View From a Horse—

Sometimes things aren’t what they seem, even after they seem like it

Sometimes you miss the best scenery watchin’ where you’re going—Frank

Riding a horse on the trail is near like bein’ a truck driver on the road—a bird’s eye view down into places most folks think ought to be private. I told LT this piece when I dropped by his place—I think he actually peed himself. I won’t do that again. Bein’ careful who you talk to is important, and he may just remind me about this the rest of my life—plus everyone else. He knows how I was raised in the strict confines of religion—and so do I—most of the time.

I’ve hiked nearly the entire Pacific Crest Trail within the Washington border and a thousand other miles between, and never saw what I’ve seen riding half that time on a horse. Walkin’ you spend a lot of time checkin’ the trail and watchin’ your footing to keep you upright—like one time I was on an eight day backpack from Darrington to Stevens Pass. I’d been into it about sixty miles or so when I stepped off the edge and rolled down about fifty feet. I crawled out of it ok, but one second of distraction at the wrong time can be a catastrophe in the back county. Riding a horse alleviates a lot of that—it also makes me about nine feet tall which allows me to see, and seein’ too much in the pejorative sense can make you go blind, according to my mother.

A lifetime of parental warnings does not necessarily protect you from anything, sometimes goin’ blind can be a real eye opener—Frank

My first time seein’ nature happenin’ in the human sense was from the trail, and it looked like more of a scuffle than I had imagined it would. A hiker would’ve never seen it bein’ too short, and that particular part of the trail was a little bit technical, so watchin’ your footing was important—I caught a glimpse of a red blanket down my the stream, so I backed up my horse just a touch to see what was going on, peering over the brush I aimed to solve this curious eye catching red amidst the greenery. Nature was taking its’ course in the wild—two buck naked souls in a passionate tussle. I sat back in my saddle for a spell and watched. I decided I’d better move along…but then I watched some more. I thought for a minute there something was wrong ’cause she was hittin’ him on the back and makin’ a lot of painful noise, but after they were done doin’ what they were doin’ she gave him a big hug.

It wasn’t at all what I expected, but I did find myself pressing my toes hard into the stirrups. Maybe I was gettin’ my footing there a little bit too. The year before I was in Jamaica and we went to a nude beach—optional, but the only people that had no clothes on were the ones that should’ve. This wasn’t like that at all. I thought about it quite a bit over the next few days, then I thought about it again…and then some more—hell I was seventeen, what was I supposed to do?

Some people aren’t so subtle or sneaky about their nudity. I was headed down to Deroux from Gallagher Head Lake and there was a female hiker coming alone up the trail—topless. She stepped up on the high side to let me pass, said hello, and I said hello back—but what I was thinkin’ was a whole lot different. Keepin’ eye contact is not as easy as they say it is, and back to nature was takin’ on a whole new view for my wanderin’ ways—and eyes.

Changing your thinkin’ is hard…especially when you don’t want to—Frank

I reminded myself of Saint Augustines prayer when he was a young man. “Lead us not into temptation Lord, give me chastity,” he prayed, “but not yet”. I did a lot of thinkin’—and even more thinkin’ after this happened.

Bein’ on my way to base camp one day I came up to Lake Ann and stumbled into another situation once again, but things aren’t always the way I’d been raised. I was heading up from Van Epps, and from that direction the lake is just appears in front of you with no warning—a bit of a nice surprise. Coming in from the top you get a bird’s eye view and you can see what’s ahead of you, but not this way.

It doesn’t matter where you are, only the direction your headed—Frank

I wasn’t payin’ close attention and rode right up to the lake to see two guys standing there on the boulder naked, holding hands looking at the water. They heard me, and when they saw me they just looked over their shoulders and said hello, then the taller one jumped down and walked over to me to ask a couple questions. We talked a little about the area, then I let them know that the ridge on the trail to the west had the best view of Mount Rainier anywhere—it’s amazingly close as the crow flies, and breathtaking to see, to say the least. My household growing up was a modest bunch, so after contact of this nature I had some thinking to do, and somehow nudity didn’t equal shame anymore. When I told the story to LT he said I looked like I’d seen a ghost. And that ain’ all I’d seen, that’s for sure, but un-seein’ is a whole other story. That makes two things I know.

If you look around and cut through all the deception, things are rarely what you’ve been told—Frank

I guess if you spend enough time anywhere you’ll find oddities and different ways of life. Funny it was the open wilderness where I slowly started to see life from another point of view, although a bit of it was a little too “up close” at the time.

