Thursday, July 24, 2008

Impromptu Weekend Getaway -or-

Rich Can Ride a Horse too!

Last weekend it hit 101 both Saturday and Sunday in downtown Denver. Laura and I wanted to escape the heat, so we drove up to Beaver Creek ski area. Neither one of us had ever been to Beaver Creek in the summer. We'd only been there in the winter for skiing.

The place looks a lot different in the summer. The lifts were running hikers and bikers up to the top. Man, I wished I had brought my bike! We're talking about going back next weekend with some friends to do some downhill biking! This time, however, we came to ride horses. After hanging out in the village during the day, we decided to do an early evening dinner at Beano's Cabin.

During ski season, you take a horse drawn sleigh up the mountain to the cabin. Today we were taking a 45 minute horse ride up to the top where a fabulous dinner awaited us. Laura had been to Beano's, on a family ski trip, quite a few years ago. So, she knew we were in for a great meal!

The plan was to spend Saturday night in Eagle (WAY less expensive then staying in BC!) and get an early start, Sunday morning, to the 4 Eagle Ranch, where we were going to do a cattle drive.

Laura, myself and our "wrangler" Hannah had the job of finding the cattle herd (somewhere out on 500+ acres) and getting the group of 50 head back to the ranch where they would be checked out.

It took us about an hour to find the herd up on top of a mesa sunning themselves. Most were laying down and not too happy to see us! Our first priority was to get them all up and headed into the general direction of the ranch.

Hannah is supervising me grouping the herd together!

Below, is my view from the cockpit as I trot the stragglers to keep up with the rest of the herd.

Laura guides the herd towards a watering hole, before moving them towards the ranch.

Hannah got this shot of us as we waited for the herd to get their drinks in before making our final push to the holding pen.

The cattle drive was a great experience! With Laura's help(remember, she took a herding clinic back in June) I almost looked like I knew what I was doing. She used plates and salt and pepper shakers, back at Beano's, to demonstrate how to approach the herd and individual cattle to get them to move the way you want. The tips worked like a charm too!

Stay tuned for downhill mountain biking from Beaver Creek, next weekend.