There is an area called Beaver Creek that runs along the edge of Penrose, Colorado where we live. The creek used to be a whole lot bigger than it is now, its dry most of the year. It also used to be the route for the stagecoaches to run back in day.
Last year Steve flew over the area and spotted a road. The next day we were out in the Wrangler searching for it. After a few hours we found the road-path. It is NOT easy to find. We bounced down the rock filled one lane dirt road on the side of a cliff, Keely yelling “woohoo!” all the way down. That was the first time we saw the brick building open to the sky. We took some photos and then drove over to the butte a few miles away. Climbing that slate filled hill is a whole other story.
We found out the cool looking building was an old stagecoach house. Legend has it that it is also haunted. I don’t know about that, but it is a really cool building in a unique setting that brings images from all those western movies instantly to mind.
Last week my friend Lisa and I decided to ride to the Haunted Stage Coach. She had never seen it. As the crow flies, the area is not more than a mile or two from our house. But, while Penrose is laid out on a very logical grid of numbered and alphabetically named streets, the logic doesn’t work. We use the expression “you can’t get there from here” all the time when we are trying to get from point A to point B in our little town. The roads just stop. They don’t go all the through. Well, some of them do, but you don’t know which ones until you drive them. Then you have to remember which ones do and which ones don’t. Not so bad if you are in a car, not so much fun if you are miles away from home on a horse and the sun is going down and it’s getting cold. Worse when one of you (Lisa) really has to pee and you are on a 16 hand horse that you can get back up on very easily.
Did I mention it was really hard to find the road to the Stagecoach House? We didn’t make it that day. Lisa called her husband Ted; he drove over and got on her horse Mister to ride him home. Lisa hightailed out of there in the car to get home and to a bathroom.
Yesterday we decided to try it again. We went a different route through Penrose, making a lot of U turns because the road just stopped at someone’s driveway. But we eventually found the road and made it to the Haunted Stage Coach House. Lisa was on a shorter horse, so we got down and walked around, posing for a few pictures to prove that we had been there.
As we were getting ready to mount up a cowboy rode up on a big sorrel horse. Now you have to understand, we are in the middle of this huge wash of dirt, sand and rocks. Cottonwoods line the creek bed; there are cliffs all around us. And here comes this guy on a horse out of nowhere.
We all introduced ourselves. Jim said he rode the area a lot, as he was training horses for folks. He was looking for people to ride with. We both volunteered. He has a horse trailer and likes to go to different areas to ride. Can you say a dream come true for me? He told us that we could ride the canyon quite a ways on horseback, so we followed him down the trail.
Jim told us about himself. He had spent his life raising cattle. Had owned several feed stores, which his children had now. He had been married for 59 years and he was 80 years old. I just about fell off my horse when he told me his age. Suffice it to say he does not look or act like he is 80. This was, by anyone’s definition, a real cowboy.
As we went into the shadows at the base of a cliff we realized it was already 3PM. It gets dark and cold pretty fast out here in the west, so we all agreed it was a good time to head back. We had a good two hours of riding to get home.
As we were climbing up to road to civilization Jim asked if our horses would load in a trailer. I knew Maestro would, Lisa thought Little Bit would. Our cowboy savior then suggested that we load our horses in his trailer and he would drive us home. It did not take much thought or discussion for us to agree that it was a WONDERFUL idea!
The horses loaded like a dream. We made the return trip in the luxury of an F-250 with a heater and it took us about 10 minutes.
Many of us women dream about the knight in shining armor riding up to rescue us. Yesterday I was rescued by an 80 year old cowboy riding a sorrel horse. With a horse trailer.
How cool is that?