Nine souls came out to brave the low 40’s temperatures on this beautiful clear and sunny morning.  Ron, Doel, Charlotte, Pam, Herb, Jud and Jennette, Sue, and Bob.  Everyone certainly appeared to have plenty of cold weather wear on as we all appeared larger than normal.

The ride started out on the main blue trail and veered off in short order to a side trail (can’t remember if it was one of the colored trails).  The trails in this park are generally quite soft and with the rain Thursday as we went on the West perimeter of the park they became damp to muddy.  We were in the shade for about the first half of the ride and when we hit the occasional sunny opening comments could be heard about how good the sun felt.  We saw lots of deer tracks and later quite a few turkey tracks but didn’t see any live game.  We came to a point on this woodsy perimeter trail on which there were signs closing off the further portions of that trail and we turned around, back tracked a little and took an alternate route.  When we finally got back to the primary blue trail comments could be heard about how nice it was to be in the sun.  We had no near death experiences and all the horses were well behaved (probably because we didn’t see any game) even though you could tell that the cool weather had them all a little more energetic.

When we returned to the parking lot Ron fired up his gas burner and heated up a large pot of gumbo he made.  He also cooked some rice right there to be with the gumbo.  It wasn’t seafood gumbo or vegetarian gumbo but rather a combination of sausage, seafood and vegetable.  Pam and Jennette brought some brownies and Bob brought garlic bread and corn bread to eat with the gumbo along with the remainder of the Funny hat ride prize cookies from last Saturday.  Herb broke out a bag of Lime Tostitos chips which were a big early hit.  Ron also brought some Champagne and vodka along with homemade orange juice to make your choice of Mimosas or Screwdrivers.  We christened the meal with a toast to a Merry and safe Christmas.  The food was very good and we had a great social lunch.  There was talk of going home and taking naps that afternoon so you know we ate our fill.  The spoils were divied up and we all called it another successful ride.