This is true story of a trail ride:
parts “Papa Bill” is a legend. If you’ve ridden the trail with him you can
hang with the big dogs.
It was Oct
31, 1993, that should tell you everything! Nine of us in 4 vehicles started out
to Cataloochee, NC. I was told a
great place to see God in all his Glory.
traveling down I-26 the 1st truck and trailer hit a pallet in the road. You
could see the whole truck and trailer come off the ground. It kind of
reminded you of the cartoons. After
stopping to check on humans and horses finding no one was hurt we continued on.
starts snowing, now I’m thinking we ARE going to turn around, Right? Not! We
get of our exit we stop for ice (like we gonna to need it) and gas up. I’m
still thinking we are going to turn back. But with several “men” and one
tough woman (not me!) it is decided to go up. I’m just out numbered!
you’ve never been to Cataloochee Valley let me tell you “how” you go up.
Back then it was 13 miles of one lane road with a lot of switchbacks.
We had just got started up the mountain when a horse in “Papa
Bill’s” trailer fell , so the whole group stops to help get the horse back on its
feet. While we are trying to figure out how to get it up from under the horse
beside it, someone screams FIRE, "Pop's” truck has big flames
coming out from under the hood. Everyone is grabbing fire extinguishers since he
had just filled up. We get the fire out, but the truck was burnt pretty badly.
The good news is during all this time the horse gets up on it’s own.
“manly” discussion it is decided that we will pull his truck / trailer up
out of the way to allow other trucks to get by. Then Ted would take our rig up,
come back and pull "Pop's" the trailer to camp. Now let me remind you this is a 1-lane
road! I can say I've seen
I can say I've seena horse trailer almost horizontal.
get everything worked out and head to camp, the whole time we are meeting folks
heading out due to it still snowing. When we get to camp, Ted leaves me with the
trailer and horses. The last camper stops as he is leaving to inform me a
bear has been in camp the last 2 nights to be on the look out, I just easy the door
on the trailer close Thinking I'll just sit tight until the rest of the group gets back.
I hear a truck, I’m excited thinking we are leaving after all….. The friend,
whose truck and trailer went air borne, comes pulling in to camp.
He is white as a sheet. All I could think is my Ted has wrecked going
back out, After what seems like forever he tells me that he hit his brakes and
due the snow the truck & trailer went off the side of the mountain. Thank
God the hog head on his truck caught on the bank. As he was backing up he
jackknifed the new borrowed trailer, denting it. But we have a professional body
shop man in our group so it CAN be fixed. Again
everyone is OK.
time it’s snowing harder and harder. We finally got everyone to camp. We ended
up getting 6 inches that night; needless to say we were snowed in. With the snow
it was a site to see. It
doesn’t end here!
Grandmothers homemade soup and bread hit the spot
around the campfire that night!
OH ! That night
sure enough the bear came into camp, the stud got lost due to bear. I can still
remember seeing 2 guys running across the snow in their union
suits, one bare footed, the other with his boots on & his cigar. When I crawled
under the many covers to see what the commotion was, They only
had one halter between them. A
short while later both came ridding back to camp on 2 scared to death horses,
One with a halter the other following with nothing on it! a
site to remember!
day we finally got everything worked out we went on a trail ride “Pop”
leading, yep we hadn’t learned our lesson, We went up to Mount Sterling, a
lovely place to see. But I’m afraid of heights and I’m ridding a green Arab
mare that was in full season with a stud in our group!
I ended up
find the “Jungle Juice” in one of our group’s saddlebags; I nursed it the
The range told us that was one of the hardest rides in good weather much less with 6 inches of snow. While on the trail all horses do an about face. My mare steps backward off the mountain, Ted yelled "Kick her!", it didn’t take but one kick and she was glued to the side of the mountain…. I could feel her heart beating. We go a short way and find were a bear had slid down the mountain. This mare literarily cut her 4-year-old teeth that weekend.
Bill” just about lost a friend who brought him a truck to get home in. After
coming up the mountain in the snow, he let “Pop” know that he would have
turned around if only there had been a place to do so….
feel it is safe enough for us to head home; it had been very unusual trip so we
decided to treat ourselves to a nice steak at The Royal Steak House in Fletcher, NC. When we exit off we
see lots of steam…. the water pump in our truck went out, we ended up spending
another cold night in a restaurant parking lot with 3 horses tied to
next morning the folks brought us coffee out and fed us good. I think they felt
sorry for us after we told our tale of the trail ride from Hell.
came to the rescue the next day with the borrowed truck. But he got a big fine
while doing so.
And lastly: When we got home we found our dog had accidentally been locked in the store, she had eaten RED doggie biscuits for 5 days and left the remains everywhere,,,,,,
It really happened! Even though all the problems, we saw a great deal of compassion from many folks and nature at it’s best. There was a full moon that weekend quite lovely with all the snow. It was also peak week so the trees were in full array; with the snow it was a trail ride to remember!!
wrote the whole trip up but have shared it many times. We call it a "Papa
Bill” trail ride, it has scared a many of folk off! Looking back Now I can see God was
with us the whole time as we were all safe!
And folks if you really want to “see” the world from the back of a horse ride with “Pop, Lefty, Kennth and Henry you’ll never regret it!! Now a days when I hear someone is “Good to ride the trail with” I know what that means!
Copyright © 2016
LAKEWOOD FARM ARABIANS
December 04, 2015