Mind vs. Map

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Yesterday, an unexpected, needed repair in the horse loafing shed made me stay home. I didn’t have everything necessary complete the job, but now, there’s an improved shed condition and nothing will harm an equine.

That day off from riding allowed for more time to consider the horseback loop I’ve been trying to identify in the Horse Butte National Wilderness. Yesterday, I spent hours focused on my GPS and thinking about mapping technology. I searched for and found my old hard map collection, and searched for detailed routes in the Horse Butte area. There were none, so if I want routes, it’ll be up to me to create the details.

That reality sent me back to some map print-outs that my friend Susie provided several days previously. She and I had ridden horseback in the Forest, and during that ride, she had marked electronically our key stops. Later, she printed a satellite view of Horse Butte on which she drew our route. Her map is missing a small piece, a bit of my loop we “sort of lost” during our ride. After reviewing all her coordinates, Susie figured out where we could find the missing bit of trail. I returned another day to locate it but couldn’t without doing some bushwacking.

I’ve somehow become obsessed with wanting completely to identify a circular horse-trail. My goal is to ride from the trailhead toward a butte, going over it to a trail that passes a particular shrub, leading to a hunters’ campground, and then toward “The Greenery”. My hope is to return to the trailhead via a different route, and thus, my ride will be a pretty loop, from and to the trailhead.

Yesterday, after staring at commercial maps and still unable to fill in trail blanks, I turned to Susie’s printouts and stared at her overlay that shows points on our route. There was my loop! It’s plain and clear, that I’d earlier been unable to see.

Who understands the obscure mind tricks that can pin a brain to what it “wants to see”?

Well, thank you again, Susie. I’ll be on horseback today and will clarify that obscure trail section.

Incidentally, on her map, Susie managed to identify a very old and faint trail that meanders through “The Greenery”, an area pretty and interesting. Perhaps, it’ll be possible in time to add that long unused trail to my loop.

Dear Friends: A good thing about my OCD, it’s keeping equines and dogs in fine condition. Diana

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