We wanted Jessica to get a full experience while visiting us in Colorado, so we had other fun adventures planned.
Colorado is known for its many events and festivals. The festival we chose to attend while she was visiting was Keystone Bluegrass and Beer Festival.
|Crowd at Keystone Bluegrass|
Not for the beer. For the bluegrass! You see, our friends' son, David Jeffrey, and his band, Grass It Up, was playing! I have been wanting to see them play in person for years, so this was a perfect opportunity.
|Grass It Up|
Grass It Up
Grass It Up is a well known bluegrass band based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but play many music venues throughout Colorado and beyond. They have their own distinctive style and are a super talented group!
Keystone is a skiing destination and is a really modern upscale rustic kind of place. There is shopping galore, spectacular scenery, and has a cool, laid back kind of atmosphere. Seems like a good place for young, adventurous people.
We considered a rafting trip while Jessica was here, but since she has already experienced the Hiwassee, Nantahala, and Ocoee rafting in Tennessee and North Carolina, we settled on another adventure instead. A trail ride. On horseback! In the mountains and open range! Yee Haw!
|Let's go Horseback Riding!|
The Rusty Spurr Ranch was located close to our campground and had great reviews, so this is where we chose to ride. It was over five miles down a dirt road back into the hills and mountains to their location. That in itself created anticipation as we drove to the ranch.
|Almost to Rusty Spurr Ranch|
Waiting for Her Horse
We were briefed by "our cowboy", Jake, on the rules of the ranch and how to handle the horse.
At Rusty Spurr Ranch, the rides are not 'head to tail' rides. You are free to guide your horse off trail, through the brush, and enjoy a REAL ride, unlike most others offer.
|Jessica and her Horse, Anna|
After the briefing, we were off. We rode across sagebrush fields, through Aspen forests, and up a mountain, where we had breathtaking 360 degree views of all the surrounding countryside.
|Across Sage Brush Fields|
|Through Aspen Forest|
|To the Top of the Mountain|
|Our View with Snow in the Mountain Crevices|
Jake took our picture at the top of the mountain.
|Me and Midnight|
Jessica and Anna
Fortunately, the horses are very well trained and did not run back to the barn as we made our way toward the ending of our ride. It was a glorious day and one that Jessica and I will never forget.
|Jessica and a Day to Remember|
I have saved the most exciting for last. We had never been to a real Rodeo - only a little local one back in the South - so we wrapped up her trip with a REAL Professional Rodeo in Fraser, Colorado!
|High Country Stampede Rodeo|
It was exciting! There were bucking broncos...
|Getting Ready to Turn 'Em Loose|
|Ride 'em, Cowboy!|
|This Horse is WILD!|
|Four Feet OFF the Ground!|
Roping and tying...
|Teaching them Young|
There was also bull riding. By then, it was too dark to get a good photo, so here are a couple of photos from another rodeo we attended after Jessica went back home.
|Coming out of the Gate|
It was a wonderful visit, and one I think she will reflect on for years to come. It was quite a change from the city life she is used to. And it was hard for her to leave it totally behind.
|City Girl Checking for Signal|