Thursday, September 12, 2013

Beaver Creek State Park

I spent last weekend with my horse at Beaver Creek State Park.  I was the ride host/coordinator for the club planned outing.  There only ended up being one other camper that joined us, but there were others from our club that joined us for a ride on Saturday without spending the night.

What a weekend!  The weather was PERFECT - 70-ish degrees and sunshine all the way except for a few scattered clouds.

Beaver Creek is strictly primitive camping, like many of the horsemen's camp grounds around the state.  I don't mind, and our trailer is well equipped to be self sufficient.  The campground is basically just a huge mowed field with high lines around the tree-lined perimeter, but it did offer a pit toilet, and a nice one, at that.

"The Shitter"
I know that a lot of people would be offended by staying somewhere that doesn't offer at least flush toilets, but honestly, when faced with the call of nature and having to consider your options, (soiling a bush or digging a hole in the dirt), this thing starts to look like the Ritz.

Hey, at least it's clean. Plus, no Poison Ivy.
We arrived about 3:30 on Friday afternoon.  The park wasn't full of weekend warriors like ourselves yet, so we pretty much had the pick of the place.

"Our House"
Friday night we didn't ride because we were busy getting our campsite set up, plus seeing how I was the ride host, I had to be around for any potential members that may arrive and/or field phone calls from people trying to find the place that were lost.  Dinner was a couple cans of soup heated up on our little propane stove.

It wasn't fancy, but it was filling, and that's what's important.

As I mentioned before, only one other camper joined us for camping that weekend, so we parked next to each other and her horse, Koda, was Guinness' high line neighbor for the weekend.

After campsites were set up, horses settled in, supper slurped and chores done, we settled in for a nice evening by the campfire.

Friday night was a cold Mo-Fo.  When I got up Saturday morning and went out to do chores for the horses, poor Guinness was shivering in the early morning chill. 

But, luckily our campsite got a little early morning sun, which we all enjoyed.  I stoked up our fire from the previous night, and enjoyed standing in front of the warmth while the early morning sun was on my back.

Ahh, sunshine
By the time we were all tacked up for the day's riding, it was warm enough that we were comfortable in our T-shirts.

Mom, Kim and I headed out for a short ride while we waited on the rest of the day riders to arrive.  It turned out to be shorter than we anticipated...

What was supposed to be about an hour ride, turned out to be 20 minutes.  Why?  Because we don't know the trails, they aren't marked for sh!t, and we got 'lost'.  More like, 'slightly misplaced'.

Which was just as well, because when we got lost back to camp, our riding buddies were just pulling in, so we waited for them to get tacked up and head out for bigger adventures.

Ready and waiting!
Finally everyone was ready, so all seven of us hardy souls headed out for the day.

Then don't 'cha know, all seven of us got lost and wound up back in camp after a very short ride.

So, never to be discouraged, we headed out again...

...and got lost.  Again.

Trying to read the worthless map.
We did stumble across this pretty cool old mill, though.

Never to fear, because we simply ended up back in camp.  Again.  But as luck would have it, as we were bitching and pissing and moaning as a collective, frustrated group of equestrians, we ran into someone who rode in this park every other weekend and knew where the hell he was going!

So, we headed out again, only this time we had a tour guide.  :)

Tour guide Nate in the red shirt
Then, the journey got beautiful.

RoadQueen and Guinness playing in the water

Lunch Break

Finally, after a ton of fun, challenging trails and beautiful scenery, we arrived back at camp after 6 hours in the saddle and 18 miles under our horse's hooves.  We were careful to sponge them down well and apply liniment to prevent muscle soreness, then put the horses on their lines to relax and eat hay for the rest of the evening.

As the ride coordinator, I had designated Saturday evening as a potluck dinner.  Since there was just the three of us (me, Mom and Kim), we had a casual, small meal by the campfire, complete with hot dogs cooked over said fire.

Sunday morning Mom, Kim and I got up early and headed out on our own for a short couple hour ride.  We ended up being lost - again - for 3 hours, but it was so pretty, we didn't mind.

One of the coolest things that happened on Sunday, is that we met up with this guy.  We passed almost underneath him as we went down the trail.  He never startled or spooked, in fact he watched us with great interest.  We could see him still watching us long after we passed him and he was just a dot in the distance.  Pretty freaking cool!

Bald Eagle!!!

~ The RoadQueen


RANTWICK said...

Wow. I'm pretty jealous. Makes me want to become a horse person. Great name on your horse btw. Bald Eagle that close, too! Crazy!

RoadQueen said...

Thanks, Rantwick! Yeah, cycling on the roads and mtb'ing in the woods is super fun and pretty, but we were places this weekend that even the baddest cyclist couldn't have gotten.

The horseback riding is great for spotting wildlife, too. Deer and other critters can't smell the human scent because of the horses, so we're able to get super close.

Birds are sight animals, but this one wasn't worried in the least. We were only about 40' away!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Awesome! Nice post RQ.

RoadQueen said...

Thanks Rct! XOXO