We awoke at the Heathman Hotel for day 2 of Tyla’s birthday extravaganza. We started off with a delicious breakfast at the Trellis restaurant, snagged our car from the valet and then headed south. As we were packing up the room, Tyla finally guessed that we were going horseback riding so I filled her in on the details.
We drove down to Crystal Mountain for a three hour ride with the Crystal Mountain Outfitters. Whenever I sign up for a trail ride, I never know how much they’re going to sugar coat the experience. This turned out to be a very legit ride through some incredible terrain.
Tyson was our wrangler and it was just the three of us. They do a wide variety of rides from one hour to full day trips. We signed up for three hours but got about 3.5 hours. There was a lot of rain up north and I was nervous that we were going to get wet, but despite some clouds, we had great weather. Tyson took us up to and along the Pacific Crest Trail. I’m sure that the views would have been better without the clouds, but we still had a blast. I was waiting for Tyla to say something about the trail. It was extremely narrow on very steep hillsides but she was able to enjoy herself anyway.
Along the way we saw an elk, met up with another group of riders who was surprised that guided trips came out that far, stopped at a natural spring, admired huge fields of wildflowers, saw old miner/trapper cabins, and looked into an old mine shaft. By the time we reached camp again, we had covered about 2200 vertical feet over 8 miles. I can now saw that I’ve been on parts of both the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.
Thanks to everyone at Crystal Mountain Outfitters for a fantastic day! More photos are available in the photo gallery.