I’m back to the hectic city life, but now my daydreams have a permanent location in the alpine meadows of Eldorado.
I think a horseback trip is the perfect way to view nature. The horse has to watch where it puts its feet while you regally drink in the splendor. Oh yes, and hang on while your horse scampers up slopes that would make a Mountains goat faint. This was my first pack trip in 16 years. I arrived at the Ranch on Thursday after using up all my adrenaline getting my old Chevy over the Hurley Pass. After meeting Kevan and a great lunch, we went out to be matched with our horses. My mount was to be Paddles, a sturdy Chevy of a horse with a V-8 engine in that solid rump of hers. Also like my car, she needed frequent refueling and was usually seen with a lupine or a wild carrot hanging from her munching muzzle. In the days to come I was astounded by her stamina and agility.
Although it was August, the first two days were cool. Wearing six layers of clothes, I looked like the Michelin Tire Man, but I was comfy. Our guides, Jim & Lenny, took excellent care of us, wrangling horses, cooking meals and keeping wood-stoves going.
The weather turned perfect and we rode the high Alpine Ridges. I think this is truly the most beautiful place on the planet. Because our trip was in late summer, I thought I had missed most of the alpine flowers. Happily I was wrong. The beauty and variety of the planet life was just dazzling. It was fascinating to watch the lupines become miniaturized as we ascended. The mountain cascades had carpets of tiny orchids and masses of flowers, mosses and ferns. The slopes had countless natural bonsai trees which were perfect dwarf replicas of valley giants. Riding the ridges was quite a thrill, but to me that alpine vegetation was the best part.
I want to come back Next Year, hopefully for a week and focus on wildflower and landscape sketching. Any other artists out there who want to ride to paradise?
Heather, Vancouver, British Columbia.