I got up at six and went for a run around the area. The part along the river was best, with the steam rising up from the hot springs along the trail. After I finished my run, I got some coffee, then went back to our room. We had to head out by 8:00 and to Dan’s surprise, I was ready with time to spare.
Well, duh. We were going horseback riding, not to the opera.
We had only a twenty mile drive ahead of it, but much of it was on dirt roads, so it took about half an hour. We weren’t complaining because it was a beautiful sunny morning, and we were driving through country so stunning it was enough to piss a person off.
No way. This is impossible. Quit looking like a postcard, dammit!
We found our outfitter and got to meet the horses. I was on a black horse who actually behaved himself for me. I don't know why horses think I'm a pushover, but I get really tired of having to fight an animal. Blackie was a gem, though, and only misbehaved twice, both times my fault because I got complacent late in the ride and thought he wouldn't get up to anything. He reminded me very quickly. I can hardly blame him for the dandelion incident, though. They looked so good, I would've swiped a few myself, if I thought no one was paying attention.
Our trail ride was along wooded mountain trails leading to an ice cave. Since the trails were muddy from all the recent rain, we had to go slow. This suited me fine, though. In previous years we’ve gone riding in Cerrillos near Santa Fe, and I find cantering a horse through the rocky arroyos a bad way to check out the local scenery.
Here in the mountains of Colorado, there was plenty to see.
We rode for two hours, checked out the outpost and its shop cat…
...then decided to go see a waterfall. Because of the dark clouds that had moved in, we decided to drive as close as we could and hike the rest of the way up. We saw some deer along the way.
In spite of our best efforts, we got caught out in the rain. It didn’t matter though. I think we got wetter standing in the spray from the waterfall.
Upon our return, Dan made a lunch of some of last night’s pasta and I went for a massage and a soak in the mineral waters. It was very relaxing. Then, since Dan was napping, I did a little writing and had a snack.
When Dan got up, we went to the Laundromat across the street and washed our clothes. There was a through-hiker there, doing his laundry in his long johns. Pagosa Springs seems to attract a lot of through-hikers and I’d like to know more about why that is. I have a blog-friend currently hiking the Appalachian Trail and the more I read about her experiences, the more curious I am about the hiking culture.
But I digress. Now that we had clean clothes, we could go have dinner. So as not to have to bother with getting dressed up and driving, we went to a Mexican place on the water and I had a veggie burrito. Then it was back in the hot springs for a final dip.
Dan wants to be on the road at 8:00 tomorrow, so I don’t think I’ll have time for another soak. Tomorrow’s destination is Chaco Canyon, but we don’t know what we’ll be doing for accommodations. They’ve had their camping area closed for awhile now, and we aren’t familiar with the area, except we know there’s not much. But if you have a tent, you can sleep anywhere, so we’re not worried. We’ll figure something out. If there's no Day Five post, it's because we're sleeping under the stars somewhere.
I’ll miss Pagosa Springs.