We were riding on top of the world. We were two women in our fifties and we probably should have been anywhere other than where we were at that moment. The scenery was spectacular, but I was beginning to wonder if it was worth dying for . . . literally. The loose rocks and tight switchbacks had cost us precious time. This was not a place we wanted to get caught after dark. Edie and I rode in silence as we negotiated the treacherous footing. We had known we would face danger on this ride, but I had never envisioned anything like the scenario we were currently dealing with. My senses seemed cross wired. At a time when I should have logically been bordering on panic, I found myself engulfed in an eerie sense of calm. Fear was a luxury we couldnat afford at the moment. If we got off this mountain alive, there would be plenty of time to be scared as we recalled the ordeal. The trail was incredibly narrow. The climb had been steep and rugged. We would reach an altitude in excess of seven thousand four hundred feet as we rode the crest of Mt. Francis. On our immediate left, a sheer rock wall rose vertically with occasional outcroppings that jutted into the trail. Our knees, at times, rubbed the craggy rock face. A glance to the right brought no comfort. A severe drop off afforded us a view of the tops of trees, hundreds of feet below. We were riding on a trail that was no more than a narrow ledge on the face of the mountain. For some reason known only to them, both horses insisted on walking along the extreme outer edge of the trail. They seemed to feel more comfortable on the edge, rather than being crowded by the wall. Both Edie and I found ourselves sitting off center and leaning slightly toward the wall. If our horses lost their footing, we hoped to be able to jump clear of them and land on the trail. A lump the size of a softball threatened to choke me each time I heard a piece of the trail crumble beneath our horseas feet, sending rock and dirt tumbling over the edge. We had reached a point of no return. We had no idea what lay ahead of us . . . there was no way to turn around . . . no way to back the horses out of where we were . . . and at this point, dismounting was a physical impossibility due to the close proximity of the rock face and the narrow width of the trail. We both knew that we were in a potentially life threatening situation. If a cougar or a snake spooked the horses, we would all have a one way ticket to the rocky bottom of the canyon far below. That gruesome thought was still in my mind when our bad situation grew decidedly more complicated. As I focused on the trail ahead, my mind rejected what my eyes could clearly see. Thirty feet ahead of us, the trail simply disappeared! All I could see beyond that point was air . . . and lots of it. I wondered if Edie, who rode only a few feet behind me, saw what I saw . . . She did.The on board generator had gone out on the way to California. ... We had flats on several of the RV tires, one on the horse trailer and two on the motorcycle during the trip. It was a never ending series of repairs and alterations. In New Mexicoanbsp;...
|Title||:||A Distant Drum...|
|Author||:||Andi Rae Mills|
|Publisher||:||Xlibris Corporation - 2011-09-15|