Yeti had another night where she did not sleep well. Our morning routine gets us on the trail each day without too much thought and it is not until we start walking that you have time to think about what is ahead.
The very tough day yesterday, along with the long days we are doing to get to South Pass, is taking its toll. As we hit our first hill it gets too much for Yeti and she turns to me and says this is too hard she doesn’t want to do this anymore. She says she is not having fun and this seems like just a job. She tells me that I should go on without her and she asks me to promise I will. I tell her that I won’t give her that promise as without Yeti it would be no fun for me. She turns, still upset and walks on. We pass through a gate and we stop to rest. Even if we want to give up we still have to make it to South Pass so we can get out. We sit for a while and then stand to go. I put my arms around Yeti and she begins to cry. There are no words between us and the hug says it all. We are in this together. I respect Yeti for telling me how she feels. There is no failure and no recriminations in wanting to stop. We stand together for a while and then walk on.
We walk for a couple of hours and see some horses on the next hill. Horses have a magical place in Yeti’s life and seeing them gives her renewed energy. We watch these four horses for a while and try slowly walking towards them. The horses hold and I take photos as we approach. We end up getting very close and notice one of the mares has blood all down her back legs. She looks like she has given birth but it did not go well for her. We turn and start walking up the trail. As we walk we see more spots of dried blood on the trail and feel sad for what have must have happened.
When we get to the top of the hill we see another couple of horses. We watch them and then they notice us and start to move. More horses come over the rise then the mothers and foals. Soon we have 70 horses wheeling around us as we walk. They are startled but not scared. Yeti thinks they have been handled before as she spots a beautiful black stallion that has a freeze brand on it side. These horses are incredible and in terrific shape. Their coats shine and it looks like something from a movie set. We feel like the man from Snowy River as he wheels the wild bush horses. Well at least I do. Yeti is just excited to see them. She picks two beautiful roans as her favourites and we watch them turn to face us and stand their ground. I am taking photos wishing I had a longer lens to get closer shots. It is a magical moment.
I eventually drag Yeti away and as we walk down the hill she says “It is ok, I don’t want to stop anymore.”.
One of the things we have said and thought often is that you work very very hard to get to some of theses places with many hours that are just hard work but then you get to experience something that makes it all worthwhile. To be surrounded by these wild horses is a once in a lifetime experience and a childhood dream for Yeti. It is now a fabulous day.
When we get to the bottom of the hill we see several horses at the top and they seem to be checking to make sure we have left.
That afternoon we hit another dam late in the day. I take a swim and we think it would be great to camp here for the night but the mozzies and midges are already thick. We have dinner and hike on.
Thinking that by moving we will outsmart the bugs was a fools wish. They followed us as the only likely meal for the night. We set up camp fighting them off and dove into the tent. We had another great sunset as we snuggled in our tent.