Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mules and Snowflakes - Day 6, part 1

Rest and Relaxation, plus some time not in a moving vehicle was on the menu today. We've traveled a couple thousand miles already, so it couldn't have come at a better time to have some down time with family. Allyson went for a run, I chatted with Grandpa and cousin Bill and we all enjoyed a nice homemade breakfast of french toast and scrambled eggs. As we were eating and enjoying the view of the Salmon River, I noticed a few mules and a horse and asked if they were trained. That was pretty much all it took and about an hour later, my cousins Charlie and Justin had the mules saddled up for a trail ride in the hills.

I threw on a cowboy hat, Allyson got used to being on a mule (she has only ridden a handful of times - brave girl!) and Justin led us up the trail. Just as we got going, light snow began to fall but died down enough for us to continue. Then, a bald eagle soared over our heads, almost close enough to make eye contact. We reached the top of the hill and laid our eyes on an unbelievable view of the Salmon River snaking around the valley below. We could have kept going and explored for hours, but good old Mother nature had another plan. The temperature started dropping and our extremities could no longer handle it, so we went back to the house.

Our timing was impeccable, not more than 20 minutes later snowflakes the size of half dollars were blanketing the valley. We enjoyed the not-so-common mid-May storm from the warmth of the house while we defrosted our hands and toes with a hair dryer. Fully committed to our itinerary, we decided to say our goodbyes and brave the weather on our way back to Montana.

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