Travel: Family Focus – If Wishes Were Horses and Fiddlin’ Fun for Old and Young

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Story #1

Fiddlin’ Fun for the Old and the Young 

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For families seeking their Celtic roots and hoping to get in a whole lot of fiddlin’ and dancin’ fun to boot, tell your kids to turn off the rap music, say “Later, dude” to the beloved boob tube, and head for them thar hills in Hindman, Kentucky.  During the Hindman Settlement School’s Appalachian Family Folk Week, held June 6-12, families learn together some almost-lost skills, such as ballad singing, storytelling, mountain dulcimer playing and corn husk doll making.
And for family members whose level of inactivity (and too many Whoppers) may have caused some clogged arteries, unclog them with some old-fashioned down home cloggin’ –Kentucky style.

Besides the many scheduled activities,  a large playing field and hiking opportunities are available.  Evening song and storytelling fests are held nightly. Costs, which range from $350 for one adult to $750 for two adults and three children, include tuition and room and board (no charge for children three years of age and younger). Housing varies from dormitory to cottage-style.  This is a no-frills deal; participants must help with the housekeeping chores—especially, your hosts stress—the dishes.

The good news is that you won’t be using washboards or pounding your clothes against a rock. Camping is available at a nearby campground: Little Carr State Park, (606) 642-3052. If you decide to camp, costs are only for tuition and meals on a per-meal basis.

For those who desire a little more pampering, no-chores housing is also available at the Quiltmaker Inn, (606) 785-5622. Since its founding in 1902, the Hindman Settlement School has been involved in promoting the traditional arts of the Kentucky Appalachian region.  For additional details, call (606) 785-5475.

Story #2

If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride

A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse! Richard III, the original horse shouter, was more than emphatic in his need—and love—for the noblest of all beasts.  And while we may not need a steed to maneuver the dense forests of the British Empire (jousting our enemies as we go), riding a horse can still provide a host of benefits.

For families, horseback riding can be the ultimate way to band together in the great outdoors. Toward that end, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), sponsored by GMC Sierra, is hosting its third international Charity Trail Ride, to be held at participating ranches and parks throughout the year.

As a one-day or over-night participant in Ride ’99, your family can choose from more than 50 rides throughout the United States, Canada, South America and Europe. Who knows? You could find yourself hitting the happy trails on a spectacular ranch in Waikiki, chasing alligators in the Blackwater River State Forrest in southern Florida, or even hacking your way through the dense jungles of Brazil.

You can show your support of horseback riding and the Make-a-Wish Foundation, as well as other charities, while you ride. Special activities vary with each program, but ’98 programs included; wild row, milking in Utah, a gymkhana in Nebraska (you play games–excluding Scrabble—on horseback) and barrel racing in Texas.  Texas style barbecue is the hands-down favorite meal consumed on most of the trail rides. Hee haw, the horses seem to like it too.
Price for the ride averages $50 for adults, with a discount for families.  For more information, call AQHA, (806) 376-4811.

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