My friends and I made plans to ride in Yellowstone last fall. It’s a day-long ride we’ve done before, now twelve of us in all.
We started at Old Faithful on a brisk October day. We aimed for the old Ranger Station thirty miles away.
I could hear the click as saddle bags were buckled in their places. Those cowboys were excited. I could see it in their faces.
The horses’ breaths were steaming in the cold October air. It was time to hit the trail, and we had no time to spare.
Now let me take you back a bit before our ride began. There were four new lady riders who were bound to join our clan.
They were all beginner riders and were dressed to fit the part. But what was so surprising was they stopped at Mini-Mart.
The gals thought there was extra time and purchased soda pop. There must have been a mighty thirst. They filled it to the top.
The ladies saddled up and only rode a mile or so. But soon the pop had run its course. And then they had to go.
We helped the ladies climb on down. Into the woods they went. Then helped each one back on her horse, just like a proper gent.
On down the trail our horses walked but stopped when (wouldn’t you know?) Another lady called out loud, “I really gotta go!”
So once again we helped her down and then back on her horse. I warned them all, “We’re running late. We’ve got to stay the course.”
We rode a few more miles, and then I heard a desperate plea, “I know we’re short of time, but, guys, I really gotta pee.”
I wondered just how many times in one day they could go. I quit the count about halfway. I didn’t want to know.
We stopped along the river’s edge and ate the fastest bite. The horses drank and ate some oats. By now we’d lost the light.
The day was done. The sun went down. The ride had gone too slow. But after dark I never heard, “I really gotta go.”
We finally reached the station. Yes, our patience had been tried. My body was a total wreck. I’d say completely fried.
So when we take that ride again, I’ll offer some advice. “Leave all the soda pop at home! Next time we won’t be nice.”