We got to Pere Marquette State Park and Gary and Arzaana-fay changed out of their radio interview clothes into their trail ride clothes. I did not need to change my clothes. Yet.
Our trail ride for this year was through Pere Marquette State Park. We were not with two spunky teenage girl guides, but instead we were with Enos, a cowboy. He had a cowboy hat, and he had cowboy smokes, and he was a soft-spoken no-nonsense cowboy.
Gary - Domino, who knew that the sign over the door said "weight limit 250" and kept rolling his eyes at Enos' horse and glancing up at Gary.
Me - Jerry, the only horse with perfect bowel and bladder control. Jerry didn't even like to step on the horse trail because it had traces of horse urine on it.
Arzaana-fay - Lollipop, the largest, whitest, slowest horse. Lollipop was a fly magnet and she (he?) took advantage of Arzaana-fay's good nature. Lollipop sensed Arzaana-fay was not going to kick, so Lollipop was going to occasionally stop, eat, just relax and take it easy.
"I've been thinking of becoming a serial killer for a while now. You might be my first victims."
Yes. It WAS creepy. He looked right at Arzaana-fay. She began planning her escape. It creeped me out until I noticed it sounded as if he'd said it three times a day, every day, every time he locked that gate.
Well, after that, the ride was uneventful, especially since we were all poised for Enos to attack or for Gary to bolt up another bunny trail. We did see two deer and a turkey.
We made it back to the corral and dismounted. I would like to say we dismounted without incident. Sadly, I did not. One of my shirttails got caught on the saddlehorn and I came down, and it didn't, and pop pop pop - three buttons out of my four popped off. Luckily the single remaining button was right over my brassiere. (We are talking about an industrial strength granny bra. It is almost AS big as my shirt.) I laughed, Enos smiled, Jerry the horse was amused. Luckily, we again had an extra t-shirt in the trunk and I made a quick change on the parking lot.
We went back to the Pere Marquette lodge and ate lunch. This gave us enough strength to hike the Diamond trail -- we saw scenic views, Arzaana-fay carved her initials into a shelter, we clambered up and down steps ... and then... we heard the NOISE.
Gary froze. "Do you hear that?"
"Wind in the leaves." I said.
"It sounds like an air conditioner," I said.
Someone pointed out that wasps would be more believable than an air conditioner.
Gary took a few steps forward. He froze again. "Back! Back! It's bees!"
(I don't know how he could tell this. He didn't see anything.)
We hustled back.
Gary began hurrying us along the trail back from whence we came, warning us of what lay ahead, when the full realization of what we had nearly encountered struck him.
"Its the severed head of a dead animal, and a huge swarm of flies has laid its maggots in it and that's what we heard! A swarm of flies and hatching maggots eating the head of an animal!"
Ew! We were SO relieved Gary had protected us from that danger. Plus, that trail had gone on far too long.