Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Riding Horses on the Trails at Gunflint Lodge

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Riding Horses on the Trails at Gunflint Lodge

Usually when my sister Rose suggests something, I just say yes.  This time it was to take her two horses six hours north to the Minnesota-Canadian border to ride the cross country ski trails.  It really was a blast.
She had wisely put shoes on her horses as that part of the world is very rocky.  We rode for three days, about 2-3 hours a day.  I didn’t get sore where I expected, in the inner thighs, but boy was my back tired the first night!  It was such a treat to get that much saddle time. 
The horses were great.  The only problem was we got a little lost and ended up in a boggy area.  The horses did not like sinking into the muck, but they kept their heads and plowed through for us.  I’ll bet they’ll remember that!  I know I will!
We rode through every weather, sun, overcast, wind, snow, sleet and even hail.  But I was toasty in my JunoActive layers of fleece.  For the rain, Rose had those amazing Australian oiled slickers that made us as impervious to the weather as the horses. We made sure to pack out camping wear for those other days that didn't include rain or snow.
We stayed at Gunflint Lodge, riding along the winter cross country ski trails.  It looks so different from winter. The views from the high points were just amazing.  Our cabin was lovely, with dry wood stacked up and ready for the fireplace.  When we weren’t riding or feeding the horses, we were relaxing by walking her dogs, reading, cooking, and sleeping in the amazing silence of the north woods. 
While the food and facilities at Gunflint are amazing, they have no cell phone service, and there is no apology for that.  This is a place to reconnect with nature and yourself.  There is only a little internet and a pay phone in the main lodge.  I was at the desk when another guest asked about the service, and the staff person cheerfully said, “Oh, it’s down again, you’ll just have to try later.”   
Submitted by Anne Kelly

Anne Kelly

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