As promised in a previous blog...this is a picture of me on a mule. It was taken in Sept. 2002 when my friend, Pam Clark, and I, took Eric's mother with us to the Parade Rest Dude Ranch in West Yellowstone, Montana. Here is the story...
We had so much fun during our whirlwind weekend in Texas that we wanted to travel again so almost immediately after getting home, we started planning another trip. We looked for airline tickets online because we decided that we didn't like flying stand-by. We found a great deal and reserved our tickets. The day before the deadline to actually pay for the tickets we talked again about taking the trip. Neither of us felt good about going so we canceled the reservation. A few months later we were humbled as we realized that had we gone on the trip we had planned, we would have been flying home (or should I say trying to fly home) on Sept. 11, 2001. How thankful I am that we followed that prompting.
Pam found this dude ranch online and we decided that we should go there. The rates were good because it was the end of the season. One of the highlights of the trip was called "The Sunset Ride". Now, I must confess that I was a little intimidated by the prospect of riding anything up the side of a mountain, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity and I was not disappointed. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I'm sure the ranch hands were accustomed to dealing with people that didn't know anything about riding and I was thankful for this. The mule's name was "Shaw Lynn" and he was very gentle. They had steps that I walked up to help me get on his back. It was nothing like trying to get on the cow. After a brief lesson on how to ride, we were off! Pam was riding behind me and she coached me a few times until I got the hang of it.
We started up the mountain and rode for about 30 minutes until we came to a beautiful lake. It was just about sunset and the temperature was great. I remember being in awe of my beautiful surroundings. It was the beginning of Fall so the leaves were starting to change color. It was wonderful. By the time we got back to the ranch it was nearly dark. Pam snapped this picture so I could have photographic evidence of my ride. I don't know why I didn't take my camera with me? I definately will, the next time I do this.
During this same trip, we went to Yellowstone National Park. That was my first time to go there and I didn't get to see Old Faithful, so I have to go back someday for that. We also stopped in Grand Teton National Park. Now that was a beautiful place. We drove to Twin Falls, Idaho so I could visit my grandmother and we spent a few days in Salt Lake visiting my family. We knew we had done a lot in the ten days we were gone because we logged 2000 miles on the rental car! Wow! Oh, and I also got a speeding ticket in Taylorsville, Utah--but that is a story for another blog.
I am sad to say that since this trip we have not traveled much. Lives get busy and so for now we have nothing planned, but I am hopeful that in a couple of years after her children have graduated from high school, that we will again be able to take a trip together. How thankful I am for the beautiful earth that the Lord created. I am also thankful for the freedom to be able to travel about and see these wonderful creations.