After leaving the ranch I went and spent the day with Joe Cannon. Joe and I went for a ride. It was the most beautiful day – sun pressing down, so warm and soothing on bare shoulders, the sky a deep cerulean, little wind. We rode through creosote and ocotillo fields, way down into a canyon. We rounded a bend and I found myself prancing across a north-facing slope full of at least 8 different flowers – there were poppies, those bright yellow ones on the weed-like bush, those new lovely delicate looking white ones – maybe lilies, small white ones, small yellow ones, blue dicks, those purple ones, those neat square purple ones, red and pink penstemons, those deep fuchsia cactus flowers, red ocotillo, yellow prickly pear flowers, violet thistle flowers, and probably more. At a glance it looks like a field of gray tobosa, but you blink and see a million and one tiny dots of color. Everything was so lovely. Quail and doves fluttering about. Aaaand then Buddy rammed my leg into a cactus. It swelled immediately and I knew right away it was bad because I could feel pain all the way down my leg. As I was trying to regroup, my hat fell off. And as I got down to get it my saddle started flipping! It hurt down my leg into my foot when I walked to my stupid had, which didn’t seem right. I was on the downhill from Buddy so I tried getting up on the right, but I couldn’t put pressure on my right leg. So I spun Buddy around… in a full circle. So I spun him again half way, and got on. Good thing we didn’t have much further to go because that leg was hurting! But then Joe told me to go ahead a lope with Buddy. Man, it hurt, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to run! It was so fun and I do feel like I don’t bounce so much anymore when trotting. Joe even said so!

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We came back and ate ice cream, got out some Jim Beam, and eventually ate an amazing steak dinner, while I limped around pathetically. There were hardly any needles to remove. But there must be some deep in there or somethin. Every time I move my foot a sharp pain shoots up my leg. Oy. I got about 8 different pieces of advice. And have taken none of them. I don’t think there’s anything much I can do… that’s what I have an immune system for. Right?

Anyway, said goodbye to Joe the next morning. His chin quivered as I drove off. And as soon as I hit the pavement tears fell from my eyes. I cried down the highway half way to Safford as more and more miles separated Sugar and I. It feels like heartbreak. And tears come to my eyes not as I write. I want to look at our pictures together her but I’m doing all I can to not think about her.

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