So what would a near perfect thing be to do in this beautiful place?
During my days working at the World Equestrian Show I met the incredible horse trainer Les Vogt and by pure coincidence his good friend and head rancher here is James who helped create beautiful Red Cliff Lodge on the edge of the Colorado River.
Wouldn't it be great to ride out into this breathtaking scenery and on an above average horse?
But no way did I think he'd take the time out to do this as he has his own people who normally take the horses out.
The horse truck rolls up at 8 this morning and out jumps James! Near perfect weather with enough cloud cover to not make it too hot. We drive out to a nearby valley, unload the beautiful horses including the 3 year old quarter horse mare he's currently training I think mainly for roping, my cross thoroughbred quarter horse who must stand at 16h, bridle them up and mount into that luxurious well worn western saddle - and it only gets better!
Not being in a large group is magical, walking for hours through brush grass, hilly slopes without a military march following others, wading through crystal clear streams, letting them drink, viewing the spectacular mountain ranges (one called 'the priest and the 3 nuns', i think, of 4 columns reaching up to the sky) but free to go wherever - that's true riding to allow the horse to go at his own pace - mouth contact so delicate that you could turn them on a pin. Anyway i'm getting carried away just thinking about it.
Thank you James for a day I'll remember for a long time.
ps - everyone tonight seems to be talking about Salt Lake City, my next destination ... and feeling those first drops of rain which had been predicted for a possible storm tonight !