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July 22, 2013 Empire, Colorado¨A Change in Plans

This is the hardest dispatch I have ever written. We are now in Empire, Colorado. Exactly where we expected to be at this point in time. We did not expect to be here with our truck and trailer. We came here over Loveland Pass and via route 40. We had expected to come here via Argentine Pass and a series of other trails.

We elected not to continue on over Argentine Pass. We made an attempt, and then tragedy struck. Near the top Mr. Siggi took a misstep in an attempt to get over a rock, fell backwards, and tumbled over a ledge. Pete and I acted fast – we returned to our basecamp. I set up camp and Pete went to see what became of his beloved horse. Two hours

later, Pete returned and said Mr. Siggi had died of a head injury. He took his saddle and our gear and left his straw hat atop the horse.

Of course, we were and still are heartbroken. Mr. Siggi was (as an animal communicator once said) one with the universe. He was also Pete’s horse buddy. If anything good has come out of it, it has brought Pete and I closer – I guess you could say this was also Mr. Siggi’s doing.

I wanted to part with Raudi and Signy, but Pete said no, we will keep both. I also wanted to head straight home. Pete has instead suggested we continue on. So he returned to Carbondale, and got the truck and trailer. I most certainly did not want to resume riding. But yesterday Pete suggested we go for a trail ride and this is what we did. We rode up to an old mine site—it was a challenging ride, steep, lots of rocks. The horses, who like challenging terrain, did enjoy themselves. And I was struck by the fact that Pete and Signy were doing so well together.

Later, we found a place to camp – in the Empire town park. We were invited to stay here by some residents who were having a church party. We gave kids pony rides. It is amazing that one moment these horses can be happily scrambling up steep trails, and then the next, happily carting kids around.

We’re heading up to Rocky Mountain National Park and going to do some day treks. Then we’ll go to Cheyenne, Wyoming where we’ll see if Siggi’s saddle can be rebuilt for Signy. Pete’s thinking that perhaps we can order front packs and maybe do some multi-day trips. This is going to be an exercise in learning more about ultra-light camping.

We are truly now on a journey of the spirit. It was not at all how we expected things to go. This, I suspect, is the way life works.

Next: 155: 8/6/13: Blair-Wallace Recreation Area, Laramie Wyoming