A group of 55 SaddleBrooke Ranch residents enjoyed some of the best of the Old West at the third annual Chuck Wagon Dinner held at the Tanque Verde Ranch on Saturday, November 22. It was a perfect afternoon to enjoy a ride through the foothills of the Rincon Mountains and enjoy a wonderful sunset. While 22 enjoyed the area during their outing on a horse drawn wagon, another 33 mounted up and hit the trail to enjoy the area on horseback. This was double the number of horseback riders over the previous year. That says a lot about how our residents are enjoying the active lifestyle of our community.
The one-hour horseback ride ventured into the foothills of the scenic Rincon Mountains with scenic views of saguaros as well as rugged paths. The 33 riders were divided into groups of 10-12 people each traveling a similar, but slightly different trail through the desert, down washes and in some cases up some pretty steep hills to enjoy a panoramic view of the area. The riders were impressed with how sure-footed and steady their horses were traveling over the rugged paths. Toward the end of the horseback ride everyone enjoyed the colorful sunset with saguaros silhouetted against the sky.
As the sun set all the horseback riders as well as those on the wagon met back in a well-lighted Cottonwood Grove where the group gathered around a wonderful campfire to enjoy the evening. A cash bar helped wash down the trail dust. The group was treated to a wonderful buffet dinner with a selection of salads, entrees, sides, cookies and three kinds of cobbler for dessert.
There was a singing cowboy who sang many familiar country classics during the dinner. The other entertainment turned out to be a small herd of javelinas that came to check out the festivities and see if anyone would throw them a biscuit. The several adults as well as babies had to be gently persuaded to retreat by the Tanque Verde staff using the bright lights of an all-terrain gator. It definitely added to the “Old West” feel of the evening.
Everyone seemed to really enjoy the evening. If you missed it this year, be sure to watch the Round Up for details of next year’s Chuck Wagon Dinner, which is tentatively set for Saturday, November 7. The venue may vary, but it is sure to be a great time.