Our bike tour of the Black Butte Ranch resort (near Sisters) began with a bite and ended with a stampede. The bite actually wasn’t as dangerous as it sounds, since it was what Laurel and I did repeatedly to the Boca burgers we ordered at the charming poolside café, where we’re pretty sure we saw a bald eagle. Not being grilled, thankfully, but swooping down next to one of the condominiums.
We then biked to the Black Butte stables. While Laurel was checking on the status of tomorrow’s trail rides, I made friends with several of the horses in the corral. Well, after he rubbed his nose up against my armpit, this guy didn’t exactly look like he wanted to be friends with me. I hadn’t seen a horse make this particular expression before. But then, I haven’t spent a lot of time around horses. Maybe this is the usual equine post-armpit smelling expression.
Since I’m an avid writer and reader, naturally I didn’t pay attention to any of the large, clearly lettered signs plastered along the length of the corral fence. When Laurel returned and saw me patting a horse she pointed out this message. I then made Miss Goodie-Two-Shoes-Always-Do-What-You’re-Told express some of her wild side. But she didn’t want to show her face, in case the Black Butte Ranch police read weblogs.
After more wrong turns on the bike paths than my male ego would like to admit to (I was the keeper of the Black Butte map, naturally, and not too gracefully led the way), we finally found our favorite path across the main meadow. By this time Laurel was so hungry she could eat a cow pie.
But sometimes an underlying harmony to the cosmos manifests itself even after things seem to have gone wrong. It’s as if the universe wants to say to us, “What’s right, and what’s wrong? You have no idea, do you?” For all our Black Butte meanderings and wrong turns brought us to the other side of the meadow precisely at the moment some stable folk (and one energetic Australian cattle dog) were herding the horses from one pasture to another.
Imagine how great this photo would have been ("the one that got away") if the lead horses hadn’t veered off to the right just as they were about to stampede past me. The bad news was that a couple bicycled right up to the gate just as the horses were about to run through, thereby spooking them, and spoiling what I thought was going to be a close-up stampede photo.
But the good news is that the cattle dog helped bring them around, and pretty soon they were running past me from another direction. I felt like I was reliving “Rawhide” (which shows my age), except those were cattle, and these were horses. And that was TV, and this was real. Still, the central Oregon dust sure reminded me of whatever guy it was on “Rawhide” who usually got the job of whatever it was called to ride at the back of the herd.
A HinesSight Trivia Award (nothing material, just praise) will be extended to any reader who can remember (1) the name of that dusty guy, and (2) the name of the job where you had to eat dust all day long. Comment away.