Saturday, May 19, 2012

riding a packhorse in the Andes fragment

Addendum to falling off the wagon post...

Once I was riding a packhorse up Dead Woman Pass in the Andes, and she swung around on the incredibly steep hill into a massive madrone limb, so I did the leg flip to dismount uphill. Now I was used to riding up steep hill as our hill in Forest Knolls nearly defies the angle of declination—but I forgot about the weight of my camera bag/backpack, so I rolled off the OTHER side, ass over teakettle as he swung back around. I was admiring his legs from his belly. Same instinct saved me then.

I might add that the pack horse had NEVER been ridden before in his life—he really was a pack horse with a wooden frame and blanket. But he was the only horse in "town" (wide spot in the Inca Trail) as we got off the train late—so I fashioned a crude hacamore out of stiff leather that was next to useless—He ran away with me earlier—into the wall of a chicha bar—the Andean men scattering like flies. I merely lifted my leg over his withers as he slammed sideways into the adobe wall at 30MPH. The hut shook, sounded like s drum! So he was more inclined to pay me very careful regard—though I didn't speak Quechua, I did speak horse well enough.

From a Facebook post

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