After a stupendous horseback adventure in the Oliver back country with the local natives during the Meadowlark Festival a few years back, I’d been longing to go riding again — but Ed, who’d never been on a horse, and would therefore wonder where to put the key — rather stymied all attempts until we were at Sun Mountain Lodge last week.
I finally gave him the option – come, or stare blankly at the trailer all afternoon while I go out and have a really good time.
Make no mistake, I am not a horsewoman by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve been riding maybe all of 10 times in my life – but it’s something about which I’m now sufficiently interested in to want to learn more.
That wasn’t about to happen on this trip, however, as our wrangler, Kit McLean, informed me that rides were tailored to the least experienced rider, i.e. Ed and ergo, no trotting, no cantering and nothing steep.
That’s a rule I live by as a hiker, so I understood completely, especially since I’m usually the turtle in hiking groups.
Probably a good thing too, as Ed refused to turn his head even 10 degrees aft of center after mounting his trusty steed, Marvin.
“No matter” thinks I, “the scenery alone will be worth the price of admission”.
As luck would have it, my expectations were exceeded exponentially by the fact that Kit McLean, the lead wrangler, chose to play follow-up to our small group which otherwise consisted of wrangler Gabby (her first day on the job), Ed, and myself.
We had been told by the Activity Center staff at Sun Mountain Lodge that Kit was a legend in the area, and it was easy to see why.
During the course of the trip I learned that her grandfather had settled in the Methow Valley in 1894, about the feral horse Act and how her own horse was a descendant of one of those that had been saved from the dog food processing plant by a very compassionate (and wealthy) soul. Moreover, Kit and her friend, Karen West recently co-authored “Bound for the Methow: A Pictorial History of the Methow Valley“. The book was published by Winthrop’s Shafer Historical Museum with all proceeds going back to the museum. Kit also talked about her husband, folk singer Hank Cramer – and we should all be so lucky to have our partners speak about us in such glowing terms. 🙂
The 90-minutes was over in a flash – but I felt all the more enriched for having spent time with this lovely woman – someone who truly ‘gets it’ – that life is meant to be lived doing what we truly enjoy and that the greatest satisfaction comes from service to others.
Thanks Kit, it was truly a pleasure and I’ll be back for a lesson!