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September 5, 2013: Down Time

This summer, we have spent considerable time pre-riding, riding, and post riding. There is of course always a great deal to be done. I define down time as time spent not engaging in these activities. These days I prefer to be riding. It takes my mind off thinking about Mr. Siggi. When I’m idle, my thoughts just go in that direction.

Getting from Point A to Point B is one form of down time. Sometimes we listen to tunes, sometimes we point out scenic wonders to one another, and sometimes, like today, we talk. Today we headed in the B of the Antelope Forest Service Guard station in the late afternoon, all the while Pete was traipsing down memory lane. You see, Pete worked for the U.S. Forest Service 30 or so years ago, when he was 19. So he wanted, on this trip, to return and see how the area had changed.

I was quite okay with this because this was Pete and not my traipse. I am not one for reliving the past. It is true that as one ages, one does spend more time in the past. It is why, for example, people go to their high school reunions in their later years. Anyhow, this visit is about Pete’s past, and I am enjoying seeing the setting of so many of his stories.

We got here and discovered that the single story white house he once lived in is in a state of disrepair. It’s really a shame – it and the two other outbuildings are going downhill fast. Too bad, in part because at some point in time, someone put time and care into the buildings and property. Why anyone would let it deteriorate is beyond my comprehension.

We didn’t have much time to explore because a storm was rolling in. So we hopped in the truck – more down time – and waited it out. I wrote a bit, read the

New York Times, and cringed when hearing the thunder rumbles. We’d high lined the horses in the trees—of course I fretted about them.

I also thought some about the nature of memory, and how it fails us when we most need it. At the same time, things change in our absence. It must be that we compensate for this by supplanting the new with the old. Pete, for example seems to be okay with the fact that things aren’t exactly as he remembers them to be. For instance, he said the rooms of the house were smaller than he thought. And there is no longer a horseshoe pit on the property.

I guess that our being mentally adaptable is sort of a survival mechanism. Otherwise, we would become disoriented upon returning to old haunts. And then we’d lose it. Can’t have that happen. The alternative would be to keep moving forward. But sometimes you have to go back in time. It’s then that past and present intersect.

Tomorrow we are going to ride up road and check out the fence he and his co-workers built. I have a feeling that it will be much the same, for it sounds like they did a good job building it. You never know though. Could be that the powers that be tore it down and put in a subdivision. The only way to find that out is go and check it out.

Next: 170: 9/6/13: Antelope, Idaho: Good Fences make Good Neighbors