Monday, September 21


after three days roaming just a small section of the wilderness in the wind river mountains i've returned to casper, and to my office, and my computer. it was a wonderful weekend, though, and couldn't have gone more smoothly.

i drove over to boulder thursday evening and arrived about 8 p.m., sister melissa and i loaded up friday morning and hauled in to the big sandy trail head, then saddled up and off we went.

the weather was gorgeous. the sunshine a comforting warmth. the gray mountain peaks beautifully imposing. the lakes the deepest shade of blue you could imagine. the horses cooperative and sound. there were touches of fall everywhere, with grasses, trees and shrubs all turning their own shades of brown, gold, yellow and red. the best part of that was the aspens. they're breathtaking this time of year. they push thoughts of impending winter weather a little further back in the mind, if only for a moment.

this is the self-portrait we took, in an area called the sheep desert, with a few of the peaks behind us.

there's this print that i bought, in college, i think fall of my senior year when i was on a trip with the iowa state horse judging team. it's of a man on a horse, dressed in outdoor gear, leading a pack horse down a mountain drainage with a snowy mountain behind him. some people, *one in particular* could never stand that print, didn't understand it, and didn't know why i liked it so much. but it's because it represented something that i really wanted to do. i wanted to be that guy on that horse packing in the empty mountains. and now, although i still like that print, i don't necessarily need it anymore, because i have photos like this of me and my dear mares april and jazz:

i love living in wyoming where weekend trips like this are an easy drive (260 miles one-way is an *easy drive* in wyoming) away. i'm very thankful that i get to have my own truck, trailer, equipment and horses so it's possible to get out and do things like this. i don't know how i got to be so blessed. my life is perfect and i wouldn't change a thing.

side note: i really missed the him while i was gone. and he missed me. i saw him last night and he sat there, very patiently, and looked through all 312 of my photos with me. you know what's great about him? if he hadn't had to work, he woulda been right there with me and my sister and loving the horses/packing/camping/outdoors aspect of it every bit as much as i did. hmmmm..... i've talked to wise friends of mine about him, and i'm getting the green light from all of them on making something official.

side note 2: the black hat and red scarf i wore all weekend are special things he's given me, and not just because he gave them to me, but also because they're the exact things i would have chosen for myself. he has quite good taste.

side note 3: it was a year ago that i took that ill-fated trip to iowa and was proposed to by the ex-boy. oh, what a difference a year makes. two solid days on the back of a horse walking through mountains and forests leaves a lot of time for pondering, and there's no better place to be still and give some time to figuring the things out that i generally am too busy to unravel.

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