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August 12, 2019: The Semi Nomadic Lifestyle: A Summation Based on Thoughtful Contemplation

Here we are, 100 miles from Tok, Alaska, safely ensconced at the Seaton Roadhouse Rest Area. We were lucky to find this place – I was checking out the roadside attractions in the Milepost and saw that the area has three campsites available, for hikers. “This is perfect for us,” I enthused to Pete, who was dubious but tired of driving.

We went through customs, and entered the U.S. at 4:30 p.m. It took an hour to get across the border because the kindly woman who was in charge of the horse health paperwork took considerable time in examining “our” form and finding “their” form. No matter – the sky was overcast and temps were in the 50s. It was a relaxed exchange as opposed to the very tense crossing into Canada. After, I even said “thank you and have a nice day” to her – and I meant it.

This may be our last night out. We are 300 miles from home, and Pete is determined to get there tomorrow. I have learned that when Pete sets his mind to doing something, nothing at all can dissuade him. This is a given that has its pros and cons. If I want something, it’s good. If I don’t want something, it’s bad. Tomorrow night the horses will be in their enclosure and we will be in ours. The nomadic lifestyle will grind to a halt, at least for now.

I will miss the routine – setting up camp, taking down camp, riding, and as well, all the little things one does on a pack or horse trek. I will also miss having the horses in sight all the time. I will not miss having to restrain horses, hobbling, enclosing, and highlining all being potentially unsafe activities. Highlining, for instance – a horse can so easily get its rear leg wrapped around a rope while trying to scratch an ear – even now, with the trip nearly over, the consequences make me shudder. Pete was very meticulous in setting up the evening highline, but still . . . a break from having the horses tethered will be a good thing.

Tonight we ate dinner under a well built picnic shelter, one with handicapped access. One other couple, in a honking huge RV, pulled into the parking lot, got out, took two little dogs for a very short walk, then disappeared back into their metal box. I remarked to Pete that this was an instance of minimal movement and that ours was an instance of optimal movement. Since arriving here we have been on the go, tending to ours and the horses’ needs. We highlined the horses in the nearby woods, and then after we realized that it was buggy, we put blankets on them all. The parking area was a ways from the woods, so what with doing this, that, and the other, we made several treks.

At this very minute I am thinking that I do not want to go up and down the highway again. It’s a breathtaking but altogether too long a ride. I do want to do another long-distance trip, maybe in the Yukon or BC. And I’d move to one of these areas if the opportunity presented itself. Let’s giddy up and move it out.

The bugs have tired of antagonizing the horses and are now antagonizing us. The temperature will drop and they will soon go away. Hrimmi and Tyra, now wearing their Irish made Horseware raincoats, are picking through their evening hay. Raudi, less so. I think she’s hot under her blanket. I am going to have to remove it.

Hrimmi, now after a summer’s work, seems less cow hocked. Raudi has a more clearly defined musculature. And Tyra, dear Tyra, has dapples, a sign of a healthy coat. Three-hundred miles more to go. Let’s hear a cheer for the semi-nomadic lifestyle.

Next: 223. 8/14/19: Homeward Bound

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