We stop in Richardsville to drop off the Cheyenne mare and pick up Dandy my quarter gelding. I haven't seen him since we took him and Cody to Keith's dad's for greener pastures. He has fattened up a little too nicely! We have a quick visit and I soak Cody down with fly spray. I have never seen so many face flys in my life! Skeeter waits very impatiently in the trailer, pawing the guts out of it. Keith goes to take control of the issue. As we say our goodbyes and head down the driveway I can't help but get excited about the day to come. Keith thinks out loud, "We're running behind..." and a few other comments show that he shares my impatience of getting out on the trail. We just can't seem to get there quick enough.
As we pull into Lincoln trail head Keith voices that we may not even have a parking spot, but we quickly see that we are the only ones here to partake of such a beautiful day from this spot. We wonder why no one else has decided to indulge on such a summer day. It is already almost 11:00, which really is a late start of a day of trail riding.
The weather is warm, but not uncomfortable. Both horses are at ease going down the trail. So peaceful, only the birds singing and a few frogs. The breeze is slightly blowing bringing with it the sweet smell of summer time. As we top the first hill, we pass a group of tourist riders and their trail boss. They bring to mind to me what a Sunday school teacher on a Harley would look like, but I can tell by their smiles that they are enjoying themselves.
We decide we will make our first stop at the hitching rails where the Wet Prong trail begins. Although as we approach we see that a large group from a nearby campground has already occupied them, so we move on down the trail. We don't go far when we decide to stop where there are a few rocks poking through the forest floor.
Our ride continues to be a pleasant one. Keith recalls how most years by this time there are so many horseflies that man or beast can not stand it and is thankful we haven't had that problem this year. As we begin to make our first creek crossing of the day, Skeeter begins the rider's dreaded bee stomp. Yellow jackets for some reason just love to build nests in the ground next to or on a trail.
We lope up the hill to get away from the swarm. Bees can cause some terrible fiascoes with horses. With just two horses in our pack they don't seem to attack with quite as much vengeance, but if you are in a large group the third horse on to the last is attacked with such a furry that people have been thrown from their horses and hurt. Bees can make the gentlest horse wilder than the orneriest mustang bronc and seem like a pussy cat, in comparison.
We make our second stop at another creek crossing where Keith being the southern gent he is, partakes of a cigar and enjoys the relaxing sound of water and rock melded together making soothing tunes. I plan to make this sound a part of my home as I construct in my mind how to finally complete my much coveted fountain for my back yard.
As we approach our third creek crossing we meet up with a group of fun loving ladies accompanied with a husband and wife and two little girls. They splashed and galloped through the water. The cool wet water was welcomed by both the horses and riders. As always Keith hasn't met a stranger, so phone numbers are quickly exchanged and we find ourselves riding with a new group of friends. These ladies inform me of an upcoming "Cowgirl" ride that they are certain I need to accompany them to. They ask if Keith knows how to cook and even though I am not sure where this conversation is leading I tell them yes without hesitation. It seems that there is room for men on this "Cowgirl only" ride if they can cook! I watch Keith out of the corner of my eye behind me, but I don't hear a comment... :) One of the few times I've seen him speechless!
The rest of the day goes just as well as the first half, only with a few more laughs and antics from this new Calamity Jane Posse. I laugh until my side hurts.
Back at the trailer I can't believe that the day is over...something that always seems to happen when I am on a horse! I really do believe that horse time and warp time are the same thing.
Keith looks at me as we are unsaddling and says "I'm hungry...ready to go get a little Mexican?" We load up the horses and both comment on what a great day we have had. There's just something that a good ride does to a persons inner self. Keith and I still being on cloud 9 from this adventure have the rock tunes cranked up, barrelling down the highway with the windows down, wind blowing in our hair. The beat of the music vibrating down to the inner seed of our souls so intensely that it unleashes a euphoria. Keith and I look at each other, begin our air guitar and drum duo band and belt out tunes from Metallica, John Cougar Mellencamp, and Ozzy at the top of our lungs as if no one else can hear. This is what cloud 9 looks and feels like! We round the bend closing in on dinner. It has become our little tradition after riding Mammoth Cave to go to El Mazatlan to eat afterwards.
I chose the burrito portillos this time, which doesn't disappoint me! Two flour tortillas filled with spicy chopped steak, shrimp, broccoli, and pineapple, covered with white cheese sauce! Yummy! A great satisfying end to a most pleasant day! Thanks Honey!