Our second campground was the Iron Creek Campgound. This was a primitive campground, surrounded by beauty. Breathtaking beauty that can't be captured in pictures, so I didn't take many...Once we got settled in to camp, and got the horses settled in. We went and met the neighbors, who happened to be from our neighboring state, Minnesota. And as expected...they were typical Minnesota Nice. So happy to be camping near real nice horse folks. Makes living arrangements so much better. They were 4 older couples and were all super, super nice.
We decided to go for a quick evening ride once we had supper. Holy Crap. That is the only 'G' rated phrase I can come up with to explain the trails out there. They were the most intense trails I have ever been on. I wasn't able to take many pictures because I was focused on not dying. Holy. Crap. We went up a natural staircase made of giant boulders at one point. I wish I could explain the sheer terror I had in my being. But George handled it like a champion. I gave him his head, and grabbed my horn, said a prayer and let him carry me up. It was intense but we got up. Once we were at the top we rode for a bit, and climbed some more really sketchy stuff and realized the sun was going down and soon it would be really dark. There is no way I was going DOWN that stuff in pitch black.... So we turned around, said another prayer and headed back down. The area has a lot of downed trees too due to disease and bug infestations so the downed trees and the signs warning that trees could fall at any moment really added to the terror.
But to be honest....it was a rush going on those trails! It was so much fun! If you aren't of the faint of heart, go ride out there! SO MUCH FUN!
|Doesn't look so scary...LIES!!! IT WAS TERRIFYING!|
THIS was the ride I didn't wear my helmet on...THIS of all rides.
|Only one way down I guess...|
Beautiful riding ensued. The weather was still nice and the scenery was beautiful. Then we came to a creek. It was about 2 feet wide, and about 6 inches deep. Clearly George knew more than I did and decided that the best method of crossing said creek was to launch himself up and over the creek via path through a dead ever green tree...Thanks creep! (This was in June...it's currently August and I have a massive scar on my arm as a souvenir)
Things were going well and we had ridden about 5 miles, the temperature was rising, and we were blocked by a bison sunning himself on the trail, so we decided to turn around and head for camp before we roasted to death or were gored to death by a hot pissed off bison.
La lala la la...happily riding down the trail. Wait a second...what is wrong with George? F-WORD!!! his right front shoe fell off!!! We were 4 miles from camp! It was 94 degrees! We were in the middle of no where! He could barely walk! There was no just grabbing a trailer and loading him up right there. I had to hoof it next to him until we could get to the road where the trailer could come pick us up.
Let me tell you, walking a hot, pissed off, LAME thoroughbred through some really rocky stuff is no walk in the park. Never in my life have I wanted to just curl up and die more than I did that day. I had run out of water, my riding boots were not built for hiking, the ground was rough, and hilly, and the worst ever. I just wanted death to come swiftly and take me away. My husband rode on ahead to go get the trailer. Sounds super douche-y to just leave me, but I told him to go. Also fun fact...the trail we were on was not super clearly marked so guess who got lost...yep! ME! I'm honestly not sure what got me back to the road. I was certain that I was actually dead and that vultures were circling above us. I threw up a few times along the trail too. Super fun...heat exhaustion. Just the cherry on the sundae of my adventure. But I found the road and waited for what felt like 27 days and sweet, sweet relief showed up, my husband rolled up with the trailer and a Gatorade which I inhaled like it was air. I felt like a dried sponge that was dropped into water...
Once we got to the campground I hopped into a cold shower and it felt amazing. I on the other hand...did not feel amazing. I felt like death still. As I got out of the shower, there was a knock on the door. One of our neighbors showed up with his wife. They both looked super concerned for my well being. Turns out the man was a medic! what are the odds right? He gave me strict orders to stay in the air conditioned trailer with my feet up for 3 hours. Not to drink water but drink as much Gatorade and Pedialyte as I possibly could. My husband had to leave his dying wife to go get our million dollar certified weed free hay since our horse were on their last flakes. FYI bring your own certified weed free hay to camp grounds that require it. We bought some $12 bales of the worst quality hay I've ever fed my horses. It was almost all just stems. When you pay $3.50 for a bale back home for great quality hay, you can see why it sucks to pay that much for gross hay.
Since we were in a primitive campground we had our trailer hooked up to a generator to run the AC...and the TV so I could watch Dances With Wolves (when in SD watch a movie about SD right?). I was finally starting to feel a bit better when everything shut down...I heard our super loud generator take it's last breath. So I climbed out of bed, opened to door to go figure it out and 3 of the neighbours came rushing over to help get it started again. They were seriously my guardian angels. You guys, I don't know what I would have done with out them. My poor husband was out getting hay and I was all alone, dying in the black hills when these angels showed up, and figured that the generator was low on oil. The got it running again and sent me back to rest.
Later that evening, when I was feeling better my husband and I went to go thank the neigbours again. Seriously they were amazing. Everyone was so happy that I was feeling better and one of the ladies gave me a bottle of wine to put on ice for when I was really feeling better. I mean who does that other than angels?
I slept well that night and knew that we were headed to our next destination in the am...