The ride this day took us out of sight into the high country in the distance.
Three years ago on 10/17/12 I started chemo.
It has been a long journey from there to here. More than I ever thought possible to be honest. Just goes to show you how naïve I really am.
At the moment I am cancer free. But Cancer and the treatment that hopefully results in you staying alive a while longer are the "gift that keeps on giving". I generally use "giving" as the meaning for a painful and very negative "gift".
But on occasion I also mean it really IS a gift that keeps on giving...in a good way. You just have to look for them. Some time you really have to look hard. But what you usually find is a treasure if you can only appreciate it. It has taken me some time to appreciate the "gift".
Weird that I ended up wanting to write this after yesterday. I have aged untold years in the last three. Both physically and mentally. Not all bad but not all good either. Knowing now all too well no one lives forever. News flash! I know everyone generally gets that a little earlier in life but not me.
Twenty years ago Tracy and I moved to Issaquah from Spokane. At the time I had just started to ride a horse again after spending 1/2 my life as a kid riding and our family owning a few. But I was never a true horseman. Oblivious to all that. You simply had to ask and our horse just "did". We didn't ask much of them. One had to look to my Grandfather, William to see true horseman skills. William kept horses all his adult life and rode consistently well into his late '70s. Buying his last Colt as a saddle horse in his early '70s. It was a legacy I almost missed from my family and until recently never really appreciated. Although my father was no stranger to horses and shoed ours when required, horses were simply tools for him, nothing more.
Me? I have always enjoyed and loved animals. Loved being around them when convenient, a lot of work and tiem required the rest of the time. But I was never been responsible enough to really take care of a dog let alone a horse until I was in my late 40s and in a comfortable and supportive relationship. I had a lot to live up to with my Grandfather keeping his ranch horses, Dick and Silver until they died, at the age of 39 and 41 years old...just weeks apart, while living on his ranch in Wheatridge, Colo.
Dick and Silver were the horses all the kids (my Mom, Aunts and Uncles) and us, the grand kids learned to ride on. My Dad on the other hand was born in Texas, and grew up in New Mexico...enough said :-) It was my Grandfather that was a horseman in the way we want to think of "natural horsemen " and the vaquero horsemen today. It was my Mom that picked that legacy up and passed on what she knew and had seen to her children.
My trusty stead, Sir Brazen Dreamcatcher in a calmer moment later in the morning as we ready to leave for the day.
Just after sunrise and Brazen is now WIDE awake and likely thinking, "Holy chit dude! We aint in Duvall no more! This is BIG sky country with COWS! And I aint liking it...."
I do know Brazen's and my relationship is good for me. Poor guy, he's forced to put up with me. I suspect he only really tolerates it because I feed him good stuff on a semi regular basis.
Been awhile since I have smiled watching the sun come up while freezing my ass off!
Thank goodness for the new Birthday Jacket! I only hope I'll still be riding a decade or two from now.
Borrowed Tracy's new saddle. It is mighty fine ride! Thank you!
Loaded for Bear or Wolves in this case...a ivory (preban of course) handled six shooter and a knife :)
Heard the wolves several times. Never saw them. Then heard and saw the elk. But too fast for me to get a picture.
Top of that hill is only another 3 hours and 3000+' gain away.
Some scale to the previous picture
600' up and Brazen's first breather.
Miles of basalt scab land....all going up or down hill. We climbed 5000' in 12 miles and decended 5000' I nthe next 12 miles.
Not hard to see why he gets call "Snuffy" with that lower lip..some of it is an optical illusion :)
Gentle now, Brazen gets embarrassed when people laugh at him.
A South East facing meadow with dozens of Elk beds.
And more hill to climb to hit timberline.
Plenty of Mule deer...
Straight on to the Mesa at timberline and then around to the left for another 20 miles
More Mulies. But only three of the dozens I saw on this ride.
The first of only two gates in a 25 mile ride.
Mid morning, the climbing mostly done and my Boy is starting to slow down some.
We came up from the flat lands via the ridge line on the left, made the first half of the big circle and are on the way home now.
Fall colors were spectacular!
The ups and downs reminds me of the Salmon River Country between Grangeville and Riggins where I spent some time as a kid. We rode in from the sky line on the right. Where the sky line ends left of center we side hilled to here. Strong day's work for a city horse.
Back at the trailer and 20 minutes from sunset with one rode down caballo!
Never seen Brazen stand and ignore good clean COB.
"Geezus! That was a long ways around there Danester! I think, I feel USED!"