Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane

This is me and John perched on the side of the mountain. This photo was taken from our driveway!

When I was in High School, we lived in a small neighborhood, way up in the mountains. We were about 20 minutes from town, but tucked away, down a narrow, winding road, snuggled into the mountain. I had horses and rode pretty much every day. When it was nice out in the spring I would skip school, to go home and ride my horse. I was LUCKY!

I had two very good friends, Erin and John. We were inseparable after school. We rode in the afternoons, sometimes well into the evenings, sometimes at night! We rode for hours and hours and never hit a fence, unless it was an old broken fence half buried in the ground.

We raced and played tag through the trees. We saw all kinds of wild life, chased deer, and tried to chase elk. Once when I was by myself I was chased by a bear! Luckily I was on a VERY smart horse and he got us out of there!

This one night will stay in my memory forever. It was a relatively warm fall evening. It was still getting dark early, but we didn't mind. Off we went for an adventure, Erin, John and I. At this time I had my trusty Mustang, Katie, who was the BEST mountain horse EVER! John rode a little Arabian gelding and Erin was riding her Quarter Horse mare.

My Mustang, Katie Garza.

John thought it would be fun to call in some elk. They were in rut and we could hear them bugling all around. John let loose with a very good imitation of their call and we waited, holding our breath waiting for.... something. John let loose another call. We waited. Suddenly, very close by, we heard crashing and grunting. Then from a different direction we heard more crashing and grunting.

John had managed to call in TWO angry bulls.

We spun the horses and took off. You DO NOT want to be in the middle of that!! We ran as fast as the horses could run. By this time it was getting pretty dark. We sprinted across a small meadow, back into the thick trees and burst out across the dirt road that ran through that part of the mountain. We headed across the road and into another meadow just off the road. It was good and dark by now. All I could hear was Katie's breathing. I held my own breath trying to hear John and Erin. All around me was heavy breathing! Just then the moon came out from behind the clouds and I saw eyes glinting at me from the darkness...

We had run smack into the middle of a herd of elk! The cows raised their heads, snorted and took off. The horses moved with them, there was little choice in the matter and we were off again. John and Erin were right in there with me. It was the MOST thrilling thing to be running with an entire herd of elk. The only way to get to do that in the wild, is to surprise them, as we did. They are wiley and quick. It's nearly impossible to sneak up on them. With all the bugling and bulls around they didn't expect the running animals to be US!

We weren't able to keep up with them for long. They hit the trees at top speed and disappeared. The horses were unable to keep up when moving through the trees, plus they were getting worn out. All that running around in the dark!

We walked the horses home, excitedly talking about what had happened. We all knew that we would never experience anything like that ever again in our lifetimes. We were glad that we had had that chance.

What great times we had in those mountains!


Paula said...

A beautiful horse. Thanks for sharing your memory

Kristin said...

Whoa! That's an amazing story! I've never been around horses, and it's so neat for me to imagine how your life must've been to be able to ride all the time, with all the wildlife around. I'm a TX girl, who is afraid of horses....go figure! LOL

annie kelleher said...

wow - reading this reminded me of a book i just finished.. called merles' door about a man and his dog who lvoed to hunt elk! great pics and memories! come check out my 600th post!

Lynnette Kraft said...

What an adventurer you are, and what an exciting childhood! Sounds incredibly fun. :)

I love nature and all that goes with it. Being chased by a bear sounds terrifying (and kind of exciting). hee hee...

So glad the bulls didn't get ya! Yay for the elk - they came to your rescue.

What a fun read.

Heather said...

I remember that story! Had it been me, I'm sure I would have ended up on the ground via a tree branch or something! I'm off to my blog...think I might do a Wednesday walk down memory lane too! Lucy!

Sally-Ann said...

What an exciting, although a little scary, story!! I always wanted a horse, nearly got one. My Dad had the check book out but my Mum said No!
Great photos of you and your horse.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Wow...what a memory. My husband grew up with horses, but I don't have a lot of experience with them. Your story makes me wish I were brave enough to ride a horse in the wild! Thanks for sharing your memory.

tara @ kidz said...

I was so engrossed in your walk down memory lane! What an amazing way to grow up! Love the photos. =)

Tanya said...

What a story!! My girls would have loved that adventure. We hope to be horse owners someday. :)

Linda said...

Mindy, I liked your horse story. I am afraid of them but I still think they are amazing creatures.

Thanks for the exciting post!

Abigail Kraft said...

Wow...that sounds like so much fun! I've always thought it would be fun to have horses and be able to ride them all the time. I am kind of terrified of them at the same time though. Kind of one of those things that in my romanticized mind sounds awesome, but I know in reality I wouldn't like. heehee. :)

Thanks for sharing this memory!
In His arms,