A perfect campout

After crazy winds, black clouds, and a few drops of rain we woke to another beautiful day. Pat slept in, Cleone, Barb, and I met at the saloon for coffee and a yoghurt before we went out to toss hay to the horses. I brought my bag of horse treats that Barb gave each of us to see if I could make the most four footed friends. I failed. Since the wild horses are not used to ‘treats’ they could have cared less, per Paige.

After a yummy breakfast buffet, we loaded into Mavericks, a kind of ultra stable 1000cc ATV, and headed off-road for an exciting, DUSTY, ride up to some rock formations. We enjoyed a short hike, took in the beautiful vista, and then took a few pictures. When Barb was sliding down a rock where she had posing, she tore her jeans big time. We all cracked up when she said, “I knew I should have worn underwear today.” We thought it was a joke until she turned around and mooned us.

After showers we grabbed lunch and headed off for an overnighter in the Goshure Valley. No power lines, no noise, tens of thousands of stars, a huge campfire, and sheep herder wagons to sleep in. We loved it! First order of business was to go to the shooting range where Nix gave us a tutorial at a small range set up in the trees. We each had the opportunity to shoot two pistols: a 45 cowboy long colt and a sig 226 9mm. The rifles we tried out were: Henry lever action 22, AR 15 (22 cal), 45 long colt pump action, two AR15 5.56 mm M4s, and my favorite the 7.62mm Larue Tactical sniper rifle. The girl to beat was Barb and we all surprised ourselves and gave her quite a run for her money. The lessons finished with long range shooting, a big finale since two of the targets exploded in a big cloud of smoke when they were hit…leaving no question that they had been destroyed. Pat hit the first one at 150 yards out and Barb the second one at 180 yards. When it was my turn I had no choice but to nail (with the Larue) the little red man 225 yards out. Guess what? I hit it FOUR times and have worked that into the conversation as often as humanly possible ever since. I tried to nickname myself Hotshot but Nix reminded me that choosing one’s own nickname is not exactly how it is done.

A couple people headed back to the ranch after dinner along with most of the staff. We four slept in sheep herder wagons situated in the trees. Each had its own outhouse just in case that was worrying you. After dinner, out by the fire, Cassandra played banjo and sang; Ira played the guitar and sang; and Joe sang a few Native American songs and, at our request, explained the beautiful beaded cuffs (made by his grandma) and bolo ring, and steel bicep cuffs he was wearing.

The camp was ideally situated facing a meadow where we could see our buddies, wild mustangs.  Magic!

We were up early to pose for a zillion pictures in our matching red nighties. Our favorite was on an old chuck wagon. Barb and Cleone volunteered to climb up on the driver’s seat. We doubled over laughing when Cleone told Nix, who volunteered to be our photographer, to turn around while she climbed up because she was not wearing any underwear. What is with these girls and underwear?!?

OK, so who is making all this fun possible? We have spent most of our time with a few of the staff. Paige, Ira and Cassandra (between 19 and 34) are wranglers born and raised on horses and so good at what they do. Not once have they laughed at us. Nix, a retired Navy Seal, is the activities coordinator always aiming to please. Big Mark, 26, is the ranch manager who takes the care and maintenance of the fields and machinery very seriously. Doing a lot of the behind the scenes work are 25 foreign students from Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine who are here for the season (May through September). Chef Dave Oland is responsible for all the amazing food we have eaten. Think along the lines of black truffle dressing, quail, venison, and the other treats you’ve already read about.


3 thoughts on “A perfect campout

  1. Schele this “adventure” of yours has been one of my favorites! I have loved the pictures, and of course your Schele & Tell. Thank you and Cleone and Barb for making sure I got plenty of pictures..felt like I was with you as always! Safe travels when you head to Utah. Please give Jennifer and her sweet family hugs from me.


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