Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September Camping

I really like this time of year.  Most people give up on camping once the kids go back to school.  I figure we have another month or more of great camping, and all of our favorite places are much quieter.  Margarit didn't feel like going this weekend so I took the two older girls back to the TL Bar Ranch.  The weather was exceptionally nice for the 10th of September, with daytime highs up around +30C.  There were only six other trailers in the entire campsite.  We went out for a couple of trail rides and there were only a couple other riders joining us each day.  On Saturday we went for a two hour ride upstream on the west side of the Red Deer River.  The horses managed to scramble up a rather steep 200 foot slope to the top of the valley.  We rode along there for a couple of miles and then eventually made our way back down to the river.  We followed the flats at the bottom back to the ranch.  The next morning we set out again.  This time we crossed the river on horseback over to the east side.  The river is really low and I only got my heels slightly wet as we rode the horses across.  We had a pleasant ride upstream through the badlands, crossed back over the river in a slightly deeper spot, and then followed the flats back again.  In all of our rides so far this year Annelise has always insisted the her horse be ponied by one of the guides.  Finally this time she agreed to give it a go on her own.  She rode the last half mile or so back to the ranch on Saturday.  Then on the Sunday ride, after the first river crossing, she rode on her own again.  She was all on her own as we bush-whacked to find the right trail, crossed back over the river, and then did a little up and down riding through some small coulees as we made our way back.  Even a few horse steps and some rougher terrain did not intimidate her.  By Sunday afternoon the wind really picked up and it was obvious that a front was moving in.  When we got back home it was very overcast and much cooler.  We learned that it had rained off and on most of the day Sunday back at home.  What luck that we had such a beautiful trail ride before the weather turned and we packed up for home.

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