It always amazes me how resilient the human body can be. Even though I ride horses frequently, my body isn’t used of riding for 8 consecutive hours. When I woke up, I felt pretty good. My knees were still sore, but when in Rome, no biggie. We woke up, ate breakfast, went back to Eager and the horses. By this time, we were allowed to saddle up ourselves. I reckon they saw that we indeed knew what we were doing and that they could spent the remaining time on others.
Billy caught the horses, we saddled and made sure we had all we needed in our saddle bags. When everybody was good to go and mounted, we first crossed the road and went through the Little Colorado River before they released the horses from the corral. It was such a beautiful but surreal sight to see the horses come the hill and into the water. That was one of my personal highlights of the trip. One of the many. Today would be the day that we’d be going up the White Mountains all the way to Big Lake, which would be a 20-25 mile trail ride.
After the river, we were in for a tricky part. We had to walk the horses on the freeway for a bit. There were some cattle grids in the road and the horses cannot on them nor jump over them. They had to go through the opening in the fences beside it. All went well, but horses still are living creatures with a mind of their own. You always need to be careful.
Short after, we went off the freeway and into a canyon. It was nice to get out of the wind for a change. At the same time, temperature in the canyon rose, so, little did I know, I took off my gloves. At the time it wasn’t such a problem. However, when we got back to the cabins in the evening, they got sun burnt. I didn’t put sun screen on them, because I was wearing gloves right?
I loved the canyon and the forest parts of the drive. It was quiet, peaceful and the scenery was more diverse than the open fields. At some points, you didn’t even see the entire herd because they were walking in line to follow the small paths up the mountains. Due to all the trees, bushes and turns, it was sometimes unimaginable that we were on the road with 80 horses.
During our hike through the canyon, we also passed camp. Camp equalled bathroom break. Thank goodness there was a port-a-potty. I don’t mind doing my business in the bushes, but something that is similar to a normal toilet seat is always a plus.
Not long after this break we went up a very steep mountain wall, which is probably one of the most incredible and moving sights I have ever experienced in my life. It’s hard to describe and the video I made of it, doesn’t even do it justice. It’s just… WOW. It was worth every dime, every minute, every step to go to America, to Arizona and to Sprucedale Ranch.
A small video impression of the drive.
After dinner, we were one of the few that spent some time in the common room. We even taught Kelly how to play the card game ‘Pesten’. We went to bed (9.00 pm) early. Although, compared to the other, it was late?