OK. I had all day Saturday to get my self in a decent state of mind for a horse back ride. I was gonna work at it. Get a positive attitude. I mean, a really, really positive attitude. I made preparations.
I bought the ibuprofen early in the day. Some ace bandages. Ice packs. Ben-gay. I dug out the crutches from the last bicycle accident. A little spare whiskey, and a bullet to bite on. I assured myself that I would have a good time and that everything was gonna be hunky-dory. The more I prepared, the more I felt that this was gonna be lotza fun.
So I'm getting all this together, just in case, and to insure that I will recover properly from the wonderful, excellent time I will no doubt have on sunday, when my old room mate, Sneaky Pete, stops for a visit. Hadn't seen him since mid-July. We go out for a beer and I ask him what he has been up to.
" I biked across Iowa!"
Pete has a tendency to drop details. It is necessary to ask probing questions.
He participated in a thingee called Ragbrai, a amatuer group bike ride for about 15,000 folks across the state of Iowa. Pete is a little different in some ways. He has biked from NE Wisconsin to the SE corner, across Minnesota, across New Mexico and from North to South, across Montana. I told him I would join him when he finds a state that is only twenty-five miles wide.
"So how was it, " I asked.
"Good, the weather was good!"
"C'mon, Pete, I was asking how the ride was."
"Great! Iowa is full of cornfields! Every once in awhile the Iowans stick in a soybean field just to keep you guessing; Those Iowans are sneaky!"
"Did you have a good time?"
"Ya. It was ok. I don't think Iowan's know how to roast corn, though, they just boil it."
"Ya, and Iowans are nice, but they aren't a lotta fun."
Which is probably a good thing for Iowa. Pete's idea of a good time is two parts a re-enactment of the Alamo and one third Pee Wee's Playhouse mixed with a lot of beer and marijuana.
So we're chatting and I tell him about the horse back riding thing. Pete's father was a Veterinarian and he grew up around horses. He has also known me for over thirty years.
When he stopped laughing he shook my hand, said, "Good Luck," and drove off to his wife and kids in Waupaca.
I talked with Bubba Saturday night, just to tell him where I would be on Sunday. When he got done laughing he asked if I needed anymore ice packs.
Sunday is a beautiful day. A little cool in the morning with the promise of a warm afternoon. Most of the group went there Friday night and spent the weekend camping. Carver, Joslyn, Luci and I are just joining them for the day trip.
It really was a nice day. And I was able to
get on the horse without too much trouble.
I only fell off twice getting on.
The horse was named Denise, or Bernice or some such. She disliked me as much as I disliked her. For one thing..... she smelled like a horse. And was real big, much bigger than I would like. Well forty minutes into the ride good old Vernice decides that she wants to dash over to a little stream off the trail and get a drink. Right under this big tree. Now sometime during this process she also decides to divest herself of Jimm. I guess she is one of those horses that prefers to drink along. Beats me. Break me up. My glasses, too.
Well now I am the comic relief. And if it wasn't starting to hurt, I guess I would be laughing, too.
An hour into this ordeal, my legs are sore, my ass is sore, I can't see and I am still an hour away from a cold beer. I am starting to count the minutes until this is over. And so is Bernice. She obviously knows the trail well and when we are about a half mile away from the end, breaks into a sprint (well, it seemed like a sprint to me) and is bouncing me all over the goddam place. She obviously doesn't under stand either 'Whoa' or ' Slow the Fuck Down' ...... an under-trained horse, if you ask me.
All good things come to an end. We cook-out, I drink copious amounts of nerve deadening alcohol, and we depart.
I miss the whole second half of the Packer game. I fell asleep I guess it was a good game to miss the second half. Luci woke me up to tell me I was snoring. It was very thoughtful of her. I think our next date we are going to a Ronald Reagan film festival. Something safe.
I heard Iowa is nice.