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A Woman, a Horse and a Dog

March 15, 2010

Utah

Zephyr

Last summer, I hooked up Kermit (my little green horse trailer) and drove to Idaho all by myself.  Actually, I wasn’t completely alone, my dog Zephyr rode shot-gun and we pulled Utah behind us.  The trip was born out of some turmoil that had long since been solved, but the idea had become part of my dreams and I was determined to go nevertheless.  I had not spent more than an overnight by myself in more than twenty years.

We set off on an early Saturday morning  on the first day of July and our first stop was Silver Lake.  It was an easy 5 hour drive and when we arrived, only one last smidgen of parking was available.  I backed the rig in sideways to fit and then unloaded Utah.  We headed to the lake with his hay bag over my shoulder, a highline jammed in my pocket and my coon hound sending out the announcement.  All three of us swam in the lake, had a snack and were good to go. 

Into the desert we went, cooled from the water, excited by the prospect of our adventure.  Four hours later, we stopped at a showgrounds in Lovelock, Nevada where Utah could be free in an arena and I could close my eyes to rest in the camper.  It was so hot that we only lasted 45 minutes.  It was a good thing too, because I

Elko, Nevada

didn’t end up pulling into Elko until after 9pm.  I had made arrangements with the showgrounds keeper to spend the night.  My mapquest directions were good, but it was pitch dark and some of the roads were closed for construction.  By the time I found the place, it was after 10 o’clock.  For the first time, I felt scared.  I wandered around looking for an entrance for my rig.  It was then that I noticed a little sign attached to a portable building that had the caretaker’s phone number.  He sounded sleepy, but met me within 1o minutes.  He led us over a tiny bridge that crossed to the world of empty stalls.  I pulled up to one such stall, unloaded Utah for the final time that day, threw in hay, filled a water bucket and found an outhouse.  I slept soundly knowing that Utah was safe.

The next morning we got back on the road.  Our house in Idaho was only a half day’s drive.  I met some horse women at a gas station in Twin Falls who snickered at my trailer.  They grow their trailers big in Idaho.  But, we talked, and I told them about my solo journey and their feelings about my trailer must have disappeared because the next thing I knew, they were calling me lucky.  We made it to the house and the place was greener than I have ever seen it.  I set up an electric fence, unhitched Kermit and put him behind the house. 

Later that afternoon, I saddled up Utah and the three of us went off into the hills.  I felt freedom so vast and beautiful that I could have cried for joy with each step.  The next morning, I looked out my bedroom window to see Utah grazing.  I walked into the kitchen and pulled up the window shade.  He looked up.  Every morning for that month, even after my husband joined us later, I opened that shade and he nickered.  I turned the coffee pot to brew, went out in my short blue bathrobe to toss him his breakfast, and then returned to bed to have coffee with Zephyr and later with Tim too.

From my living room.

After the ride

Dreams do come true.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. grizgal permalink
    January 19, 2011 4:29 am

    Hey Julie I own the exact twin to your Kermit, how funny I didn’t think anybody has a trailer like ours.

    • January 19, 2011 5:10 am

      Our little trailers might not look like much, but they sure do the job!

      • Kathy Gallaer permalink
        January 19, 2011 4:37 pm

        That’s for sure!

  2. Kerri Chudy permalink
    January 19, 2011 6:37 pm

    What a moving story. I don’t even know you or Utah but it got me quite emotional. My little paint Mare is my best friend in the world right now and is about the same age as Utah. We live on the central coast of Ca. ( Los Osos). Everytime i ride it seems like that movie with Robin williams – What Dreams may become. Everything becomes intensely magnified. The scenery, the horse, the colors and everything you experience together. Her Name is Sassy. You sound like you lived a lifetime of good memories with this horse and adventures that you took with him. I’m sure he’s in heaven waiting for the next ride. Good Luck and many Happy Trails…. Kerri and Sassy

    • January 19, 2011 11:17 pm

      Thanks for writing Kerri. I do have a lifetime of memories with Utah. He was a challenge from the get go and we learned so much together. Our mutual life lessons are now part of my being.

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