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January 21, 2013: Trip Preparations: Switching Gears

Switching gears; for lack of a better term. I’m always looking for a metaphor that’s most fitting. When I first started playing around with this one, I thought about using car gears. This didn’t work because it brought to mind accelerating or decelerating. This isn’t about going faster or slower. Rather, it’s about changing immediate project plans.

What’s far more apt is the metaphor switching tracks, this being something that trains do. They often are diverted from one set of rails to another – sometimes these other routes even parallel the original routes. As I write this, I am thinking of our riding along the tracks out of Leadville, Colorado. It was

tough going, the beds were full of debris and the tracks were in a state of disrepair. But we did it.

Train conductors throw a switch, and the train goes on an alternate route. This is what I’m going to have to do. Yes, the metaphor is going to hold up. I was, a short while ago, revising my 2012 Dispatches and working on Noah’s Ark. Then I learned that Pete got a sabbatical. This means that we’ll be doing Part II of Tolting the Divide. It also means that the proverbial conductor has thrown the switch. I’m now going to have to set aside the previous, non-trip projects and work on trip projects. I am reluctant to do this because I want to engage in follow through.

But right now, trip projects and plans are most pressing. First of all, I’m going to need to write a book proposal for a how-to book on the subject of horse trekking. This will help when I go to seek trip sponsorship because I’ll be able to say that gear used on the trip will be in book photos.

I’m also going to need to get Raising Raudi ready for e-book or print status. Maine Artist/Illustrator Nancy Wines DeWan is going to do the illustrations. Right now we’re thinking pencil drawings.

I’m not sure if I’m going to approach Sundowner Trailers for trailer sponsorship. Yesterday afternoon, as I stood in Vicki Talbot’s living room, looking out her window at her horse enclosure, this idea came to mind. I proposed to her that she take on Hrimmi for the summer, this way Hunar would have a buddy. She liked the idea, so Hrimmi will go over there for a visit, maybe next week. As I looked out the window, this just felt like the right thing to do. Vicki has a nice place and is a good horseperson. And Hrimmi will have a wonderful time once she gets situated.

There are (again, the second time around) going to be what seem like innumerable trip details to tend to. Pete pulled out our previous trip maps, and after checking a few out, we decided to pick up where we left off, and continue to ride the Continental Divide Trail. I’m totally for this. The trail is well maintained and there are numerous places to get water.

So yeah, I don’t like leaving projects partially compete. But this is an instance in which time seems to be of the essence. We have five months before our June 15th departure date. So the train is now on the other track. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. . . .

Next: 22. 1/22/13: Ask a Mare, Tell a Gelding