Exploring the Hill Country – by horseback and stream

On Friday, December 30, we woke up early, packed our bags, said farewell to Barron’s Creekside, and drove down to Bandera, Texas for a horseback ride at Dixie Dude Ranch.


I’d called around, and our trail ride was actually arranged by Marci and Russell Tiner from Cross T Ranch.  They bring their horses to Dixie Dude Ranch and offer rides on their land.

I felt like a kid, I was so excited to see the horses when they pulled up.  I sold Cold Snap back in 2002, and I don’t think I’ve ridden a horse since then.  Made me oh, so happy to be near them!


I was on a steady, smart thoroughbred named Earl, and Bryan was on a half-Percheron, half-quarter horse named Archie.  They were both sweeties and needed almost nothing from us as riders:)


We rode for around an hour through scrubby woods and rocky gullies.


It was windy but sunny and very pleasant.  I’d love to come back and do an overnight ride someday!


Signs of the longhorns.


There’s me and Earl!


After our ride, we drove down toward San Antonio.  On the way, we took a scenic road (thanks to a book we got for Christmas) and stopped at a nice little nature park.


We wandered down to the stream and saw some beautiful Cypress trees.





Prickly Pear Cactus grows everyone here in the hill country.  As we drove along, it was as common as thistle is up here in Wisconsin.  So cool!


During this walk, Bryan and I spied a Scarlet Tanager.  I don’t think I’d ever seen one before, so that was a bit of high for me.  I used some of my iTunes gift money to buy iBird for my phone so I can more quickly ID birds.  Fun fun!