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Well I’ve managed to find another suitable song title.  Nearly didn’t, but again, hopefully the title if nothing else is apt.

Thursday was another fairly relaxed day.  There was another long ride on offer, the national park was still shut, but there was the option of doing a whole day on the ranch trails.  However the decision wasn’t as easy to make as it seems.  One of the group of friends I’d made at the ranch was leaving on Friday and this would be their last day of riding.  They had already done the long ride, back on the Tuesday, so did I experience a whole day of riding, or stick with my new friends.  In my book, friendship counts for a lot so the decision was not too painful.  A day of riding and seeing more of the ranch land would have been great, but not as great as spending time with friends.

The day panned out as being a fast ride in the morning after a leisurely breakfast, followed but some time at the pool, lunch, a rest and then the second fast ride and some more time at the pool.  This was becoming quite a nice pattern and definitely once I could live with.

The two fast rides were great fun and I by now I was starting to feel far more comfortable in the saddle at speed.  I was beginning to be able to let go of the saddle for reasonable periods of time on the straights without feeling that I might lose my balance.  On the winding paths I was still a bit unsure, but I was making progress.  We had actually skipped new experience in terms of riding, and that was a beer and cheetos ride.  It was a slow ride but clashed with the afternoon fast ride, and the friend who was leaving wanted to finish on a fast ride.  Given we could have beer and cheetos at any time, we felt it was worth it.

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After dinner we had a very different sort of entertainment in the form of a ‘critter show’ where we were introduced to the sorts of animals that lived out in the desert (or even within the ranch grounds as I was to discover later in the holiday).  I chose not to sit in the front row.  I’m not screamish, but one of my new friends didn’t fancy being too close and it didn’t bother me not being in close contact.  We were treated to a wide ranch of creatures, some of which were quite dangerous, including spiders, scorpions and snakes (something about animals with an S here from the look of the list).

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Some were kept enclosed, others were there to be handled.  There was everything from what you would expect to the absolutely bizarre.  It was a good show and very informative.  There were even fun elements and the highlight for me was at the end with a Chinchilla and a bowl of dust from the desert.  It would run along the table to the bowl, jump in, roll around and then jump out again, go the rest of the length of the table before turning around and running back, jumping back into the bowl en route.

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A beer back in the bar and some friendly chat with guests and staff and it had been another satisfying day.  However tomorrow we’d be losing a member of ‘out team’.

Critter show.

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