Camping @ East Soldier's Lake Campground
by Denise Conroy
Weather prediction for this weekend? Rain, Rain and more rain! Did that stop tough country girls from camping with their horses? HECK no! lol. The characters in this story are: Laura (we call her Lady Laura because she calls her van her Chariot). She owns a wonderful mare 10 year old mare, Chic. Then we have Norma who rides her faith mount Thunder and she is the veteran of horse camping and our trail boss for the weekend. We also have Erin, who is 16 and is riding Abby who is a 22 year old mare, Connie Deplonty (who didn't spend the nite, but joined us for the ride) and me, Denise riding my steady eddie, "chocolate boy" Reese. ;-)
Our story begins on Friday, Sept 22nd......
"Lady Laura" arrived to the campground in her "Chariot" with her steed in tow, Chica at about 3:00 p.m. Friday nite. And unlike most of noble blood she didn't mind getting her hands dirty (and wet!) and began setting up the portable corral for the horses before the rest of us arrived. By the time we got there (Erin, Norma and I) a pretty good storm had passed and Lady Laura was beginning to question her desire to stay. With our country girl charm, and with the help of our own steady steeds (Reese and Abby) we managed to convince her & Chica to endure the night with us. The winds were about 35 mph and sometimes the rain would come down pretty hard. We had all the horses in twill blankets and that worked out really well. The corral encompassed several trees that offered protection during the nite.
By about 8:00 pm, we were pretty cozy and felt settled for the night. Boy, not only can Lady Laura set up portable corrals, but she can also cook! She brought along Chili! YUM! For royalty & her first time camping, she SURE knew how to be a great hostess! She flicked on her Coleman lantern and we sat in her Chariot for hours, sharing horse stories and listening to the rain lightly fall upon the roof. We were dry, warm and the horses were happy! I woke up a few times in the nite due to drinking way too much soda, and as I stepped out of the truck at about 2:00 a.m. , the wind had died right down, the rain stopped and it was unseasonable warm. I tossed the horses a bit more hay and listened to them munch for a while. It was so peaceful and you could feel the humid air against your skin. There certainly would be fog come morning.
Up at 6:00 a.m. I started the propane stove and made my first pot of camp coffee! It was lovely and tasted SO good! I sipped on it as I sat in the cozy chairs Erin brought and listened to the horses. The sky was covered in clouds but it was still so scerene. Everyone was rested and ready for the ride at about 9:15. NO Rain but some clouds coming our way. We cut the ride a bit short unfortunately. (Pics below)
BTW, here's a lesson for you' all. When you have a horse tied to the trailer and they are pawing feverishly, make sure they are not pawing near the tires! Abby was doing this and all of a sudden we heard a "pissssstttt" sound! She had busted the nozzle on my tire and all the air was coming out...there was nothing I could do! Thank heaven Connie had extra room in her trailer and we loaded Reese and Abby in her trailer and followed her down to the local tire shop, which (thank heaven!) was just 5 miles up the road. They fixed it in minutes and total cost: $8 bucks! But a good lesson learned. Here is our group, minus Me & Reese of course. ;-) Left to right: Erin, Connie, Norma and Lady Laura.
We all still talk about the fun we had that day.
We look forward to many more campouts with the Superior Trail riders group.