9 July ~ 2021

I am turning 70 this fall, and so it is clearly time to execute my heart's desires, while I still can. In that light I have scheduled several trail rides throughout the mountain West this summer. I enjoy riding, as long as it is out on a trail - on open plains, through forested paths, across streams, up through wide meadows to high mountain ridges.

It is easy to talk and get to know people while on a ride, which goes a long ways to lessen the lonely which I invariably feel on long solo trips with the dogs, especially up North. I try to set the rides up for afternoons or evenings, when the dogs don't mind resting in the cabin after an active day with me.

I had a good horse friend in my younger years, but the financial realities of getting married while still in college induced me to offer him for sale. I was hoping my Dad would help out, but that was not fair to my sisters, and so I chose the adult alternative, which was to let him go. When I dropped him off to the new owner's house, he walked the length of the coral, following me to the truck with his ears forward, not understanding why I was leaving him. Not an easy thing to ever forget, especially for someone whose animal friends have been a big part of their life. (the best part?).

Oscar is long gone, but his memory remains with me, and in honor of my old friend I ride in the high country on experienced mountain horses. The horses I have been on so far this year in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado are Bandit, Aztec, Puck, Junior, and Indy, with several more scheduled later in the summer.

So, riding good horses is a dream I am realizing. The other two things I have in my bucket list (below) are ones I have been living for years. It all seems simple enough, but comes from accepting how things are, being grateful for what you have, and not worrying about what you lack.

Bucket List: To have close dog friends, ride good horses, and dance with smiling and warm-hearted women on Saturday Nights.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart"