Mt. Shavano and Raspberry Gulch

A lovely wildflower meadow near Raspberry Gulch.

A lovely wildflower meadow near Raspberry Gulch.

There are so many wonderful areas to ride here in the Salida area and we have been blessed with some outstanding local guides to show us around. This trip has been truly amazing. On Thursday we rode with a charming local gal, Kate and her wonderful mule on Friday. Kate showed us the Raspberry Gulch area and later on in the trip the Mt. Shavano area with her friend Elise. Raspberry Gulch is located in the foothills of Mt. Antero and Mt. Princeton. The terrain includes pine, piñon and meadows filled with wildflowers, simply breathtaking.

On Friday Cheri arranged for us to accompany a local foxhound group. I have never been around foxhounds so I was really thrilled to have this experience and meet other local riders. We met in an area near Mt. Shavano, unloaded and tacked up. The hounds arrived soon after in the back of a horse trailer, they were radio-collared and released as we rode out.

There were 17 foxhounds (two wanna-bees), the Master, three Whips and a Drag Rider. The hunt master let the dogs take care of their business and sniff around. Then they were gathered into a fairly tight back and any stragglers rounded up, it reminded me a bit of rounding up cattle. There were thoroughbreds and Irish warmblood crosses along with our Arabians, Azteca, and Quarter horse. Our position was at the end of the group.

Riding with the hounds near Mt. Shavano.

Riding with the hounds near Mt. Shavano.

Mt. Shavano rose above us, and the sky was clear blue as we trotted across wildflower meadows and down dirt two tracks. We later meandered through aspens forests and rested with  the hounds as the horses sipped clear mountain creeks. It was a fun romp at a crisp walk, long trots and a few canters. Horns sounding calling the dogs, with the Whips calling for some stray hounds. Back at camp Jane made sherbet and 7-up slussies (yum) for all and we then had a delicous lunch (arranged on ironing boards) of roast chicken, smoked salmon, wine and a selection of cheeses.

Sunday we had a change in guests, we got them settled in and we returned to the Colorado trail and the Raspberry Gulch area riding north to the Chalk Cliffs. There are plenty of great camping spots in this area so pack your rig and get out of dodge! On Monday the group split up with Cheri taking the gaited horses down to the Arkansas River, while Mary and I rode with Elise and Kate in the Mt. Shavano area. We rode along gully washes, through more vast wildflower meadows and took in the amazing 360 degree mountain views—wow what a trip!

Lunch after the ride—gotta love the ironing boards!

Lunch after the ride—gotta love the ironing boards!

The Salida  area offers miles of trails to explore, outstanding scenery, a fun town and some pretty perfect Bluebird, Colorado days, along with a warm and charismatic local horse community that embraced us. I may just have to have a chat with my husband and think about moving to this area.

Thanks Cheri (the best hostess), and Kate and Elise for opening our eyes to this beautiful area of Colorado. This has been a week I will never forget. And, thanks to all those horse gals who had the time to join us, Lee, Jane, Samantha, Patty, Mary, Sharon, Sharon, Helen, Sue, and Diane, it has been a jolly romp in the Colorado mountains with you!

Linda P
PS: Should you like more information about this rental property for horses or without please send me an e-mail.

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