Orlando Bingles’ 2011 Summer Road Trip – Day 5

by Bingle on Aug.17, 2011, under Richard Bingle Family

Just like white-water rafting, horseback riding has become a staple of our recent summer trips. After checking out of our hotel in Pigeon Forge, we headed to Townsend, TN on the northern edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Davy Crockett Riding Stables. Ashley rode Jewel-Eye, Amber rode Sunny, Alyssa rode Fancy, Karen rode Buster, and I rode Gypsy (although two-thirds of the way through the guide had Karen and me switch horses because Gypsy was getting tired).

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The trails took us up and down hills, through dense woods, and along small hidden hay fields nestled in secluded clearings amidst the trees. Karen had a little trouble keeping Buster from wanting to snack on everything we passed. She’s just too nice to the horses and doesn’t discourage them from munching on things when they get the chance.

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At one point early in our ride we circled back by the barn to pick up a halter for the horse that a little girl in our larger group was riding (it was even munchier than Buster) and all of the horses thought “We’re done!” and wanted to go back into the barn. It took a little convincing to get them to move again.

The girls enjoyed the chance to go a bit faster than we had on any of our previous trips as all of the horses seemed to take turns trotting down one of the hills that we went down.

After horseback riding (and lunch) it was time to drive to the cabin on Lake Douglas which was to be our base of operations for the next several days. The road to the cabin was even narrower and twistier than the roads we’d been on so far, but we finally arrived at our destination. The cabin was nice, but the water level in the lake had gone down about 6 feet in the previous several weeks and the dock we’d made sure was floating when we’d rented the cabin was now firmly on the ground and at a precarious 30 degree angle making it basically unusable for much of anything. As we were tired from horseback riding, hiking the day before, and moving our stuff into the cabin, we decided to take it easy and mostly relaxed the first evening. We did try fishing for a little while near dusk but the only bites we got were of the mosquito variety. We ended up playing some board games and some foosball and calling it a night.

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