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In Wilder with Utah

September 11, 2010

Beautiful Utah

 I went for a run in Wilder yesterday with my daughter.  I hadn’t been back there since Utah passed away.  It was early evening, about 6 pm or so, the light perfect for bringing out the golds of the late summer hills.  Passing through the tunnel under the highway, glancing at the gate that I opened so many times on my horse and then going on by the draft horses, it all was so familiar but I was oddly detached.  I almost wouldn’t look around, keeping my gaze forward as we ascended the hill toward the Wilder Loop.  

By the time we neared the single track that skirts the big open flats, I was beginning to feel again a part of this great place.  Still, my body felt stiff, reluctant really, unwilling to relax into the experience.  I ran behind Eva, letting a long space develop between us.  I realize I needed to mourn some.  The dust of the trail filtered into the mesh of my running shoes and I knew that a part of Utah was in this dust, that his hooves had trod these very same inches of earth, his poop had dropped here, becoming part of the earth.


 Eva kept checking to make sure I was okay.  I was really glad that I came with her on this first occasion of being in the place that Utah and I spent so much time together.  I felt her love for me and Utah and it gave me strength.  The run itself became a ceremony for me, a farewell to another aspect of my life and an understanding that Utah would always travel these trails with me and my legs felt stronger as I was filled with the memory of his big trot covering the trail with speed and grace.

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