Road Trip 2020 - Part 1, The Dude Ranch
In late August, my husband and I went on a 30 day road trip. We figured that it was a great way to self-isolate while exploring this beautiful country of ours. We visited Arizona, Nevada, California, and Utah. We were able to see some family and friends, go on amazing hikes, take a walk down memory lane, and ride horses until we couldn't stand straight. :) Every place we went was very conscious of the pandemic. Masks were worn in all public places and social distancing was the norm. We experienced zero problems and had an unforgettable trip.
After visiting my step-mom in Phoenix, we spent 5 nights at a dude ranch outside of Yucca, AZ.
A small ranch bordering the Mojave desert and run by a delightful family, we arrived at the Stagecoach Trails Ranch to discover we were the only guests. Perfect for us, not so much for them. They had suffered, like so many small businesses, but were still going. We rode twice a day. First ride departed at 5:30am and we rode for 3 hrs. The afternoon ride began at 6:00pm and lasted approx 2 hrs. Once they realized we could ride, our wrangler took us on the most incredible and exciting rides! We explored a quartz field and old miner camps, often climbing high into the hills before making the steep descent down. Their horses were amazing athletes. My horse, Wildfire, and I learned each other's ways very quickly and each ride was a treat. The days were hot, although we never were uncomfortable when riding. In between the rides, we swam in the pool, soaked in the hot tub, went for walks, and explored the ranch.
The Mojave is a beautiful place to explore. The horses made their way along dirt and sand paths created from years of use. A variety of cacti were scattered throughout the landscape, although only one saguaro was sighted the entire time. No mule deer or other big wildlife were in the area because of the heat. In fact, only one rabbit crossed our path during all our rides. He actually started to approach us, I think he was thirsty, before he decided better and took off.
There was beauty all around, from the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets that we witnessed every day, to the quail families we saw running from shade to shade (like the Partridge Family, back in the day), to the stagecoaches scattered around the ranch, and to the desert itself. We felt so blessed to be a part of that family and to experience life there for a few days. So much so, in fact, that we're going back in 2021.
Next leg of our road trip: Las Vegas