Things aren’t always what they seem, even after they seem like it—Frank


Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

44 thoughts on “View From a Horse—”

  1. Live and learn, eh, Jim. But one has to be open to learning. I love the different viewpoints, on foot and astride a horse. It can be amazing what you see or don’t see. But I’m wondering how the good christian boy felt about seeing people in tbe throes of copulation? Were his cheeks red, and ears smoking, or were other parts stirring in response? None of my business, of course, been there, done that. But wondering if the christian influence influenced the view…


    1. Oh I thought about it a lot. I’m happy to have been able to process the application outside of the indoctrination. Nothing is as we are told, and where I was supposed to feel shame I felt none. My mother would say I felt no guilt because entertaining those images “drove the spirit away”, but in reality it’s not the big deal I was taught. Not sure what all the puritan morality is about other than control. There is nothing wrong here.


      1. I’m not sure control is really the right word. It might be, but I think there is something better–I just cannot think of it right now. Prurience? Secrecy? (What happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom, or wherever.)
        Meanwhile, it is not a healthy way to live, no matter what. But one cannot do away with thousands of years of indoctrination in a matter of months, or years, as much as some of us might wish it to. I know I am out on a limb, but I wish there was a way to make it a fun passtime for young teenagers, once the participants are protected against pregnancies. And dialogue between kids and adults is open and intentionally accepting.
        What that would take, I have no idea, but nothing we have tried yet has been successful. We need a whole new view of sexual play. It cannot be worse than anything we are already trying.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I was disappointed to carry such sexual baggage around based on the Deep Southern indoctrination of my mother. Luckily I found an open and understanding partner to cut the chain. It was good to also have so much time away to see things weren’t what I’d been told. Virtually every aspect of our upbringing has an element of deception, if not total trickery. It’s no wonder people will believe anything when they’re raised in deception.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story. I spent a lot of time in the wilderness in my younger days. I’ve camped high up in the Sierra Nevadas during mid-winter when icicles would form on our eyebrows, and I’ve backpacked over the Great Western Divide at near 12,000 ft. elevation where bears won’t even go (not enough food for them above the treeline).

    However, horses are another story. I like them, but riding them isn’t for me. My fiance’s horse tried to scrape me off by running under some walnut tree branches, and a different lazy horse tried to bite my feet because I was prodding it to move a little faster – it refused, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had a lot of opportunity to do both backpacking and horse packing. I lived at the high camp for about five years as a wrangler guide and packer for an outfit called High Country Packers. I probably like backpacking better overall. Less hassle and great exercise. But, if I had to pick just one I’d choose them both. Hehe
      The best part of it all is I’ve had two adventures alone three weeks in the cascades and one in the Panama jungle three weeks. Some of the highlights of my life, really.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. It actually was a big part of my deconversion. My whole life I have been adventurous, fearless, and going my own way…except religion. I was in it thick. It made me start questioning what I was doing. Voilet!!

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Do you write? Your life story sounds like great material for a biography or other work of non-fiction. Seriously, the juxtaposition of long-held religiosity and then an awakening would be very compelling to many readers – IMO.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I have sixteen chapters done in this era. About four more and I’ll be ready to publish. I really just did it for myself and family. I have it on another blog site if you’re interested.

              Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol. Frank is my middle name. There are some other quotes in the other chapters that very well should come from the horse. That’s a great idea, btw. Hmm


    1. Timely! I just got a heap of old, old family movies sent my way. Mum has digitised them, and it’s a mystery to me, but I’m on a horse (horses) in an inordinate number of them.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Horses are pretty photogenic. Probably even make you look good. Hehe. That’s cool. I was the fourth kid I my family. 2 pictures exist of me between 2-16 years old. I could’ve been the missing Jesus for all I know.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. In a past part of this life, I was an Air Force navigator. We never were ‘lost,’ only temporarily disoriented. Also, ‘you can’t be lost if you don’t care where you are.’ Nature happening? Interesting way to say it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been lost a couple of times, but hey, when you have enough gear it just adds a little adventure. Currently the most remote place in the US is in Idaho where you can be about 40 miles from any road. That’s not that lost compared to the old days.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful story. But to this non-equestrian the following seems perplexing:

    “Walkin’ you spend a lot of time checkin’ the trail and watchin’ your footing to keep you upright . . .Riding a horse alleviates a lot of that.”

    Wouldn’t you have to devote just as much time to checking the trail while guiding the horse?


    1. Not at all. After a horse is acclimated on a few trail rides they can be quite adept at staying in the trails. They also hate to fall the same as you, are good judges of their abilities, and will flat-out amaze you with capability. During the long summer runs it’s not unusual to sleep/nap in the saddle—Especially when the horse knows the way. Usually. But not always. Lol. It’s ok to keep a general eye on things, but really gives you the chance to look around.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Homestead raised, and horse powered, I can tell you, horses have more ‘horse sense’ in finding the right trail and footing under snow than any human. They can also warn you of the proximity of a bear when you have no idea there is anything around.
        “A horse is only afraid of two things: things that move, and things that don’t. (Craig Johnson, The Dark Horse)

        Liked by 1 person

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