Saturday, July 23, 2011

Happy Trails to You!

While 3/4 of the family went off on pink jeep tour, which was "great", (the family didn't provide too many details) the remainder (Eldy, Sparky and Kelly) went to a cowboy trail ride and cookout at the M Diamond Ranch, a working ranch that provides the "cowboy experience"/trail ride/singalong/cookout at a reasonable price. It was 129.00 a person for the transportation out to the ranch, the trail ride, wagon ride and fantastic steak dinner cookout with dessert.

We got picked up at our RV park in a van, rode about 20 miles out to the ranch, and saddled up. they ask you what your riding experience is, then they match that with a horse's personality.  My experience is practically nada, sole riding experience was at age 13, and they gave me a horse that was supposed to be as tame and calm and obedient as could be. All I remember was I was scared, and the horse knew it, so he kept going wherever he wanted to, was uncooperative despite my best kicks and pulls on the reins. And the people at THAT ranch kept saying, "I don't know WHY Mickie is not cooperating today, he's never acted like that before!" So I wasn't really sure I was going to enjoy this. Eldy had his own troubles. He has very limited flexibility in his hips, so he wasn't sure he was going to be able to swing his leg over the saddle. And--he almost didn't. There were steps for people who had these very same kind of problems. Eldy went up the steps and as he tried to swing his leg over the saddle, he pulled on the pommel(?) saddlehorn? and almost slid the blanket under the saddle sideways. I looked to see the ranch hand, saying quite firmly, "Now you don't want to do that, you're going to pull the saddle right off. DON'T DO THAT!" But he finally got on...whew! Kelly got up ok, I got up OK....and Eldy kept saying several times on the trail, "I need a smaller horse!" His legs were being stretched beyond normal usage. To add insult to injury, his horse, Patti, was on her own timetable! Eldy was bringing up the rear, wa-a-a-a-y in the back. They told us they often see rattlesnakes on the trails, but Sparky didn't see one, and Eldo and Kelly didn't want to see one.
Lonesome Eldo
After the hour trail ride, we rode up a hill on a hay wagon to the staging area for the steak dinner cookout. Each person got a 16 ounce mouth watering steak, baked beans, homemade coleslaw, rolls, and   apple cobbler with ice cream for dessert. While we were eating, we were serenaded by a great cowboy, Alvie Self, who had a very mellow singing voice. He accommodated our requests and did a wonderful job.

We practiced our roping skills and got some tips from a young cowboy....that was fun! I roped myself a couple of times which had Eldy laughing his sox off, but then I started to get the hang of it. Kelly enjoyed practicing her skills, too! We had a wonderful relaxing time...great food and the gal who drove us out there (I'm sorry, I don't remember her name) gave us a taste of some of her homemade prickly pear cactus mead honey wine...wonderful!

The cook did a great job of cooking our Black Angus steaks. I asked for mine to be extra rare, and that met the approval of the cowboys I got it extra rare!

It was a perfect ending to a great day...sit outside, listen to a cowboy sing classic old country songs, have a nice meal cooked by someone else, (lol) watch the sunset over the mountains and kick back....


  1. My choice would have been the trail ride with the cookout also! Giddy-up!

  2. Wonder what the vegetarian cowboys eat! I have been on the pink jeep ride and saw lots of nice views.