I don’t normal repost from others blogs but this is good information on what to do if you are bitten by a poisonous snake in a remote area. The article is reposted from FLOTOGRAPHY.
Jamming my foot in to a pair of dress shoes for work wasn’t happening, but I was cramming that mashed toe into a pair of cowboy boots come hell or high water. A week earlier a treated 4×4 fell from the rafters and headed for my big toe like a missile on a mission. Naturally, I was barefoot when it happened…because barefoot was how God intended farm girls to be.
An extra layer of gauze and duct tape ought to do it. I eased my left foot into the oversized Durango’s. Perfect. Fortunately I wear riding boots two sizes too big. That way if I get dumped, my boot is more likely to come off. Like most riders, I have a fear of being drug.
I wasn’t the only one needing extra medical attention for the ride. My horse, Jack, had been laid off with a girth sore for the last two weeks. I’d been riding bareback until it healed. The wound had healed nicely except for two small scabs behind his left shoulder. I added a strip of sheepskin under his cinch for good measure and headed for Mann Creek store to meet up with Joanie and Dusty.
The caravan of 10-12 trailers followed Lee, the ride organizer, from Mann Creek Store to a parking spot just above Spring Creek Campground. I was third in line. Dusty and Jones followed behind me. The recent rain kept dust at a minimum.
A handmade poster-board sign hung on a fence a few miles past Mann Creek reservoir. I squinted to read the small print. Something about please slow down – horses, dogs and children playing in the road. I couldn’t make out much more. At 10 MPH I couldn’t go much slower. I kept an eye out for rouge horses, kids and dogs and proceeded with caution.
We approached a 5th wheel RV parked on the right hand side of the road 100 yards from the sign. No rouge kids, horses or dogs; just some crazed woman waving a spatula and ducking in and out from under the tongue of her 5th wheel. Crouched over like a spatula toting predator– she darted in and out of the road at the passing trailers spewing expletives. Lady – I can’t go much slower – but I can promise that if you dart out in front of my truck I have no intentions of slamming on the brakes and tossing my horse around. I suggest you hand that spatula off to your husband hiding behind the RV – he’s going to need it to peel your sorry hide off the road.
Somehow we managed to squeeze the dozen rigs off the road at a wide spot Lee had chosen for the trailhead. I was already saddled and went about filling my saddle bags with the necessities of life: camera, SPOTS, GPS, extra batteries and Beanee Weenee’s.
I checked the sheepskin under Jack’s cinch; everything intact there. I stood staring up at the stirrup. It sure seemed like a long ways up. I’d been riding a much shorter horse for the last month while Jack was on a ranch with my son and later healing up from the girth sore. I wasn’t sure my wounded toe had enough leverage to hoist my butt quite that far. I positioned Jack downhill and swung into the saddle. Ironic, isn’t it? I couldn’t get on a pair of shoes for work the last week but I managed to swing a leg over the saddle. Everyone has their priorities.
I’m always happy to be riding but today was extra special. I’d not been able to ride Jack outside the pasture in over a month. I really do like my new horse, but all things said and done, she’s not Jack. I reached down to stroke his neck. I couldn’t wipe the stupid grin off my face if my life depended on it. I was at home. I doubt most people would understand why I found myself choking back a tear more than once.
It was a perfect day for riding. The sun occasionally peaked from behind a cloud covered sky. The gradual climb to Sturgill Lookout offered scenic vistas in every direction. The picturesque lookout perched atop a massive krag; old glory painted the breeze with her majestic colors of red, white and blue.
I paid the local outhouse a visit while the horses rested. It was the cleanest little outhouse I’d ever seen and cleaner than most public restrooms for sure! Complete with crossword puzzle and a wooden stick for opening the outside latch from the inside in the event you found yourself locked in. The thought of someone finding themselves locked in an outhouse made me giggle. You know it had to have happened at least once for them to come up with the idea of needing an exit strategy.
The ranger manning the lookout warned us of a pending storm expected to arrive at 13:00 hours. I was never in the military. I have no idea what time 13:00 hours are in American. It didn’t matter. I’d been keeping an eye on the sky since we left the trailers.
The majority of riders would make a loop down the back side of Sturgill to the trailers. The trail was steep. I didn’t want my saddle riding forward and reopening the delicate skin under Jack’s armpit. I don’t know if horses really have an armpit but that’s what I call it. Dusty had been towing their yearling, Rooster. The young horse was showing signs of tiring. I also had to be back in time to meet the brand inspector that afternoon. Dusty, Joanie and I decided it was best to head back the way we came.
Distant thunder rolled across the sky. I hoped the rain and lightening would hold until the others returned. It wouldn’t take much rain on that back hillside to slick things up pretty good and no sane person wants to get caught on horseback in a lightning storm. Our small group made it back to the trailers before the storm.
I kept an eye out for the crazy, spatula toting woman on the haul home. I passed another of her signs. I couldn’t read the black scribbles of permanent marker on this one any better than the one coming in. I slowed from 10 mph to 8 mph. I was ready. I half decided if she darted out at us again, I was pulling over to suggest if she was so concerned she might camp farther than 6’ off the road next time. The RV was more deserted than before. No crazy lady. No spatula. No horses, kids, dogs or otherwise. I’d cheated confrontation yet another day.
I pulled into my drive just ahead of a micro burst. J’Lo was visually happy to see us. She tossed her head, dashed across the pasture and commenced to kicking and bucking for all she’s worth. Hopefully she refrains from expressing that happiness when I’m on her!
Jack dropped his head for me to slip the halter off. There was nobody around to judge. I threw my arms around his bowed neck and let the tears fall.