Today I went riding with Danny at Ranch Masif du Sud in the Appalachian Mountains about an hour from Quebec City. The ranch offers riding vacations lasting from one to five days through mountain trails. It is simply beautiful here this time of year, because the leaves are changing.
I rode Sunny, a 10-year-old tan quarter horse and Danny was on Rocky, also 10 and a Quarter horse. The horses were great. We left the ranch and crossed two streams before getting to a long flat stretch, good for some cantering. Sunny was fast and fun.
There are tons of different rivers in this area, that is also known for its maple syrup production. Danny'a family, who have been leading riders here for over 15 years, have their own sugar shack and manufacture their own maple syrup. At a high spot overlooking the rolling, poppy yellow, red and green leaves on the trees, we sat and had a snack of French bread coated with some of the ranch's maple syrup. It was super tasty and sweet, just the jolt that I needed on the trails.
Danny said that people use the maple syrup on everything around here. He puts it in his coffee, which actually sounds good. They also slather it on bread, like we were doing and use it on other desserts, meats and more.
We also rode down to a spot to pan for gold.
Danny taught me some panning techniques, and I was able to find some small specks of gold. No big nuggets, I am sad to say, but enough speaks so that once I put them in the small container that Danny gave to me, I saw a little sparkle. How nice!