Posted by: millspaw | April 30, 2015

A Grand Adventure to the Grand Canyon: Day 18

April 20, 2015

Red Canyon Horse Camp

Mountainair, NM

The terrain is entirely different than Throw Down Camp, NM six hours away. The perfume of pines fills the air. It is 7952 feet in altitude. Both of us noticed that right away, even though we were at a pretty high altitude before.

If you have never had altitude sickness, let me describe it. Your nose and ears feel plugged, your breathing is labored, sometimes you get a headache and it doesn’t go away with medication and your muscles ache just walking on the flat. It usually only takes a couple of days and then it is better.

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This camp area is one of the prettiest we have been in. There are cement picnic tables, a grill and a fire pit at each campsite, along with pipe corrals for the horses. This is a dry camp, which means you have to haul in your water for yourself and your horses. The best thing for me is that it has 3G Internet service. That means I can keep contact with my family without having to wait to be near a bigger town.

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There are several trailheads yards away from our campsite. The cost to stay here is $7.00/night, but with our Golden Age pass it is only $3.50.

We decided to take a short ride to see what the trails were like. There was one that looped back to camp that looked short, so that was the one we rode.

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Don’t let anyone tell you that Rocky Mountain/Tennessee Walker horses and Spotted Saddle Horses don’t have heart. This trail was steep, rocky, narrow and just hard. The horses had to rest about every eight minutes and they are conditioned. We rode uphill for an hour and a half looking for the trail that would cut across to the one that we would take back down. Because it was 5:30 already, we decided to turn and go back down.

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When we got to the steepest, rockiest parts we got off and led the horses. It was all they could do to hold back and not stumble down on top of us. After 2 ½ hours we arrived back at the camp. Both horses were safe and sound and Dan and I, too. Leaving for Foss, Oklahoma tomorrow.

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