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Adventures with Blaze

  "The Camping Trip"

Chapter 1


Buck paused on this early morning ride; he had been out in the east section of the ranch looking over the herd of cattle his dad had ask him to look after. He stopped on the crest of his favorite section of rolling hills to rest in the early morning sunlight.  With the bright sunlight blanketing the mountain peaks with a soft purple sheen, he was immediately drawn toward them. He recalled that ever since he could remember he had always had a longing to explore these mountains. He stopped, swung a leg over the saddle horn, pushed his cowboy hat back on his head and considered the possibilities for such a trip.
After a few minutes he had made up his mind. “Blaze, guess what, after schools out we are going to the mountains.” He said, speaking softly to his favorite horse, Blaze.
Everything seemed perfect. The sun was shining in a deep blue sky and puffy white clouds floated lazily high above.  The summer had just started. School was out, and there was plenty to be excited about.  
Buck had recently been thinking about taking a trip to the mountains, but had not yet decided if or when he would go.  His two best friends, Kate and Scotty, had gone away for a few days, and he was stuck on the ranch with some time on his hands.
His intention was to help Big Ed with some of his chores around the ranch. The cattle needed to be relocated to another pasture, and the horses needed some attention.
“What are your plans for today?” Dad asked Buck. 
“Not a lot planned for today, but Just trying to decide what I was going to do this summer,” Buck replied.  “I’ve been thinking about taking Blaze and going into the mountains for a few days.” 
“Are you going by yourself or are you taking some 

of your friends?” Dad asked.
“Scotty and Kate are to be gone for a few more days. I’ll wait for them to get back and see what they have to say about a camping trip.  It would be great if we could all go camping in the mountains together. It could be a fun trip.” Buck replied.
“I agree, I think it would be fine if you and your friends were to take this camping trip, but there are a few things that need to be taken care of this summer.” Dad said. “Our ranch is getting larger and I have decided to put in a grass airstrip just north of the barn. The field is large enough for a small plane to land on.  We will need to put up a hanger as well.” Buck's dad continued. “I would like you to take on the responsibility of preparing the field for the airstrip.  Big Ed will show you how to run the bulldozer and the road grader.  I want you to do most of the work, and I would like to have it in by the end of summer.” Dad waited for Bucks reply.
“Really Dad, an airstrip for an airplane?” Buck excitedly asked.
“Yes, that will be your job for the summer. You can take your camping trip first, but remember. after you return you will put your time into that one task.” Dad said. “I am going to the airport this afternoon to see a guy about a used airplane he has for sale. You can come with me and see what you think.” Dad continued. “If it works out we can both take flying lessons over the summer, and when the airstrip and hanger are finished we can move the airplane into the hanger and have it at our convenience.”
A couple of days later Scotty called, “Hey, Buck we’re back from vacation. How are things on the Winslow ranch?”
“They’re okay,” Buck replied. “I’m going to build an airstrip back behind the barn.” Buck offered.  “Dad wants to buy an airplane and he wants me to build the airstrip.  I am going to start on it after I get back from my camping trip.” Buck continued. “I thought I would get away for a few days and see some of the mountain country, how about coming along?” Buck offered.
“Oh, yeah!” Scotty cried. “When do we leave?” 
“I would like to leave day after tomorrow.  Maybe Kate will be back by then and she could go along. We could have a really fun trip if we invite Jimmy O’Donnell and Buzz Mathews and his sister, Twister.” Buck Laughed.
“Twister?” Scotty asked, perplexed.  
“Yep, she likes to dance and I have been calling her Twister, just for fun.  It gets her goat, and she gets red in the face, and when that cute little face turns red, watch out.” Buck laughed. “She can get a little wild.”
They both laughed, knowing that Jimmy was a little sweet on Annie, whom Buck referred to as Twister.  “Jimmy figured with his horse Princess she just might take an interest in him. The way to a girl’s heart is through your horse.” Buck laughed.
Kate called that afternoon and when Buck told her what he and Scotty had planned, she got excited. “I’ll ask my parents but I know they’ll let me go!” Kate said, while dancing with delight.
When Buck told her that he was going to ask Jimmy, Buzz and his sister, Annie, to go, Kate became even more excited. “When are we leaving?” She eagerly asked.
 “I think we will leave in a couple of days, but first I need to talk to Jimmy and Buzz.  If I tell Annie you are coming she should be anxious to go if there is another girl going.” Buck explained.
Buck talked to Jimmy and Buzz about the trip and both became very eager. “How about your sister?” Buck asked Buzz. “Kate is going along and I am sure that she would like to have another girl along so she won’t feel outnumbered.”
 “You know girls, they stick together.” Scotty laughed. 
“I know she’ll want to come, you know her - she’s up for anything.” Buzz shrugged.
“Jimmy is going to ride Princess, and I suppose Kate will ride Blaze. Scotty you can ride Thunder,” Buck offered. “I believe Buzz will ride his horse Merlin, and his sister will ride her horse Bailey.  It
appears that we’re ready to go. I think I will take Ol’ Peanuts.” Buck chuckled, remembering the time he got the nickname Buck. That time he was dared to ride Ol' Peanuts and a Turkey jumped on the fence and scared the skittish horse. Off he went into a pile of Ol' Peanuts fresh poop. They laughed at him and called him “Buck” because he couldn’t stay on the horse.
“Let’s gather here at seven Wednesday morning, and after a good breakfast we can leave. I talked to Big Ed and Dad, and they gave me a general idea of which trails we could follow.” Buck explained.
“We need to sit down and make a list of the supplies we’ll need,” Scotty suggested.  
Therefore, the five-day trip was planned and they were set to leave the day after tomorrow. This happy camping trip had a strange and unforeseen adventure lying ahead, which would very quickly present itself.

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