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July 15, 2017: Happy Trails to You

Many years ago, I think in the era of Raudi and Siggi, two woman came into my yard and got ready for a backpack trip – they sorted out their gear, and packed it onto their pack horses. They were primed for a really good time – they even had a cooler with beer in it. Then they took off, I think up Jim’s road, on a two-day pack trip.

I was envious beyond belief, in fact so much so that when I look back, all the feelings of envy return. I so badly wanted to go along. Back then I was dreaming of doing a long trip. But we didn’t even have the gear for a smaller trip. The two women, Kathy and Jane – they camped out on one trail, hit a dead end, then headed off the next night on another.

Kathy riding next to muddy trail near Boulder Creek with dog Jack

Today the same two women pulled up in the road across from our driveway and unloaded two of the same horses that they took on this earlier trip. And off we all went, we being me on Raudi and Pete on Tinni. As we walked up road it occurred me that I’d come full circle because I was heading off to do a ride with Kathy and Jane. Sure, it was not a pack trip we were going on – but it could have been because Pete and I both now have a lot of trip miles under our belts.

We did Pete’s trail, going up and down the bench, and we did our trails. Raudi was out front the entire way. I felt confident today – even going down the steep and slippery bench trail. The weather was excellent – sunny and not overly humid, which recently has been problematic.

I also got to thinking about how over the years both Pete and I have gotten to know Kathy and Jane. Kathy is the president of the local Back Country Horsemen of Alaska chapter – and Jane is her friend. So our paths have crossed at these meetings and as well at other horsey events.

I think I appeared to be an okay rider today. Raudi has come a long ways. If she was then as good as she is now, I would have gone on that pack trip. It took a long time to get her to be reliable because of my own lack of kinesthetic awareness. I have to admit, I have worked very hard over the years with her and myself. And the latter was the most important thing.

Now, on Monday, Jane, Kathy, and a few other women are going to go on a three day pack trip not far from here. Pete and I are going to spend the first day riding with them – no overnighting for us because we have animals here to tend to. But maybe, just maybe, in the very near future, I might do a trip with the two. Then, for sure, I will have come full circle.

Next: 193. 7/16/17: Competitive Trail Ride Update

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