Out West Trip - Day 13 - Jackson WY

Thursday, June 27 - Day 13

Nana and Bumpa started the long journey home this morning so we all went to breakfast at Cowboy Coffee before officially starting our adventures.

We followed my parents out of town for a bit and then turns down a gravel road that was marked by a large metal moose and ironically a U of M mailbox and sign! Apparently the University of Michigan sends students here to study the environment and live. I think it is called the Davis campus.

We found Willow Creek easily and even though we were early the four kids eagerly jumped out and bounded for the horses!

The guides greeted us and told us all about the horses and chatted a bit. They had enough horses there for us to go early, but the one they preferred for Sylvia was out on the trail. We putted around and ended up sitting in the car with the windows open so we could be in the shade. There was some commotion and we saw one of the guides leave on a horse and another in a truck.

As 10 came and went we turned the car on and all watched Little House on the Prairie. Not one of the kids complained about having to wait - thank you Michael Landon!

The owner came over and explained that a rider had fallen off her horse and as a precaution they called an ambulance - even though she got back on the horse to ride to the road. This meant we had to wait a bit longer but as everyone was content we just sat back and relaxed.

They gave us a nice discount for waiting and got us on our horses as soon as they could.

We absolutely loved our trail ride! The horses were fantastic and even though they are trail horses and trained to follow each other they also listened to the rider. I was able to stop my horse and take pictures when I wanted and speed up or slow down!

Our group consisted of just our family and the guide which was so fantastic! We weren’t in a crowd of people and we weren’t by traffic or civilization. We went up part of a mountain, through fields of flowers, a pond, over a creek, and we even saw a deer!

Sylvia was in the lead on Pistol. She did great! She yanked that horse around when it tried to eat the vegetation, gave it little kicks with her new cowboy boots, and was fearless as she turned in her saddle and yell back asking how we were doing. Tyce was next on Nemo. Tyce was more concerned for the well being of his horse and it not stepping on hard rocks then anything else. He was always patting the horse and telling him to take his time. Lola was on Jordie. She liked to have him trot and her horse followed whatever Tyce’s horse was doing. Jackson was in front of me and he and Scooby made me laugh. His horse preferred to off road it and tried to eat everything. It would notice that the other horses got a bit ahead and then it would trot to catch up. Jackson had one hand on the back of the saddle and the other in the reins and a giant grin on his face the entire ride. Ry was on Chief, a big old horse who just wanted to eat and amble along at the rear. My horse was warrior and like I said he was a great horse and did what I asked him to do.

When we got back, the owner asked the kids if they liked it and they all said they wanted to go again!!

The night before the boys had bought some sandwiches for us to bring for lunch today. They didn’t do us much good because they were left in the fridge if the motel. Oops! Thankfully the kids were on such a high from the ride that we were able to distract them with Laura Ingels and the promise of swimming!

Third time is the charm! This was our third time trying to swim in hot springs and we finally were able to do it! About 5 miles down from where we went horse back riding is a sign to Granite Hot Springs. Right when we turned there were two rivers coming together. It was an odd sight as the brown water met the blue water. We drove another 10 miles on a narrow dirt road.

It was a gorgeous drive! Wild flowers everywhere, mountains in the distance, a clear blue river twisting and turning with the road, and even a waterfall!

The hot springs are privately owned so you have to pay to use them. From the parking lot there is a dirt road leading to the springs. You can see where the springs come out of the pool and go into the river. You can also see where the hot water is coming out of the rocks. They have painted the rocks blue and caught the hot springs into a pool so people can swim! That water is hot!! There were a lot of people there too!

We took our suits and change in the bathrooms which are especially outhouses. We paid our fee and went up on a deck and into the water. We had fun swimming and splashing around. About the time the kids said they were hungry was about the time we said it was time to go.

I really enjoyed the scenery going back and was hoping to see some wildlife, but we only saw another deer along the river.

Back in town we changed and went to the Silver Dollar Bar for dinner. The bar is made up of 2,032 silver dollars and it has catacombs underneath from days of gambling. The ambience was great as was the food and service!

We stopped in a store for Lola to purchase an item she had her eyes on and then we went to get ice cream. The shop we went into had crazy flavors like Cabernet Chocolate and pumpkin cheesecake. We each picked what we wanted and sat down. I went to sit by Sylvia and she had tears streaming down her face. Can you guess why she was crying? She dropped her cone? Nope. She didn’t like it? Nope. Someone said something mean? Nope. She was hurt? Nope. The reason she was crying was because she had too much ice cream! Oh for heaven’s sake!

We got past the too much ice cream trauma and headed back to our motel to pack. We are having the kids sleep in their clothes and put jammies and change of clothes for everyone in one suitcase so when we stop tomorrow night at our hotel we don’t have to unload the entire car. We’ll see how it goes!

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