Well, I finally made it back to Paradise this past weekend. It took me a minute to get out here. I was staying with my brother outside of Mooresville, North Carolina when I decided I needed more 'adventure rides,' Monday Fundays, and some banana cream pie. There was one small problem, unless I wanted to ride bareback all summer I need to make a pit stop in my hometown of Wiggins, MS, effectively driving a reverse check mark across the map of the U.S. Within the past two weeks I have driven more than 3,247 miles, from Charlotte to Wiggins to Buffalo. According to Google maps that's 48 hours of drive time. And yes, sometimes I did feel like a trucker, eating alone at Denny’s inside the Flying J.
But it's all worth it. Because 282 Hunter Creek Road doesn't look like the Paradise Guest Ranch we all know and love. Instead the ranch is in hibernation for the winter. Everything is covered in snow and ice. At least once a day my breath is taken away by some magical moment or unforgettable view. Spring time in Wyoming is what a Southerner would call a winter wonderland. It’s incredibly beautiful. The ranch is transformed into part of the mountain. The critters around here really think so. All the animals have put on winter coats and a good deal of fat. The wild animals, mainly the moose, rome around not even given us one thought.
Handy Dandy, one of my string horses from last season, looks great right now! Under his wooly mammoth coat he has put on a lot of weight. During the season he was an old skinny fellow. As some of you may remember Handy's nick name became Gandhi by the end of the season. He was rather thin so I fed him every day while we were saddling the other horses for the morning. When he decided he didn't want any more (about half a bucket into eating) he would go stand back in front of the gate to the skinny pen. A loose horse never leaves its food to go back to the corral. Most horses would wander off after finishing every drop. Not Gandhi. He had to save the rest of the food for the rest of his skinnies. Hmm, maybe we did spend a lot of time last summer talking about the horses. But maybe that's not such a bad thing.
Leah Bright, Wrangler