" as we know him isn't only a cowboy, but a true cowboy in the sense that he is very talented with his voice and a simple string instrument. He can belt out old and new country songs as smooth as velvet; wetting the appetite of the ears, with strong melody rooted deep with country. And most times his humor is salted throughout, keeping his audience entranced the whole evening. I guess that's why so many come back to his campfire evening after evening. Complete strangers often pull up a chair for the evening.

The next morning came, along with old fashioned cowboy coffee over the gas burner...but it was a little late for our usual rising. Oh the joys of vacation! We were saddled and ready by 10:00 and heading down the trails. We made our first stop or break about an hour into the ride. The smell of fall filled was tinted with the aroma of spicy leaves, baked by natures heat and the temperature was a delight to the outdoors man's soul. Not warm enough for short sleeves, but yet not cool enough for a jacket. The trees were breathtaking and the lake worth taking note. Complete with the migration of pelicans. But best of all the memories created with family and friends....this is the stuff that is priceless! And we still had one more day of riding and one more night of camaraderie! Oh, and food tastes so much better outdoors, my husband reiterates...he is so right! We cashed in for another night at the Gregory campfire, but Kenny was a little under the weather...we actually thought we might not be as lucky as the night before, but once he got pluckin and singing it was as if he faked his illness all along. I just can't imagine life without horses! Life is good!