Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Want To Be A Cowboy . . .

And you can be my cowgirl . .


In October my husband and I took a week vaction to Colorado (where I met Diana. Awesome-sauce.). It was an incredible week.

We went on a three hour trail ride through  the mountains of Salida, and oh Lord, the sights. Also? Oh LORD my rear end.

They asked if I'd ridden before, and well, I have. (Never mind it was like 9 years prior.) They gave me a horse name Bealzabub Jake. My husband was yelling that he'd never ridden a horse in his life and wanted a lame one. So they gave him Elmer Suzie.

 After Chuckie Jake ran me into the fence, feeding station, mounting platform (that's what she said), and Suzie, our guide said, "You ever ridden?" At which point my husband laughed so hard he almost fell off his horse. The John Wayne look- a -like in the coral with us was, by this time, annoyed with me because at various points I had too hard of hands and too soft of hands. I was asking Diablo Jake to go left then when I really wanted him to go right. And then surprised. Only I swear to you I was following their directions. And I swear to you by all that is holy and good in my life that Damien Jake was rolling his eye back at me before we even left that dusty coral and laughing at me. (And YES, horses can laugh.)

The first hour was glorious. Our guide, Jesse, chatted with my husband and our horses followed each other without a problem. We picked our way up the mountain through pine trees and tumbled rocks. We were in a very small valley of sorts and all shadowed by the trees. It was the kind of place where you knew God exists. You could see His hand tossing stones and lighting the ground just so. We came out on the edge of a cliff and looked out over a huge valley at the Collegiate Peaks: Mt. Princeton, Harvard and Yale. There's also a funny formation in them that looks like an alien.

[caption id="attachment_1010" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Do you see it?"][/caption]

We rested at a the edge of cliff, where we could get off our horses and take pictures. It was at this point that I realized there was a problem. A very, very serious problem. I knew that if I dismounted from my horse, whom I was sure was plotting my demise by throwing me over the edge of that cliff, I would never be getting back on.

We took pictures while still sitting on our horses. Then started back down the trail. Back down into the depths of hell. The dark, dank, depths of hell.

As Jesse and my husband chatted on about their carreers, my body reached levels of pain that child birth had never inflicted upon me. The demon I was sitting upon ceased to listen even a tiny bit. Jesse and my husband prattled on about Jesse's thisclose to 'I'm a Navy Seal' days in the service.  Since my husband was also in the service they talked shop about that for awhile while the heinous Jake kept breaking into a down hill trot.  Which caused my tender rear to slam against the saddle numerous times.

Slam. Slam. Slam.

While Jesse and my husband discussed Jesse's new carreer as a professional rodeo cowboy.


Lucifer Jake continued to break into a trot, knowing we were headed home. And that I could do little about it. I was also behind our '8 Second' guide and my husband, so what were they going to do?

Nothing, that's what.

Eventually, Jesse would hear my grunts and turn around. He'd say something to Belial Jake in a demonic tongue and he'd slow to a walk, his eye rolling back to look at me, closing in a wink that said, "You just wait. I'ma gonna git you." (Have you seen the movie 'Fallen'? Because I could totally hear someone nearby singing 'Time Is On Your Side' by this point. Not even kidding.)

Slam. Slam. Slam.

I practiced my natural breathing on the way down the trail. For real. When I was in front of the men, my husband kept calling out encouraging words. "You look great on that horse, babe."  and, "How do you say it? You sure know how to sit a horse."  (whatever.) and his favorite, "Your hair looks amazing, flowing in the wind." I snorted so hard at this that the ogre beneath me jumped.

As Jesse told us that his big toe was broken and he'd had a 'slight' problem putting on his boots that morning, The Prince Of Darkness Jake broke into a full on run. Because he'd seen the Promised Land. His barn. I watched my teeth fly out of my mouth and bounce along the dirt trail. And I heard Jesse and my husband laugh.

When we got back to the coral, I attmpted to steer (yes, steer. I was done 'guiding') Satan Jake to that awesome  mounting platform (that's what she said) so I could dismount. From the distance I heard John Wayne holler, "We don't use that for dismounting, ma'am." And I know he was laughing. And lying. He was so lying.

My eyes welled up with tears, but I took some deep, cleansing, natural child birth breaths, visualized my cervix opening like a flower, and heaved my right leg over that saddle.

It moved about an inch.

Jesse took it out of the stirrup and helped me lift it over. The Fallen Angel danced below me, increasing my agongy, and yes, laughing at me. With tears streaming down my face I heard a distinctive sound from behind me.



The sound of picture being taken. And my husbands laughter.


Here, captured for all eternity, and your viewing pleasure: my pain.

[caption id="attachment_1014" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Unbearable pain."][/caption]