Boy, it sure is hard to believe how quickly another year has passed at lightening speed. It’s been a tradition for me to get away and celebrate my birthday because it’s much more memorable and enjoyable than a party. I have hiked Bear Mountain in Salisbury, CT several times and other trails that link to the Appalachian Trail. I’ve tried to make it a point to stop for dinner at the Stagecoach Tavern in Sheffield, MA after a good long hike and always admired the lodge and thought it would be nice to stay overnight at the Racebrook Lodge.
George and I arrived late on Friday night after a long week of work. We were both exhausted, but stopped for tea and desert at the lodge before turning in. Our waiter, George sat us in front of the cozy fire. It was the perfect way to start the evening and unwind. Our room was just adorable. A small little second floor cottage with vaulted ceilings and wide-board floors that had charm and the feeling of being at the beach. We were nestled at the base of the AT in the quiet woods and not a peep could be heard. The sky was so dark, you could almost touch the stars.
We had a restful nights sleep and woke up early to join the other inn-goers for a delicious breakfast. Fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, cheese and homemade muffins. Coffee, tea, cider and grapefruit juice and a wonderful selection of mugs to choose from. It was the kind of place you could hang out and play a game of cards or board games and just lose track of time. After breakfast, we climbed the mountain to come across Racebrook Falls and many gorgeous sites along the way. The sun was shining and it was a brisk morning. We hiked about 2 miles up hill and the other 2 down the mountain. As soon as we returned, the sun tucked behind some clouds and the winds picked up.
We made our way to our next destination, Western Riding Stables in Millerton, NY, just minutes down the road from Sheffield, MA. I had been horse-back riding there over 10 years ago and have always wanted to go back. Brian Mulhall is a true gentleman cowboy. From the hat to the boots and bandana around his neck. I asked him if he ever saw the movie, “Buck” and he said, he’s friends with Buck and mentioned he does seminars just down the road aways. That just sealed the deal, I knew I liked Brian. I could sit and listen to him talk for days. After some wonderful directions on how to handle the horses, we went out with three other riders for our three-hour adventure ride through the woods, over the hills and views of the Catskill and Berkshire mountains. I was glad I took my scarf and dressed in warm clothing. The wind was biting and brisk. I rode a pretty paint named, Las Vegas and George rode a horse named, Super Hero. All of the horses were gentle and had great energy along the way. We saw several hawks and flocks of starlings flying over the corn fields. What impressed me most were the wind turbines harnessing our natural resources for energy.
The sun was turning golden, so of course, we stopped along the way home and took more photos. It was a whirlwind trip in 24 hours, but totally worth every second. Memories to last a lifetime. Grateful to be in the woods on a peaceful hike with the love of my life and on horse-back.
‘No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.’
‘In riding a horse we borrow freedom.’