Horseback Riding in the Desert
Like I always say, there’s always time to try out something new and often times it begins by saying “YES.” Even though climbing is huge part of my lifestyle, I make it point to always expand my interests and simply appreciate life in as many aspects as I can.
For the video on this post click: Save a Horse Ride A Cowboy
The main reason I was in Joshua Tree was because one of my close cousins was getting married down in Palm Springs. I tacked on a few extra days before and after the wedding to get some climbing in, but the weekend had arrive and it was time to clean myself up, shower and get my dancing shoes on.
On this particular day, my cousin’s partner Scotty, had a mission in mind. He wanted to ride horse in the desert. He had asked a few people and many had reservations about mounting such a large beast. However, when he made his way to inviting Adam and I, we instantly said “Hell, yeah!” I mean since Woods Canada sent me riding for the first time with Brudenell Stables in P.E.I, Adam has decided that we are now seasoned riders…
This however, was my cousin Justin’s first time on a horse (well besides being placed on a Clydesdale for a quick snapshot when he was a child.) Yet, by the way he hopped up onto Frankie, you never would have guessed it was his first time.
Off we go! Guided by true American cowboys we set off onto the dusty trails of Indian Canyon. One the guides I spoke to was from Texas and spends his season chasing ranch work around central USA and then often times moves out to the desert backcountry to live in isolation. It was fascinating to hear about this entire industry of modern day cowboys. It really didn’t seem to be very different than what I imagined old school cowboys to be like… maybe less showdowns and drawing pistols, but really then again maybe not.
It was actually a really exciting ride. We all thought it would mostly be flat trails and perhaps just riding in the valleys of the canyon but we actually climbed up to one of the peaks via switchbacks and descended into a steep trail that dropped into an oasis. Yes, an OASIS! For us Canadians, these are the stuff in story tales and movies. But low and behold, we experienced the shade and literally fruits of an oasis. Our head guide reared up on his horse and picked some low hanging palm dates for us to try. They were extremely sweet and tastes just like dates, however with a much tougher skin and less meat.
Needless to say the experience was amazing. The four of us have decided that we need to ride horses at every destination! One extra special treat was a particular rock formation. Many argue it’s not the true inspiration for the Pride Rock in Lion King but I’ll leave it to you to come up with your own conclusions. Adam and I wanted to climb up there (of course) and have me be Symba and Adam hold me up like Rafiki… however there were very strict rules about climbing on the rocks out there… so I just took a photo. But if it pleases the reader, imagine Adam holding me up on the tip of that prominence and tell me I don’t look like Symba. I dare you.