It's within Utah territory, with it's unique desert landscape and rustic small town charms, that the flavor of the old west, lives on. "it was a pleasure to realize the good life still exists somewhere and it's right here!" said Maine resident Sandy Bishop. For Bishop, riding southern Utah's red rock country seems to encapsulate the old proverb to enjoy the journey, as much or more, as the destination.
In Southern Utah, the Red Rock Ride has become a tool for riders who want to capture all the diversity of southern Utah's badland country in a relatively short time frame. In one week your head will swim from all the colors and majestic beauty found in Utah's most famous recreation areas. From Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, the Grand Staircase Escalante and the Grand Canyon, each new day begins with another spectacular adventure.
Zion starts the trip with an afternoon ride beneath cliff ledges of sandstone rising nearly, 3,000 feet overhead. The first day also brings with it new acquaintances with the other riders and the wranglers who'll lead you down the majestic trails of red rock country. By nightfall, you'll bask in the atmosphere of the place you'll call home for the next week, as you listen to the local sheriff sing nostalgic cowboy tunes that echo tales of the old west.
The next day is field with the natural wonders of Bryce Canyon's pillars of stone. Hundreds of spires, fins and pinnacle-like formations, the "hoodoos" that seem to reach great crooked fingers forever skyward. Here, warm hues resonate from mud and sandstone: claron formations that speak of the power of the winds of time that have slowly eroded them, sculpting their unique figures.
The ride isn't just for cowboys and Utah territory is no longer a place held only for outlaws. Riders who venture here are a mixed bunch, adding further character and charm to the week.
Sid and Sandy Newman of Venterville, Virginia are committed to their equestrian lifestyle. The Newmans actively train and compete in Dressage, English riding or Huntseat Equitation. Trail Riding and Parades. They rode with broad smiles the whole week and were especially pleased with the trip's accommodating atmosphere. The Newmans realized they really were on vacation when they discovered that the horses and tack were tended for them. For the Newmans, vacation meant all the chores were done and they could relax and enjoy the trip to their hearts' delight.
Dvorak of Carlsbad, California is a tried and true fan of the tour,
returning for her sixth ride with the Houstons and Mangum families.
Like most of the folks that join up with Red Rock, Gail is an experienced
rider and makes a point to be upon her Appaloosa at least three times
a week. But it's to Utah that she finds herself returning, on a ride
that seemed to fill gaps that were missing from her riding element at
home. Gail spoke fondly of the close bonds of friendship she'd formed
with the group over the years, "the whole outfit is so incredibly
friendly, you feel like part of the family". Though she talked
of the beauties found at her home in California, she noted, "the
scenery-you don't find this anywhere in California, or in the world!"
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.