Now that I've had you thinking about trail rides, here's a glimpse of past scenes from the one I'll be on this weekend, about 25 miles from our Idaho ranch.
It's the 12th annual benefit ride for the Appaloosa Museum & Heritage Center, and I have a volunteer role in it as "general roustabout." In other words, I do a little bit of everything required to put it on and help make it go smoothly.
This is a weekend activity, from Friday through Sunday, and thus involves camping, ?cooking, and various other entertainments (wagon rides, silent auction, $1 shopping, oldtime fiddler's concert, to name a few) in addition to horseback riding.
It takes an amazing amount of pitching in to get all the little duties and special touches handled, but this is what (IMO) helps turn a benefit into a grand time for all contributors.
For example, the land owner--George B. Hatley--allows his authentic chuckwagon to be transported to the grounds, and set up for the purpose of making biscuits for Saturday night's Dutch oven dinner. Someone has to physically make that happen, since the chuckwagon can't get there by itself.
Much of the ahead-of-time cooking is done by George's wife, Iola, and by Margie B. (shown working in the kitchen), who comes all the way from Minnesota to help out.
There's decorating to do (my department), grounds prep to do (also tackled by yours truly), a trail route to lay out (a volunteer trail boss takes care of that), and lots of other To-Do's to tackle before attendees can settle in, meet new friends and connect with old ones, and partake of ride hospitality.
(Is it a trail ride? Or is it really Party of the Year?!)
Wish you all could come!