Gail’s son Eric graduated last year, and as a graduation present she offered him a horseback riding trip. With his autism Eric doesn’t do very well interacting with people but he LOVES animals. So Gail organized a little trip to the Pisgah View Ranch, a horse ranch in Candler, NC, just west of Asheville. She picked this time of year because it is quiet on the ranch, without the agitating distractions of too many people.
The rides were fun, slow walks up the forested mountain along the various trails of this 2,500 acre ranch, which has been in the owner’s family since the 1700’s!
Gail and Eric enjoyed making friends with the horses…
…and enjoyed some quality time together.
The ranch offered a little entertainment in the evenings. One night we were treated to a really great introduction to the world of Cowboy Action Shooting! After their demonstration event, we had the opportunity to shoot handguns and rifles. Gail turned out to be a very accurate shooter, a real natural! I guess I better always behave myself! 😉
The ranch provided very tasty, hearty meals and warm hospitality. There was also plenty of time to hike and to partake of our special interest in birding. Some of the highlights included a Wood Thrush,
…an ear-full of Cedar Waxwings,
…a number of hawks, including this juvenile Red-tailed Hawk,
…numerous Eastern Wood-Pewees,
…a Belted Kingfisher (I don’t like taking pictures of birds on wires, but this is an exception,)
…and a Black-throated Green Warbler.
I don’t have a picture, but we also had the pleasure of hearing, tracking down, and spotting a Pileated Woodpecker. It is always fun to see and hear this large bird of the deep forests. And we heard an Eastern Screech-Owl right outside our cabin at 3:00 in the morning. I went outside to check but it was too dark. Next time we’ll have a flashlight!
All in all, it was a nice little trip! And I can wholeheartedly recommend the Pisgah View Ranch!