Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Pioneer Spirit

Bonnie and Apryl go on a hike-

Some things never change – or at least I seem to have adventures at 50 that reflect how I was at 10.

When I was a 10 year old- I was staying with my favorite Aunt and my cousin.. I decided that my cousin and I should have a picnic and hike to the back of the property to eat our PBJs… My Aunt Judy being the trusting sort made us a lovely lunch and off we went – surely we would not go far…Well two hours later – she picked us up at a neighbors turkey farm – she was well how should we say – not happy.… You see the lure of that next—more beautiful spot, then the next – and the next…t had lead me to a stream and 3 feet of muck – in which my cousin lost her PF fliers to the mud goddess. She cried.. and I got mad – or scared or a little of both…. She was four…and now we were in the woods all alone.. and I had no idea how to get back.. -the pioneer spirit in me was in full swing --- I kept moving – hoping to find something familiar before the coyotes ate us. Thankfully - the mud goddess accepted our offering and lead us to a turkey farm when my aunt was called and we were IN TROUBLE.( Sorry Annjeanette)

So fast forward to today…Bonnie – my Clydesdale mare and I rode in the arena – life was good—Mike and Logan were pulling up old fence posts – life on the ranch was good… so I thought we would take Bonnie on a the east 40 – so get us ready for our Trail ride weekend coming up. Now the east 40 is a vast WILDERNESS….grass as high as your eye.. fallen branches and trees – ahh a great obstacle course for us. SO off we went. I dismounted and lead her.. ( I am not THAT courageous)—this is the place where deer make their home—there is a ravine – a pond – black berry bushes – lots of tall green grass- trees with low hanging branches….hidden springs and pools of water, did I mention the springs? She followed me like a trooper – eyes all keen and interested ,, ears on me.. eating the occasional head of ripened grass. Hmm I thought – looks like a place where there might be ticks.. ahh no matter.

We walked on – she watched carefully where her feet went – in the waist high grass – but she could see the rocks and logs that I could not.. and went over them with ease… We were having FUN!!! She trusted me…she was having a great time.. so on to the next beautiful spot.—a little more dense—leading down to a pretty LITTLE stream—hmm a little marshy. Well lets see how she does with that. Splash! She did great—following, pleasantly eating the more lush green grass that grew by the springs that wound around the little valley we were in. Well now time to cross a BIG stream – about knee deep – so I stepped out first – and immediately sunk to almost my knees --- Bonnie had already started to come. I slowed her some and she found a gravel bar to stand on while I struggled to get out of the mud – If I believed in anthropomorphism… I would tell you she was smiling at her superior position, I think I heard her giggle. He spritely face covered in mud splashes.. She DID have a twinkle in her eye.

OHHHH!!! look ahead – once we Squeeze through these trees and under that one…. we walk down the stream ( knee high..) up on this bank – oh look --there are the trees that surround the pond. Bonnie does a number on the creek bed with those large hooves and mucks through the mud…did I tell you there was lots of springs and marshy mud? I never realized there were so many little springs or tributaries down there.. they are everywhere. SO the closer we get to the pond… the marshier it gets and the farther we sink if we stand still. Marsh to the left—pond to the right and in front of us the canon wall… hmm don’t think we can climb that vertical thing. If we just stand here we will be gone in two minutes, without a trace.

OK so now I am starting to think about how we are going to get out of here.. going back the way we came would be traveling through the places we had been and sunk deep and made 4 foot holes in the ground. Bonnie was happy – she didn’t care- she was on an adventure… and eating lush grass. She after all is a big stron Clydesdale with a rear made of steel. She followed me with enthusiasm.. sinking and pushing herself out of the mire like she did it every day. Back into the stream..I am not sure how it grew in size since we went through it a few minutes ago. I stepped where she had stepped and sunk above my kneecaps – and could NOT get out… Bonnie was sinking and using those powerful hinds quarters to push past me – so I undid her rope and let her lead the way – that was the most savvy thing I have done in a long time. As she walked by me – I grabbed the stirrup and let her help me out of the sink hole. The she looked up and lead me to a place I NEVER would have tried. Tall brush – but she could see over them, they were not stickers – or locusts or setting in 3 feet of mud. She made a trail for me .. and we walked out together. Back into the tall grass and back to civilization both of us glistening with black mud – and water lines to our bellies. Splattered with muck and mire--- the only thing white on either of us was my smile. She and I walked side by side for a ¼ mile. Loving the feel of wet and mud and the companionship of a shared adventure. I was so happy with how far we have come…not only tonight but over the last few years.

We walked back to the feed house where I have her a nice portion of grain..and my husband came to greet us. He kindly recommended that I undress outside and burn my clothes before I came in. So here I am 2 showers, 1 hairwash , 7 ticks and 1 pr of thrown out socks later…and alright… I know it maybe was not the best idea to go on a hike like that.. but sometimes my pioneer spirit calls… and now the mud goddess is with me.. in her furry Clydesdale form.

1 comment:

Apryl said...

I forgot to mention the poison ivy I fell into...a month later... I am still itchy!