Decked out in Wranglers, a heavy canvas jacket, and Stetson hat, Dwight Wood looks like one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. “The old cowboy way is dyin’ out,” says Wood, North Mountain Outfitter’s owner and trail guide. “Out here, we aim to give you a taste of yesterday.” With a half-day horseback ride and an overnight stay in a rustic bunkhouse, guests can experience the Old West on the near side of the Mississippi. Following an instructional lesson and safety overview from the trip’s experienced guide, the half-day horseback-riding excursion sets out into the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. For three hours, groups will traverse moderate mountain inclines, cross streams, and look for wildlife from atop even-tempered horses. A saddle-packed lunch provides midday nourishment. The Shenandoah Valley is home to dozens of bird species including barred owls, Carolina chickadees, and red-tailed hawks. Brook trout navigate the streams, and white-tailed deer, black bears, and eastern cottontail rabbits play games of duck, duck, goose. Guides never settle for easy riding over pastures or open farmland; instead, groups explore hilly trails such as the Falls Hollow Trail and the North Mountain Trail.After the half-day’s ride, guests retire to the western-inspired bunkhouse, complete with a grand fireplace, saddle-seat barstools, and a porch overlooking the lake. The remainder of the day can be spent holed up in the outdoor hot tub, fishing, or challenging fellow riders to rubber-band-gun duels. A hearty dinner features signature Cowboy Cookin’, a savory selection of locally raised meats such as barbecue ribs and baked chicken. The following morning, a second helping of nourishment arrives in the form of a pancake breakfast served with breakfast meats, fresh fruit, and cowboy coffee.