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A Week in Tennessee

Our friends and co-workers say, 'Yeah, we know Tennessee is nice, but what the heck do you do all week there?  No phone, no cable, no internet?!?!?"  Well, here's a sample week from our October trip.  Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Friday Night - arrive late, after a 9 hour drive, usually well after midnite.  No matter how late we get here, we always unload everything from the trailer and I always leave three "good" beers in the fridge from the last trip.  Unpack, unwind, and have a few brews.

Saturday - first thing in the morning is our walk and run.  On days we don't ride horses, we exercise. Brenda walks the 3 mile loop of "butt-buster" hills in our neighborhood.  I take the dogs and run the 4 mile trail in the woods near our house. She walks fast, I run slow, so we finish about the same time.  After breakfast it's time to mow the lawn and do some quick cleanup, then it's off to our neighbor Joan's for lunch.  Always.  It's a tradition.  After lunch we make our Walmart run, stock up on beer, go to Tractor Supply in Jamestown.. whatever. We usually don't ride the first day down to give the horses' legs a chance to recover from the long trailer ride.

Sunday - the night before we've usually made plans to meet with people from the neighborhood for a group ride.  So, it's up at 7,  breakfast & coffee, then load the horses in the trailer by 9:30.   We'll pick up a couple extra riders (our trailer holds four horses) and head 15 minutes in some direction to a trailhead.   Today we went to Timber Ridge and rode the Falls Trail off the Yellow Circuit.   It's about a three hour leisurely ride, and we'll stop and have our pack lunch about noon.  Back to the house for a nap, then off to Tracey & Danny's for a weinee roast at 6:00.

Monday - we're riding "local" today, meaning we're leaving from our house, no trailering.  We ride to Tracey's and meet up with 5-6 other riders, then do the Proctor Ridge, Darrow Ridge, Wildcat Den loop, which is about 16 miles.  About halfway is Hippie Cave, where we stopped for lunch.   The "chute" at Wildcat is a little steep & treacherous for our young horses, so we dismounted, took off the reins, and sent them thru alone.  Tracy caught 'em on the other side and we continued our ride.  Monday night, after our naps, we went to Joan's for leftovers from Saturday's lunch.  Watched a movie that I downloaded to my laptop and projected on the plasma TV, then hit the day.

Tuesday - Trailered over to Bandy Creek Campground and Trail Head with Rich to do Jack Ridge Loop.  Rich lives around the corner, so it's easy to pick him up and throw his horse in the trailer on the way out.  It's a short ride so we didn't pack a lunch.   Tuesday night was "Movie Night" at Saddle Valley campground.  Theresa and the gang cooked up burgers and dogs, then we watched "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" on their big screen in the community area of the campsite.

Wednesday - After telling everyone how beautiful the Falls ride is at Timber Ridge, a bunch of folks asked us to take them on the same route.  So we met a group of about 8 riders in the Timber Ridge day lot and repeated the ride.  It was Brenda, Barb, Claudia, Glenda, Rich, Lindsay & I.  Still beautiful two days later.  Lunch, nap, then we were invited to dinner at Claudia & Brian's for bison meatloaf. Awesome.  Especially with beer.

Thursday - I decided to take a day off riding today, so instead I ran the 4-mile trail with the pups in the morning.   Then I made a run to the Co-Op to fill up the truck with deisel, buy some more beer, and get some jam from the Amish/Mennonite community.     Brenda rode the Tee Pee loop near our house, a 7-mile trail that circles our neighborhood.   Thursday is always pizza night, so we headed to the Wild Horse General store (about 1/2 mile from our house, as the crow flies).   The pizza is great, home made to order, and for drinks you help yourself from the wall coolers, any beer flavor you desire. 

Friday - Today we trailered over to the power lines near Charrit Creek Hostel.  In all, nine of us met up there at 9:00am, and we rode the 17-mile loop that took us down past the Charrit Creek Lodge, along the creeks until we reached the Big South Fork River.  Then we headed north and followed the river for 4 miles, crossing at Big Island.  Coming back down the other side, we stopped at an old cabin high on the bluff for lunch and a breather.  Then we rode back down to the river and crossed the BSF at Station Camp crossing.  After a long steep climb back up to the power line clearing, we (and the horses) were pretty tuckered.   Nap and then a cook out at Pam & Mikes.

Saturday - Met at the Spruce Creek Pavilion (about 10 minutes down the trail from us) at 9:00 and we're riding as a group to the Cumberland Valley Trailhead about 5 miles east.  The Hitching Post store is there, and we had a hot breakfast while our horses were tied up outside.  Then the 5 miles ride back home.  Believe it or not, there's a very good German restaurant (Bacara's) about 3 miles from the forest edge, and this week we're here for Octoberfest.  After the great meal and German beer, we head home to sadly pack.  Put the horses in the barn overnight so we can catch them quickly in the morning and be on the road by 7:00am.

Sunday - Up at 6:00, had to hog-tie Brenda and put her in the truck since she didn't want to go home.  On the road by 7, home by 4.