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Seize the Day, Live the Moment

June 9, 2010

 The thick Pt Reyes coastal fog clung to all things.  I was the first one up and I walked through the short grass in camp to the little road that led to the horse paddocks.  The water molecules tagged along on the toes of my worn Ugg Boots, soaking all the way to my skin in minutes.  I turned the corner and was greeted by an old turkey just moseying along the road.  I stopped to look from a distance, not wanting to scare it off.  I didn’t have to.  This turkey was not afraid. Perhaps she has lived so long that she is no longer troubled by human companions.  We walked along together, no more than 4 feet apart.  She hung out by my trailer while I got the hay out and then she strutted around while I climbed the hill and tossed Utah his breakfast.  The two Appaloosas that were in the small pens couldn’t get enough of her.   When I came down the hill, I expected her to be gone, but she waited for me to return to my camper for my camera.  She turned to look at me and stood still while I snapped some pictures, before she walked up to the big horse pens and sauntered amongst our horses.  I watched her go, my toes now squishing in water inside my Uggs.  You could say we had a moment.

This trip has been filled with moments, from the first ride on the day we got here to this final morning.  We have bushwhacked, made new tracks in the sea of grasses, zigzagging like mountaineers to get to the top.  We have encountered blocked trails because of fences, scouted out ways to get through, led our horses down steep hills through thick trees and underbrush in order to avoid turning back after hours of riding.  We turned to see our tracks on the distant hills, the pattern of our progress like deer trails, easily visible in the pristine grass, and the same thought keeps cropping up in my mind.  These horses that carry us, that go anywhere for us, surmount any hill, cross mud, jump over little gullies, push their way through thick sharp brush, carry us and all of our stuff, are truly amazing.   I know these camping trips cement several more bricks in the tangible bond I have with my horse. 

Alicia/Sparky and Elisabet/Tango

In its most distilled form, our camping group is comprised of Alicia, Elisabet and myself.  Together with our horses, a liquid partnership has developed that adjusts and fills in around each of our situations.  We all understand that fears, trouble, potential mayhem can happen to any one of us at any time, like when Utah gets nervous about super steeps because he needs to propel his big body up and he wants to catapult himself in large gallops.  Instead Tango, the lithe Arabian, carefully and calmly charts a side mountain course, providing a visual out for Utah.  And then there is Sparky, the naturally fast walker that blazes ahead, yet may decide at any moment that it is silly to go on.  Utah will pass him up with his ever steady pace and their friendship is enough to inspire Sparky to fall in behind him until he gets the itch to resume his inborn rapid gate.  There are so many moments like this, too many to recount.   They all weave together to create experiences that feed my pioneer heart.  To be out in the backcountry with only your skills, your partners and your horses to depend on, it is a true wonder and a gift from this fine earth we live in, and on, and with.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 28, 2010 3:53 am

    Julie, your writing brings back so many memories. Our camping trips this spring were so special in themselves, but now stand in my memory as a last wonderful time with you and Utah. His strength and beauty (both in body and spirit) live on in your writing. Thank you for all you give. My love to you…Alicia

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