Page 64 - Color Tour 2018
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Ask before leaving hoof prints
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Germany and she took us riding,” Slocombe said. “It was incredible and beautiful but it just didn’t even compare to Lake Michigan. I don’t think anywhere else in the world does.”
She said Lake Michigan views and fall colors peak at once.
“It’s my very favorite time to ride, with the sugar maples’ orange and red colors and the rustling of leaves,” Slocombe said. “There’s a place we ride that we call the Garden of Eden because of all the apples, peaches and plums.”
Such is one of many hidden trea- sures to unlock in the Land of Delight, but Slocombe cautions that riders should ask permission of land-owners  rst.
That’s how she created her favorite route, a six-hour ride that mostly runs through privately owned orchards to a point where water calls back east and west: Suttons Bay, West Bay, Lake Leelanau and Lake Michigan.
Kasben has also had good fortune with local landowners sharing their private views.
“Horses are non-destructive ani- mals,” she said. “I really appreciate the good nature of people that let me ride on their property.”
Both riders noted that there are public trails where horses are allowed, with the main trail travers- ing Alligator Hill in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
But regardless of where your color tour blazes, hunter’s orange is sug- gested during deer season.
“You should wear bright orange or
yellow to make sure you’re visible,” Slocombe said.
Then above all else, enjoy the experience.
“Riding a horse to me is like hav- ing a wonderful dance partner to enjoy nature with,” Slocombe said.
She asks that hikers and bikers be considerate when sharing a public road or trail. And she doesn’t mind inquiries.
“If a kid comes up and wants to pet my horse, I always stop and let them. Most riders will,” Slocombe said.
Tom and Kathy Cyr own Black Horse Farm, a year-round horse- drawn service company.
“It’s a new experience for people, especially kids,” said Cyr, who owns 41 draft horses. “A lot of people make an annual family outing of it and do color tours each fall. The col- ors are spectacular, especially in late September and mid-October.”
His favorite route was once the Lake Michigan shoreline at Otter Creek.
“I would ride that beach for miles, but that would be a federal offence now,” he said.
Cyr’s horse riding preferences have changed.
“I used to ride the draft horses, but I’m getting a little long in the tooth for it now — that’s too far to fall,” he said. His horse-drawn services hav- en’t slowed, though, and he hopes to be providing fun for riders for many years to come.
“I just like doing it,” he said. “If it wasn’t for insurances and expenses I’d do it for free. There’s not much else that offers experiences like these.”
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