This summer (2022) we decided to go westward again, but this time with our horses in tow! We took our son, Wyatt, while our daughter opted to stay with the grandma’s. We loaded up our saddles, bridles, hay, cowboy hats, chaps, boots and soooo much more!
We started the trip with our first overnight in Iowa at Brushy Creek State Recreation horse camp. This was the perfect first stop after a 12 hour drive to get the horses out, stretch their legs and take a short trail ride that turned into a 4.5 hour loop all the way around the lake (whoops). Wyatt was not so happy about that. Luckily another member of our group found some jelly beans in their saddlebag and he was all happy go lucky again singing his songs and dancing while riding. We stayed two nights in this pristine and great equestrian campground.
Next stop was Bridal Ridge Camp in Custer, South Dakota. We rode trails from camp here all around the National Forest. There were hardly any other horses out and about and it was beautiful fields and Aspen and Pine forests. At one point along the trail we even encountered a few Elk and avoided a really large storm!
After 4 nights at Bridal Ridge we moved camp across town to Custer State Park. We visited here last year (sans horses) and we were so excited to get back there again, this time on four feet! The first trail we did was at Iron Creek Trail head that went onto the Centennial Trail that led us to Mount Rushmore. Unfortunately almost as soon as we arrived to Mt. Rushmore we were greeted with hail, cracking thunder and lightning and we had to bolt back down the mountain.
Back at French Creek horse camp we settled in with breathtaking views of the valley and creek. There wasn’t water at each site so we opted to pull water out of the creek for the horses. Nothing like a “working” vacation. It’s ok though, made up for all the cream cheese fire pies Susan made us!
I decided to not take my fancy camera on any trail rides. It wasn’t worth the risk of me worrying about falling off and breaking it. So I used my iphone 13. So all these photos are a mix between my Sony a7iii and my Iphone. It was a fun challenge. I did learn that my iphone has remarkable video stabilization, for as much as I was bouncing on that horse you would have never known!
After Custer State Park I flew back to Ohio for this amazing wedding. While my husband and son went on with the other to explore Yellowstone NP and Cody Wy!