|After getting kabibbles of apples from the photographer,|
Duke and Rocky smile readily at the camera, with
mom, Mary Jo Dawson.
Groups of fun-seekers are dividing themselves into the two sleighs, bundling up and snuggling together. Then they’re off, creating a Currier and Ives picture against the rise of the fir-covered mountains.
Mary Jo Dawson leads in the first sleigh, holding the reins of Duke and Rocky. “They are my babysitter team—super gentle,” she says, “I’ve rented the land from John Tucker and Jim Mills, and we don’t go by the river because it’s too dangerous for the horses. We drop hay from the wagon and elk come in to feed, so patrons get up and close to them…but just when you think the elk are trained, they don’t show up--which reminds you they’re really wild.”
“I also have a deal with Wild Bill’s Coffee and Bistro, and business has been good for him. I’ve found that 75% of the people that come for the trail rides don’t know about the town of Crouch—they have no clue it’s here.”
Garden Valley Trail Rides are available from May to the first week of November.
says the rides are geared for inexperienced riders and can be taken for one-and-a-half hours or three hours. She has twenty-two horses and eighteen trail horses, which she says are all very gentle. Dawson
The rides begin on the north side of
Banks Lowman Road, across from Schoolhouse Gulch. They stick to old logging roads, with no vehicles allowed. “The creek runs through July,” says , “and the trails have wild life and great views.” Dawson
While the snow and chill are still here, you can find Mary Jo Dawson and her sleighs, by turning down the Severance road, on the south side of
Banks Lowman Road ~ look for the signs. She is expecting a fancy, vis-à-vis sleigh for Valentine’s Day, so romance will definitely be in the wintry air that week. For reservations, call 208-462-3451.