Saturday, June 5, 2010

Horse Ride

I was in a very remote place today for my bird transects, and most the morning I was walking around in fear rather than enjoying the beauty of the wild Big Horn mountains. I saw some fresh moose tracks walking down French Creek Road, they were small so I thought they might belong to the young bull moose that hung out with me the night before. Then I started to see the big moose prints next to them and thought it was probably a mother and calf, something to worry about. What made me most scared though were large rocky cliffs that might attract a mountain lion to the area. I was very alert and at one point even smelled wet fur. I stopped, looked around carefully until I saw a group of deer trying to hide from me.

I felt like Hansel and Gretel while walking through a thick lodgepole pine forest and my GPS started acting weird because the trees were blocking out the satellites. There was an eerie mist in that forest, and I kept looking over my shoulder. When I made it back to my campsite a man from Italy, Paolo, pulled up with his horse Dakota. We chatted for a little bit, then he went on his way and I crawled up in my tent. I pulled the covers over my head and just remember feeling warm as I fell asleep. I woke up a few hours later when Paolo was back. He said that if he knew he would meet a friend out in the mountains, he would have brought me a horse to have ridden along with him. He let me ride Dakota down the road and back, then offered to buy me a dinner of ribs. I'm not one to turn down a free dinner. I told him I had a boyfriend, and he said he wasn't trying to date me, just have dinner. So I went with him. After dinner he said to give him a call next weekend and he would bring two horses for his weekly ride, one for me.

Later that evening I felt alone and depressed. This job was really wearing me down. I treated myself to a Shrek movie, and enjoyed the escape from my life. I was so tired of being alone, and of being scared of dying out in wild Wyoming. I camped at petrified tree.

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