O n the third day of our trip we decided to go horseback riding and to explore a bit of the area surrounding Franklin besides Asheville. Our first stop was in Franklin to visit their farmer’s market, or tailgating as they call it. It was very neat to see everyone’s produce knowing they grew it all themselves as well as their choices in herbs and plants. They had beautiful Dahlia’s for $6! Too bad the Florida heat would kill them immediately. :o(

We only drove about 30 miles before we found Stonemont Stable where we would ride horses. This was Jason’s first time and it has been a while for me, so we decided that the allotted hour would be plenty of time. Sadly we have no pictures of this trip, but we still had fun. Jason’s horse was a light brown and his name was Roach. You could not have paid me to ride a horse named Roach. *shiver* My horse was much taller than the others and all black. His name was Ahab and I was told to kick him often because he “likes to take his time”. I could not bring myself to kick him very hard except for the time or two that he stopped or almost completely lost our group. We were the last horse and rider and I tried to imagine what it was like when this was our only mode of transportation. The other four horses (Jason’s included) walked practically attached to the horses butt in front of them while Ahab stayed back at least 10 feet. That’s as far away as we were supposed to be, so maybe Ahab is a rule follower? This trail, up the mountain, was very different then the dirt paths I’ve taken in Florida. It was covered in large stones the entire trail and included a crossing of two very cold rivers. I felt a bit like Ahab was perhaps new at this when he first glimpsed the river and stopped abruptly. He also was a bit unsteady on the downhill, so much so, that I took to giving him a bit of encouragement to make myself feel better about his abilities. Just before we reached the end of the trail the horses decided that it was time for a pee break, so we got to witness that first hand. The smell was AWFUL and we had to endure it while another group started their trek up the mountain before we could make our way back down the same trail. :o) A wonderful experience, but not one we plan to repeat often.

As we were waiting for our turn we were told of an old church we could explore just done the road. It was beautiful and we were able to get pictures of it. Included in the slideshow below is the fun pics we took on our way to NC this trip.