SOMEWHERE OUT ON THE RANGE
Once I learned to roll in the saddle, I was less conscious of the horse's movement under my bottom. The canyons were breathtaking, the streams and lakes refreshing to my soul.
Frequent stops were helpful to my riding career. Tim maintained they were necessary to look for signs. He was a lot younger. His enthusiasm matched his ego for trying to discover things other people hadn't.
On the other hand, I discovered magnificent sequoias casting giant shadows under a pale blue sky.... mountain formations beyond imagination.
Once again Tim leaped off his horse to pick up a handful of rocks. They were clues to him.
"It's all in the rocks", he said.
He'd gotten an 'A' in Geology and now he was an expert fossil man.
I enjoyed his zest. It was good to be a patient listener if you wanted to share in his adventures. His logic escaped me.
"What now?" I said.
"Rocks show some kind of marine creatures," Tim said.
I was through arguing with him about Noah's Flood. The marine fossils weren't signs of Lost River Canyon. He got that from people in the diner at breakfast. Tim was a sucker for anyone who could spin a yarn.
I enjoyed the breathtaking views around every turn of the trail, so long as I stayed in the saddle.
The hooves plunked in the stream with regularity as the water crept up my legs. The hot July Sun beat down the back of my neck. I got an unexpected chill...
"Hey, Tim, that's cold!!"
"Must be some kind of underground stream. The waters around here are never this cold!!!", he replied.
"What are you an expert?", I said, "We're tourists!"
"That's what the internet says," he retorted.
"Hey, Tim, it's getting deep!!!"
The water ahead was dark and agitated. Tim and his horse disappeared for a moment. His horse struggled to the surface, its hooves came up above the water and splashed down heavily. It's eyes were wide and panicked.
Swirling water pulled me under. Tim and his horse were separated - silhouettes floundering before my eyes. My horse was below me. I slammed into a huge rock so hard I thought I was going to die. Dark, shadowy images were all around. A wall smashed me on the other side. Propelled like a rocket, I rotated to face up, feet first. Seconds later came a free fall surrounded by tons of white water. Sun light blazed on my face; shadows turned into glaring light. My ears filled with an intolerable roar...... then silence as I plunged into frightfully cold water. No breath left, boots half off, exhausted, can't move.
A force rudely pushed me from underneath. I rocketed straight up, gasped for air expecting to suck in water and drown. Instead I got air and slammed down with a stinging belly whopper. I managed to lift my head and get air again. I didn't think I had the strength to breathe after this. A current grabbed me, my body twisted upward, I took in another breath.
"This is the last time I go to Disney World!"