Wide Open Spaces
Yet it's present day. The tales now told through firelight and smoke are flowing from you and your pards, all seated round the campfire amidst pinion and juniper trees. Laughter comes quick and east for everyone in this place.
Country Fit for Horse & Rider
By day, riders traverse through some of the most rugged and pristine country of the West. An afternoon ride through Zion National Park, beneath majestic sandstone cliff ledges that rise some 3,000 feet overhead, starts off the week's ride. Seasoned wranglers are met trailside, and as introductions are made, folks begin to warm to the country that, for one short week, they'll be proud to call home. Songs and serenades from the local sheriff the first night of the trip puts visitors at ease, helping them step right into the pace of things.
Bryce Canyon is next, with its warm hues and formation made of mudstone, siltstone and sandstone. The vantage point from the trail at 7,900 feet, affords panoramic views of a hundred thousand spires, fins and pinnacles called Hoodoos. Formations that to some, look like huge "sun drenched stalagmites". The following day is spent riding a canyon on the backside of Bryce. Straight Canyon, relatively undeveloped, sees minimal visitation in comparison to the rest of the park.
On tap for day 4 is the Paria Box. Wranglers lead the way for some 30 miles as the trail meanders through this river drainage. Riders may catch sights of historic signs that were, left by people who long ago traveled through this river corridor. The relics tell a broken tale of ancient natives, the Anasazi, Fremont and Paiute Indians, and hint of early pioneers and modern day filmmakers. After a long day spend in the saddle riding the Paria, a welcome reprieve comes to riders by night, with a stay in Kanab, Utah. Folks become guests at one of the local hotels and share a fine meal at Houston's restaurant. A good night of sleep is sure to refresh and rejuvenate spirits for the rides' Grand Finale.
The fifth day calls for an evening rim ride along the Uncle Jim trail. The rim is none other than the north rim of the Grand Canyon. From here, views straight down overlook the mighty Colorado River below. The final days' ride leads to Roaring Springs, whose water source feeds the developments of both the north and south rim. The sound from the springs rolls like thunder, creating a kind of music of its own. A kind of orchestrated movement that blends all of the elements into a harmonic crescendo.
Show on the Road
The Houston family's been catering home cooked meals for nearly 30 years, and at any location, in any kind of weather. Their mobile services are known of far and wide and are highly praised for their savory fare. From catering behind the scenes on many a Western film set, to serving up hundreds-even-thousands of tired and hungry firefighting folks a day, the Houston's are a sure fire bet to "baking" folks happy.
Mornings begin with an early start, rising to a cup of hot coffee or tea. Breakfast is served up hot and hearty with succulent sausage, ham or bacon with eggs; French toast or cakes piled high, fruit and hot cereal. Lunch is served on the trail with all the fix'ens you'll need for a day in the saddle.
Nights are given to relaxing and unwinding in first rate camping accommodations. From hot showers, flush toilets and sinks, and mess hall style tents that serve as the community center where mouth-watering meals are served up hot and hearty. The day's topped off with campfires and true western style entertainment including cowboy folklore, poems and music. When you've had enough excitement for the day, a cot and a thick, cozy mattress await you. As you bed-down for the night, the reels of the Western movies, you now live, begin to play in your head.
Plenty more can be said also, of the Mangum families' and their animal husbandry skills. Trusty mounts like Sir Henry, Buck, Kaibab, Bartender, Fender and Tex-Arkana are just a few of the nearly 200 head Mangum's lot raises, cares for and trains. The trail worthy, sturdy steeds range in bloodlines from Quarter horse to Tennessee (Walking) Mules. Mangum and his crew of adept wranglers take on the full responsibility, of tending to all the needs of every one of the horses. They feed, groom, saddle and haul the mounts to each camp in gooseneck and big rigs. It's an impressive operation. The gang wastes no time in getting everything and everyone ready and on the trail.
A True Home on the Range
Y'all Come Back Now
When all is said and done, there's always too much in the way of work and appointments and daily responsibilities, to think much on the trip we've wanted to take. We all mean to, "one day". To take that trip, that to us, reaches the very center of our own heart and soul. If the Old West is where you know your heart lives, you may want to give yourself the chance, once and for all, to capture the flavor and feel of it all. Then, you just might find, sitting round the campfire one night, that it's you, spinning those tales from the long days' ride. In the end, it may just be your own silhouette that your pards catch a glimpse of, riding off into a blazing sunset.
For more information or for a free viewing of the Red Rock Ride's video,
Log on to www.redrockride.com or call 435-679-8665.