We listened to the story, but I was dreading what I knew I must see as soon as we crossed the bridge.
There at the bridge, the sign for Western Town, but with a faded and pathetic social distancing mask sign next to it.
But it was true, nothing left of the town.
Well, the train depot, and the church built fairly recently for the series "Westworld".
But the sets from "Dr Quinn Medicine Woman" and all the iconic Western movies
It used to be such a thrilling thing to ride into town.
Did I ever believe I would someday come riding through these dusty streets on my own mule, heroine of my own Western Saga?
I loved it.
And how many times did I see this building in a film,
with a mounted cowboy below wooing a senorita above on the balcony,
or a shoot-out and a stuntman crashing over the railing and down to the street below.
The man did say that efforts are being made to raise money to rebuild the town, but it won't be like it was. Sigh.
The grass is just starting to turn into the parched summer cover, and the skeletal remains of huge burned trees lie in the fields.
But the important thing is that we are out in the fresh air, riding our animals, and in good company.
What matters is being out in nature.
Nothing finer than exploring a new trail on the back of a willing equine.
Toward the end of the ride we came to a water crossing, and the animals were all grateful for a drink and cooling off their hard working hooves.
Some silly horses just can't resist splashing in water.
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