Well, I don't know what made me hurt more - riding horses or laughing. Both, I think. My friend, Katie, and I had a FABULOUS time at the dude ranch. We weren't there one day, and it became apparent that we had made a major strategic error in not booking for the whole week. Three days was not enough, even though we filled them as full as we could. Each of the three days, I rode twice - once in the morning, and again in the afternoon. Morning rides took us through some beautiful forests, where we saw mostly trees, but also several elusive moose! Afternoons found me in the outdoor arena, where I struggle more or less in vain to convince my horse that I was the one in charge. The last day, there were also games, which involved piloting said horse around barrels. He (and I) did fine with that, but when it came to him letting me pluck a flag out of a bright orange bucket, that was a different story. He was extremely suspicious of the bucket, and it took several tries to get close enough for me to lean out and grab the flag. When we weren't riding, Katie and I tried target shooting with rifles, archery, and trap shooting with a shotgun. I've never handled guns, and didn't do too good with the rifle, but I was blasting those clay pigeons to smithereens with that shotgun! Best of all, on our first full day there, we met two other women who turned out to be as wild and crazy and Katie and me, and we thereafter never stopped laughing! The food was good and plentiful, the bar lively, and there was always some interesting (if not always stellar) entertainment after dinner. Pictures? You KNOW I have pictures!
The front of the lodge from the horse pen. The buildings were all rustic, but very comfortable.
Obviously, the barn and horses. It was a big herd, and it was wonderful to watch them being driven in from the fields in the morning, and let out again at night.
There were quite a few hummingbird feeders around the place, and we saw three different species of birds. I stood very close to get my pictures, and they were dive bombing my head. Funny little things have a high-pitched whistle, and sound just like huge bumblebees as they fly by.
This is "my" horse, Blue. He really is gray, but in this light, looks like he really is blue. He was a nice guy, even if he didn't really want to move above a slow amble.
And here's me on Blue. We had just finished an hour in the arena, and we are both tired.
Me and Katie, way up on the ridge where they have the skeet/trap range. It was a great view, and both of us did pretty good with the gun, surprising us no end!
A rare moment when we weren't doubled over with laughter. Me, Linda, Katie, and Shelly.
After dinner one evening, there were wagon rides. These big guys were so beautiful, and they did a really good job of pulling us up and down the big hills. Fast!
See the wagon? When we went, it was just the four of us. Good thing, because we were laughing so hard it probably would have been very annoying to others.
And here's our favorite wrangler of them all. Paul, the ranch manager. He made us all just a little weak in the knees. LOL
Late one evening, some moose appeared at the pond. The one nearest to it even took a short swim, surprising both the fish and the anglers.
The horses in the meadow across the street were a bit surprised, too.
Sunset on the ridge. So pretty.
I had an absolutely wonderful time, and am already looking forward to next year. We are DEFINITELY going back! If you are looking for a fun and relaxing time, you can't go wrong with the King Mountain Ranch. I've never been any place that offered such nice people (staff and guests), great food, beautiful scenery, and wonderful things to do.
Knitting? Well, there wasn't much time for that between the activities, eating, laughing, and drinking, but I did get a good bit done on the plane going and coming, and managed to finish a pair of socks (most of the first one was done before I left.)
The yarn is Numma Numma Saucy in the Marinara colorway. I LOVE these socks. The yarn is SO soft, and the pattern, Scales Skin Socks (from the Six Sox Knitalong,) is one of my favorites.
I have lots of fiber stuff to show and tell, but will save it for my next post. Promise, it won't be long!