My heart is like a river, my heart is like these hills

After a good night’s sleep, we woke up pretty early. For us, it still felt as if it was the most normal thing to do, because that the only perk of flying to the USA and being jet lagged.

Breakfast was around 7.30 am. Considering we would first go to the camp site to make our beds for the night, we had our bags packed for a few nights out in the open. We arrived at this wonderfully beautiful camp site around 10.00 am. After we unloaded all our stuff from the utes and trailers, we hauled it all to our tent. Kelly, Yvonne and I were sharing a tent, like we were also sharing the cabin. Our biggest task was mainly filling up the air mattresses with air which turned out less of a challenge than anticipated. When everyone was ready, we left for Lyman Lake and the horse corral by car.

Getting to the corral and the horses took at least an hour. Firstly we had to go down the mountain to Eager and Springerville to continue north on the US-180 to go to the horses. When we arrived at our destination for the day, we first helped Billy and Katrine with unloading all the tack. Billy briefly explained about the drive and the horses and how he was going to work, what he expected and so on. He carefully selected horses for each and everyone of us and gave us a saddle and made sure we were good to go for today’s two hour trail.

Today was mostly about whether the given horses and riders were steady, that the saddle fit the horses but also their humans. We were about to do a 60 mile (97 kms) trail in three days. We all knew it was going to be uncomfortable at one point anyways, but at least you should be comfortable for the majority of the ride.

Stetson was assigned to me. This beautiful paint gelding was a beauty and a cutey. During this ride we immediately found out that the windy weather was going to be the death of our lips (note to self: lip balm equals heaven) and that this ride was going to be amazing. Even without the herd, the landscape was so different and beautiful and I could have ridden there for ages.

When we brought back the horses to the corral and cleared all our stuff, we drove back to camp and mentally prepared ourselves for sleeping in a tent. Even though I won’t mind sleeping outdoors, it sometimes can be tricky depending on the weather and your gear.

It didn’t really matter that we were out in the middle of nowhere as far as dinner was concerned. Chili, tortillas and corn bread were on the menu and it was delicious! I had never had corn bread before; I’m a fan! During the evening we all gathered around the fire and made s’mores. There is something about American chocolate that ruins chocolate for me? It’s so sweet and doesn’t taste like chocolate at all. I reckon we’re spoiled with Ritter, Milka, Cadburry and Verkade. Herschey’s just isn’t my cup of tea.

We went to bed early because it was going to be rise and shine early. Early breakfast and preparing for a day on horse back.

Sophie Written by:

One Comment

  1. Randy Andrews
    29 July 2017

    Sophie, I was on the same horse drive as you and several more previously and have to say your account of the drive was spot on. It is an adventure the has to be experienced to be totally appreciated, few if any places will let you ride like they do at Sprucedale.

    Thanks for posting


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