Saturday, February 02, 2008

Through the desert on a horse with no name

Nevada's Moapa Valley from horseback.

What's the first thing you think of when you plan a trip to Las Vegas?

Horseback riding, of course! If you're me, anyway. That's the first thing I think of when I plan most trips. Before I left Denver, I bookmarked a bunch of sites for trail rides near Vegas.

Yesterday, I went for the Jesse James Sunset Steak Ride offered by Sagebrush Ranch. We saddled up for a two-hour ride, to be followed by a "cowboy dinner." (Naturally it included baked beans; shades of "Blazing Saddles.") I was put on a very furry and wonderfully responsive chestnut quarter(ish) horse.

"What's his name?" I asked. No one remembered. So now I can truthfully quote America (whose songs I never could abide).

My experience was unlike the songwriter's, however. For starters, the desert was chill, still and dead quiet. Though there was "no one for to give you no pain," there were plenty of thorny shrubs and ultra-spiky cactus to avoid. And other than a distant helicopter or airplane, the air was NOT "full of sound." We didn't hear any animals or birds, though we saw bobcat and coyote footprints. In fact, the only visible wildlife was a bee that briefly hitched a ride on the wrangler's shirt back and an eagle that silently soared into a treetop at the end of our ride. No flies either. Bliss!

To misquote another song, I love to see that evening sun go down--especially when I'm someplace wild and beautiful. And QUIET.


Janet said...

As opposed to Las Vegas, eh? I have so far successfully managed to avoid LV, and with any luck, shall continue to do so. It has about as much appeal for me as a refugee camp. Less, actually.

Doreen Orion said...

Oy. I love Vegas! (In small doses, ie for only a few days at a time.) But, I'm shallow that way.

Where else can you stroll around Paris without breaking the bank to look chic, amble through New York without worrying about muggings, visit Venice’s Grand Canal without gaining ten pounds on pasta, feel at home in ancient Rome without wrapping yourself in a toga, experience a volcano erupt without running for your life, watch pirates battle from the safety of a sidewalk (alas, without seeing Johnny Depp), or shop at a Middle Eastern bazaar without having to pretend you’re Canadian?

Here's hoping you find more to enjoy on your trip.

Horse Properties said...

i love vegas..there scenery is cool