Wilderness Horsepacking

Jagged spires of rock guarding the eastern horizon caught the red glow of a midsummer sunset. They gleamed like spotlit temples against the azure sky. Darkness settled into the valleys far below, but up there -- perched along the Continental Divide at 10,000 feet -- we enjoyed several 
more hours of the evening's afterglow.

We were two dozen weary travelers camped in a mountain meadow. Half of us were horses and mules. The rest -- five women and seven men, some experienced riders and some not -- had come together from across the country for five days of horsepacking. That day we had touched wilderness.

"Our lives are usually so planned that there's hardly ever any surprise," said our guide and outfitter, Richard Clark. He stood against the majestic backdrop of the Grand Tetons, a great bear of a man with a soft voice. "The wilderness is a place where life isn't so programmed. You can still feel a sense of risk."

by MichaelHofferber@outriderbooks.com
Copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.

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