Butte Creek Horse Riding

When we arrived at Butte Creek on Friday night, a quiet fog held the valley in darkness, making our usual November destination seem a bit alien, as if we had never been here before. We set up our kitchens and our bunks in the adirondacks waiting in the trees just a few steps off the dirt road. As we unloaded the troop’s trailer, we heard something trotting around in the emptiness lingering over the field to the East. We turned our lights toward the field to see a horse wandering around in the fog. Someone went up to pet it, but we then spotted another horse in the field, and decided to leave them alone. They must have come from the corral, everyone said. Just across the road, all of the other horses were in their stable. Tomorrow, we would be riding with them. The mist lingered until morning. A thin layer of frost coated each blade of grass on the field as the sun crept over the formerly-unseen hill. We cooked our breakfasts under our shelters, then walked up to the hill to set up the archery range. The morning riders left for the corral. Soon they were on their horses and heading up the trail. It was mostly the newer Scouts who rode in the morning, while the older scouts and the Crew were to wait until the afternoon. When they returned at around midday we all cooked lunch, then it was time for the older Scouts and Venturers to make our way over to the corral. We were greeted by one of the staff, who taught us a few of the basics of riding a horse. After that, it was just a matter of finding a horse and mounting them before we were off on the trail. As we headed up the hill, the pine trees grew shorter and the pale sky opened up. The sun lingered over the top of the valley for most of the ride. When we stopped midway through the staff told everyone about a horse trek from Baldwin to Butte Creek that they do every year. Two weeks camping on horseback. Sounds real easy on the legs, doesn’t it? Anyway, we rode down the other side of the hill just as it started to get dark. When we arrived at the field, it seemed like the younger Scouts had spent the time shooting arrows at the archery range and launching bottle rockets up into the air. It must’ve been fun. We all retreated to our shelters to cook dinner. The Pirates and visiting Crew Members tried to make a cobbler with the Dutch Ovens. It was a bit of a struggle, but in the end it panned out fine. We all gathered around the fire for the warmth, and possibly for the company. After a while, the gas in our lanterns faded to darkness and we headed to our bunks.  The frigid night eventually thawed into a cold-but-welcome sunrise. The sky glowed scarlet behind the valley. Morning had arrived, and it was time to depart. With a quick breakfast and an even quicker pack-up, we stood around the extinguished fire pit, recounting our Roses, Buds, and Thorns, before leaving Butte Creek for next year.

 

Thorns (what we didn’t like): my friend didn’t come, frost in the tent, my horse wouldn’t stop

Roses (What we liked): fun activities, horses, boffer swords, being warm, campfire, great food, troop and crew camping together

Buds (What we’d like to improve): Be warmer, full day horse ride, better dish washing, be a friend with anyone.IMG_1384 IMG_1387 IMG_1392 DSC04575 IMG_1399