Things like this always start out so innocently. A friend emailed me to tell me that another person was trying to contact me but had my wrong email. Would I please contact her? Next thing I know I’m trampsing through the woods in 6 inches of snow when it is 17 degrees out trying to visualize what it will all look like in August.

Turns out people want me to put on a competitive trail ride this summer. That’s a lot of work. I thought about it last year and tried to find a place to hold it but didn’t come up with anything. I need a place with a campground and at least 25 miles of trails. You can get one or the other around here but there is only one place with both. I’ve heard horror stories. Mostly along the lines of, “Don’t take a beginner horse there,” and “Slippery when wet.” So I go to see. Mind you there were big flood-causing storms here recently so several parts of the trail and adjoining roads are still under water. I get to one parking area and decide to walk a bit down the trail just to have a look. Within a few feet of the parking area the trail starts downhill. Then it takes a 90 degree while still going downhill but now the trail is only about 2 feet wide. Step to your left and you go off the cliff. At the bottom on the hill you cross a stream and then start up the other side of the gorge. “No beginners” and “slippery when wet” are coming into focus. Ok, I take the trail a bit the other direction. Same thing happens except this time there’s no cliff.

I drive down to the camping area. My guide pamplet says that the trail heading out of the campsite is the easiest trail. I start down it and guess what I see? Yep, slide down a hill, cross the water, and go back up. How can there be this many down-and-ups in one small area in a very flat state? That’s good for the ride. It will challenge the experienced riders but it makes it harder for me. My horse isn’t an experienced trail horse and I’m a wimpy rider so I’m not looking forward to riding this trail in order to learn it well.