The Pierian Study Club met October 9, 2008 at the home of Susie Nettleship. The members were served pecan pie, cranberry nut bread and coffee. Hostesses were Susie Nettleship, Nancy Oliver, Gail Bruner, Zolly Jones, Kynda Jordan, and Sandy Smith.
President Patricia Warren called the meeting to order. Kathleen Hawkins introduced the speaker, Maude Ann Kuykendall. Mrs. Kuykendall has been involved in many county, church, and civic activities through the years. She was voted State of Texas Homemaker of the Year by the Fort Worth Press.
Maude Ann gave a talk and video presentation of she and her husband, Kenneth Kuykendall’s experiences while on the 2003 and 2004 Colorado Trail Rides with Red Stegall.
The Colorado Trail ride is an educational and recreational adventure over the Rocky Mountains on horseback. It was just traveled by Indians and trappers, then by miners, outlaws, and pioneers, all of them fighting to survive the extreme elements of the Colorado Mountains.
The combined trips covered 150 miles of the trail on horseback over the Continental Divide and along meadows and streams in the low country while viewing majestic scenery. Their companions on this journey were from all walks of life led by Red Stegall, renowned cowboy poet and musician, along with wranglers, camp cooks, camp crews, camera crews, and all others that it took to make the adventures a success.
The 2003 trail covered 90 miles on horseback in 4 days. They slept in tents each night, ate breakfast at 6:45 around the chuck wagon, had a packed lunch that they carried on their saddle, and ate around the campfire and chuck wagon at night.
One of their trail companions was Corinne Jay Brown, author of McGregor’s Lantern, contributing writer to several magazines and staff writer for the National Western Heritage Museum wrote, “The real beauty of the experience was not just the scenery, but the bonding of kindred spirits and the closeness humans develop with each other and with their horses, something not achieved any other way. Those who succeeded in reaching the final destination, about 90 miles over land, felt jubilant, with an unmatched sense of satisfaction. A trail ride like this is for the curious, the courageous, and the young at heart. It can change your perception forever about America’s greatest resource, our land.”
Maude Ann’s thoughts on the adventure are included in the following poem:
High on the mountain…it stirred my soul to see
the valleys of the Rockies from the trail above the trees.
High on the mountain…our horses climbed as we looked.
We rode the Colorado Trail and traced the steps the pioneers took.
The pioneer spirit engulfed me…gave me strength to go all the way!
The cold rain made me determined to ride this trail of yesterday.
High on the mountain…they fought to carve a path,
Suffering pain and hardship; facing nature’s wrath.
But, high on the mountain…we felt close to heaven above.
Humbled by the awesome gift of God…we rode the trail with love.