By Patty Wilber
This time last year we were just back from our crazy adventure in Chile, and we had at least made our Christmas cards. This year we didn’t venture so far afield and we have not gotten around to making any cards…maybe by Valentine’s day.
We did go to the Half Moon Ranch, in the Dragoon Mountains though, and I have to say, it was a true break from real life! Miriam found it and seven adults, one wee human, nine horses and two dogs went along. We ate way too much–we divvied up dinner and breakfast preparations and had really good meals–, and we drank, rode, hiked and played games!
Here is the link if you want to rent it yourself (which you might after seeing the place!) This text in the link says only six horses allowed, but we’d read eight (and brought in one extra, in case you are counting). There was actually space for two or three more, if they liked each other.
We loaded way too much stuff (because there was room), fueled up our “new” (2004) truck, and hit the road on Wednesday. It was over 400 miles, so it took nearly seven hours to get there, but how fortunate we are to have the truck and trailer, horses that can be ridden under all sorts of conditions, the time and the money to make such a trip.
The ranch house was comfortable! The canyon was lovely, and there plenty of riding and hiking (and eating) opportunities to keep us busy!
Here is a map. We didn’t actually buy any maps, although Sid had downloaded some to his GPS. We did very well with this one, photographed off the kiosk. Smart phones are astonishing! All the photos are from our phones. The “you are here” indicator is near the edge of the house property.
On Thursday, we rode out across from the house on 4810 and then back to 84 and over to the Cochise trail (279A) and up that a ways. I rode the “baby” Indy (she’s nearly three) and ponied LT. It was so much better than the group ride at Ghost Ranch that Indy went on last year. This time I didn’t feeling her bunching up under me as if she might break apart at any moment! We rode in the middle, the back and the front and she is starting to walk like an Egyptian. Not really. That just popped into my head. She is starting to walk with some ground-covering ability!
The next day we rode to the pass on the Cochise Trail (279A to 279 and then back, 10 miles total).
Melissa, Sid and Stacie, on the way up to the Pass. I need to figure out the panorama function on the camera!
Saturday, we all rode out to the front of the Dragoons along road 795 to 4385.
Later, Jim and I “hiked”. It started off like a normal hike–you know the kind where you walk on a trail? But then the cairns led right up the side of the canyon and the walking became scrambling. This always happens! I bailed before we needed ropes and real climbing gear…Jim kept on for a bit. The dogs had no problems, so it must not have been that bad, but I’d reached my adrenaline limit for the day.
In the later afternoon, Jim and I rode in the rain and hail and stayed out until dark (we are so adventurous…) Jim rode LT! No wrecks occurred! I needed to take pictures, but I didn’t. We rode up the canyon to the campground. It looked like a nice place with spacious sites and big trees. There is no drinking water, but the creek was running! There were additional “hiking” trails there.
Sunday we packed up and rode home. The weather report said snow and rain were expected in New Mexico, but we missed all the bad weather and had a nice drive!
What a fine trip with fine company!