Ever since I bought a trailer, I’ve been itching to find excuses to use it. I haven’t been on a good trail ride in ages, and with Dawson Forest being less than 30 minutes from the barn, I decided to make one happen.
I voluntold my lesson buddy, Mary Campbell of Mare Goods, that she would be coming with me (because riding alone just ain’t smart!) and we planned to leave bright and early on Sunday morning.
Side note: the night before, while I was hanging out at home enjoying a quiet evening with my friend Stephanie, a kid came speeding down my one lane, 25mph, dead end street. He had been drinking, lost control, and pretty much buried his brand new Dodge truck into a tree in my yard. Those words don’t do the damage justice – it’s a miracle he (or someone else) wasn’t killed. He also nailed my recycle bin and flung it a good 50 feet across my yard (“decorating” the yard in the process as debris went everywhere) and completely tore up my brand new sod as he careened at what I assume (based on the damage to the truck, its drivetrain, and the tree) to be upwards of 50+ mph… his headlights landed about 100 feet away from where the truck came to rest. It was NUTS and I am SO glad no one was hurt and that he didn’t wind up hitting my house instead! DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE, EVER EVER EVER!!!
So, our plans were pushed back a little (since I was up late dealing with that chaos) but Mary and I still went forward with our ride. I really was looking forward to it, and could use a little relaxation after the stress of the evening before. It was a quick ride over to Dawson Forest and we unloaded our boys to get tacked and ready.
JJ, bless his little heart, was SO EXCITED to be there because he was CONVINCED we were going XC schooling. “MOM, MOM, MOM, IT’S CROSS COUNTRY, RIGHT?! WHERE ARE THE JUMPS?? I WILL JUMP THEM!!” It was adorable how excited he was, and even after a bit of “jumps!?” as we first set out on the main trail, he quickly got the hint that today was about just taking it slow.
After about 30 minutes of following the path, we came to a gravel road that seemed like it was for cars and other vehicles… not sure where we were going (map? what’s that?) we assumed that was the end of the trail we were on and turned around and headed back.
There were two other ladies with their horses next to our trailer when we made it back to the parking area, and they asked if we had found the waterfall. Wait, what?? They laughed when we told them that we stopped when we got to the gravel road, because apparently the trail continues for miles past there! Oops. So, they graciously gave us directions on where to go and what to do, we exchanged contact info so we could meet up next time, and Mary and I went off to explore another area since it was too long a trip to go back the way we came.
We spent about two hours exploring, total, and I’m proud to report my little Paint navigated some serious terrain without a single question. From rutted, washed out narrow paths to wooded areas and wide open spaces, he stayed on the buckle the entire time and had happy, relaxed, floppy ears. :)
We can’t wait to go back and find that waterfall!
Don’t be afraid to take a few more steps and explore a littler further (on the trails and in life) because you just might find something amazing around the next bend.