Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Riding Horses in the Rain (and Snow)

An overnight ride in the high country above the Teanaway River outside of Cle Ellum, Washington. Last weekend in July. Mounted on a great brown and white pinto gelding, threading through meadows filled with lupin, columbine, queen anne's lace, and wild rhododendron. Filled our water buckets from the headwaters spring for the Teanaway. The scent of flowers and unsullied air and wind (yes, wind has a smell).

Eight women, including the Outfitter and the wrangler and two staff, eight horses, two mules.

The glorious knowledge that I was skipping out on some copyediting I needed to do (I'll pay for that with late nights later). Talk of peace, outrage at the war and at the silliness of the world, at those who still don't believe in global warming although we were surrounded with spruce struck near to death by the spruce bud worm, which didn't used to live at the base camp. We believed.

Most gloriously, snow falling the morning as we poked our heads out of our tent at the ridiculouly late hour of 7:30 at 7,000 feet, above the spruce bud worm and free in the wild. Alone.

Not car camping or hiking on a busy suburban trail or sitting in our wonderful back yard. Out where we had no cell coverage, no store, no ability to ask anyone but each other for help.

A fabulous weekend.


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