For a few months now I’ve promised myself that I would finally tame the desire to hike to the top of the Wild Horses Monument which overlooks the Columbia River at Vantage. It’s a very short (but steep) hike that Paul and I took regularly on the drive between my home town of Cle Elum and our home on the Palouse.
Sometimes these “first time without Paul” experiences are really hard and I need to psyche myself up for it for several days – or even weeks. This was one of those treks for me. When I first thought I was ready, the road was closed for the winter, so it took a while longer before I could tackle it.
Today I found myself exiting the freeway at the last minute answering a strong desire to tame the horses. Being Memorial Day Weekend the car lot was filled with tourists and the hill was more crowded than I’d ever seen before. Luckily, I had my rugged hiking shoes in the trunk of the car so I was able to take the lesser-traveled and considerably-steeper trail to the top. Also by luck, I seemed to be the only one who knew that there were peaceful places to sit on the back side of the hill where the tourists neglected to visit.
It was an enjoyable hike – despite the people – and now that I’ve tamed the horses, I’ll be more likely to make regular stops once again. And each hike will be easier on the heart… and the legs as I continue to get back into shape!