Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jerry and I decided to spend the last three days of 2011 doing one of the things we most enjoy. Not snow skiing, there is NO snow. The weather had been dry and clear all of December, perfect for camping and riding. We hauled two of our horses north three hours to Oroville where there is a nice Equestrian Campgrounds near the reservoir. Although it is winter and the leaves are fallen from most of the Oak trees, the Live Oaks and pines lend a bit of green to the hills. The camp was empty, we had our choice of sites. This place is usually best in the spring, by May the temperatures can reach the 100s, been there, done that. Fall can be nice but very dusty, winter is usually very wet with muddy, slick trails. This December weekend was good.

We rode the trails each of the three days we were there. The first two days were cloudy and very chilly, nice riding weather. There had been just enough previous rain to keep the dust down. Both horses were eager to go. That is my view of the world atop 'Rock'.

We rode from late afternoon until sunset on day one.

Day two was overcast and cool. From sections of the trail, the resevoir can be glimpsed. It's at it's winter's low mark, but there were still plenty of boats out there, big ones. The trail meanders through the foothills; woods, meadows, creeks and the lake.

A nice clear stream to drink from.

This pleasant rest area is halfway on one of the trail loops. We didn't stop to picnic but I did get the travel journal out of the mailbox and jot a message that we had been there. I always enjoy reading what the other riders and hikers have written.

Of the three days riding, the last day was the best. Still chilly but the sun shining brightly and a clear blue sky. We rode a couple of hours before packing up camp and heading home.

This is NOT the camp we packed up that last day of 2011. This camp that Jerry and I had set up in the Colorado wilderness in 2006 illustrates how I most love to camp. Roughing it, an outdoor campfire to cook over, close to nature. In 2000 - 2001, I spent almost a year traveling and camping across the USA with a dog, a horse, a truck, a horse trailer and my tent. A great adventure. Several months ago, Jerry and I began discussing taking a month long vacation this summer, traveling through the western states with a horse and mule each. I was imaging trailering to different wilderness areas, 'packing in' our camp supplies on the mules, you know 'roughing it'.

Well surprise, surprise, surprise....... This is how the ol' cowboy of mine pictures traveling across the USA. Gag...... pampered.

Our new traveling hotel. Four horse stalls in back and in front the human's living quarters complete with shower, toilet, kitchen, couch, table, microwave, surround sound stereo, television, air conditioning, heat, bed with mattress, running hot and cold water...... CAMPING???? Who kidnapped my mule-skinner, cowboy, macho-man husband? I want him back!!!

There he is riding away with crazy cowdog Cort. This man who dragged me up the mountains in November after our first (and last so far) snow to ride horses in the freezing cold has morphed into a luxury seeking camper. I am bewildered. I am planning to bring my tent and bedroll along on our trip and pray it doesn't rain much. I guess if he wants to cook in that indoor kitchen, I'll still eat his meals. Maybe I'll even use that shower, if I have to.

Happy Trails however you travel them!


di :) said...

ya got me smiling with this new post :) miss ya

Annie said...

Fun! We love camping too. I am with you on the roughing it part. Although a camper makes it possible to "camp" in the winter. :) I received a huge Lodge camp cast iron dutch oven for my birthday this last summer and I had so much fun taking it camping with us. I love cooking outside.

Jenn said...

Lucky you! Beautiful weather and beautiful scenery to ride in DECEMBER!!! All jealous here. Nice trailer, but I'm with you, I prefer "roughing it."

Wrangler sure has grown into nice looking BIG boy!

lov ya, mom f said...

sure enjoyed reading and seeing all the great pictures. Yes, fun to rough camp, then nice to have a camper also..take your pick which to do at time???