We all have those things we want to try our hand at - one of mine was driving a stagecoach. So on the 23rd of April, my dream came true. :) The hardest part was climbing up into the driver's seat.
You can see in this photo that the wagon wheel was nearly as tall as me. I'm standing there contemplating the wheel while another gal comes to help me. The horses, Pat and Peg (gorgeous 1/2 Belgian - 1/2 Quarterhorse were quite anxious to get going and decided to start up while I was climbing. I did a sort of loggers roll off the wheel and had to start all over in my climb up. Now I know why overweight, middle-aged women were NOT stagecoach drivers.
Finally, however, I got my seat -
and my instructions and I was given the reins to Pat and Peg. Let me tell you - the arm muscle required to hold a team like that in check is something else. I cannot imagine driving for hours upon hours. My hands felt cramped after 15 minutes.
It was amazing fun and gave me a big appreciation for my historical novel characters - both those riding the stage and driving it. Later that same day, we were able to view the yearly event that I call the "Running of the Horses".
Every year we go down to Three Forks, Montana where one Montana family moves their horses from winter pasture to the mountain pastures for summer. They run the horses right down Main Street and folks turn out from all over the country to see the sight. Some even pay to ride at the back of the herd in order to participate.
We always have a good time, eat BBQ and later that night there's even a country dance, but I've never stayed for it. I never really learned to dance and it's not on my list of things I have to do, so I'll stick with driving horses.
Next week I'm off on a Tour Across America - speaking and signing books from May 14-June 11th. Check out my website www.traciepeterson.com and Click EVENTS for the list of all the locations. I might just be in a place near you and I'd love to see you.