This past weekend, we joined our friends Rich & Kathy and Jules & Steve for a last chance camping trip at Kanopolis State Park near Marquette, Kansas. We actually planned this many months ago knowing with weather it can be a crap shoot. We truly lucked out weather wise and if this ends up being the last riding trip of the year, it was a good one!
The first time I went to Kanopolis was for my first Cowgirl Weekend about nine years ago. We had a return visit there a few years ago but it was one place John and Jule's husband, Steve, had never been. In the heart of Kansas, it could be ungodly hot in the mid summer, but quite beautiful in the fall both colorwise and weatherwise, if timed right. And we did.
Having just picked up Fancy, our vet was able to get the Coggins test done quickly for out of state travel and our farrier put shoes on her. It is a bit rockier down there and not knowing how she handles any terrain, it was good insurance that she not get sore. We hit the road early Friday morning for the four hour drive; getting there around noon.
Our friends were out riding when we arrived, so we took the time to set up camp and then rode a short loop that first day. The next morning was a perfect fall day and we were on the trail shortly after nine that morning.
We barely got a mile when I had to stop and take pictures. The reflections of the trees on the water was breathtaking and much prettier by eye than can be captured by the camera, but I tried.
There are a couple caves that provide a great backdrop for photos.
And the water crossings could be a challenge for some horses, but Fancy didn’t blink an eye.
We worked our way though the Red Rock and Horse Thief Canyon, some places walking on sheer rock.
And again, stopped for any photo opportunity I could find.
It was a short weekend for 8 hours round trip of driving time, but well worth it. Hopefully this last big weekend will carry me through the winter months coming up. Not likely, but a good thought anyway.
John’s Fancy mare did outstanding. She never refused a water crossing or a climb. She kept up with the foxtrotters who were leading the ride and loped next to Windy and me. She is as mellow as Ginger was hot. A good change for John, I think. So far, so good anyway.