This week I went on my dad’s annual work mule trip. Every year he and his partner take all their employees, customers, and friends on a weeklong mule ride to Comb Wash just outside of Blanding, Utah. This year there were more than 40 people there. Most had mules but there are a couple people who bring horses like my Uncle West. We always camp in the same spot. Our camp spot has corrals that are built out of old cedar wood that we put some of the animals in. This year there were so many that some people had to take panels and make their own pens.
At the beginning of each day, about 7:00 a.m., we meet at the food tent. We say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag posted atop the tent, and then we start breakfast, usually cold cereal and fruit. After breakfast, around 8:00 we saddle up and leave camp around 8:30. Since there are so many people, my dad takes half and his business partner takes the other half on different rides. We ride mostly in and around Fish Creek Canyon which also splits off into Owl Creek Canyon. The scenery is beautiful. It was 60-70 degrees the whole time we were there. It would have been 80 without the wind chill. Our favorite way to ride is to get ourselves ledged in somewhere at the top of the canyon and find a way to the bottom. That is our goal every day. We never follow the trails, we make our own. If we find a good jumping spot along the way, we stop for a while and take pictures (from several angles) of whoever wants to try. There are several of these a day. We stop for lunch somewhere around 1:00. We just find a nice sunny spot out of the wind and tie up to a cedar tree. We usually spend about an hour at the lunch spot visiting and eating. After lunch we ride a little further, and then we have to head back to camp. We never ride back the same we came if we can help it. We love to make loops so we don’t have to go the same way twice in one
day. We reach camp around 5:30. Once back to camp, we unsaddle, let the mules roll and get cleaned up. Baby wipes are a lifesaver from all the red dirt. In years passed my dad and his partner were the ones who made dinner after we got back, but this year we had camp cooks. They came just to cook for us so dinner was ready everyday when we got back. We had some awesome meals. Lasagna, Enchiladas, Beef and Pork roast, Stew, and Baked beans were on the menu this year all made in a Dutch oven. We always have tons of food always accompanied by dessert; Pie, Cream Cheese Brownies, Chocolate Cake, and Rice Crispie Treats. After everyone is done eating, we go and sit around the fire while someone plays songs on the guitar and sings, tells cowboy poetry, or just tells stories and talk. We sit in chairs real close to the fire or stand and spin like a rotisserie chicken to keep warm. Bed time is anywhere from 8:00-12:00 (whenever you decide to go). You can’t beat the night sky in Comb Wash; there’s not a cloud in it and you can see every star.
All in all we had a blast. It was awesome, the weather was nice and the people were great. We saw some cool ruins and had a really good time. I can’t wait until I get to go back and do it all again next year.