The man rode his horse through the alpine meadow in the early morning. The sun was just beginning to break over the peaks and his horse’s breath came out in misty puffs. He stopped at the stream breaking through the meadow flowers and his horse drank deeply. A couple of elk on the meadow’s edge stopped grazing and stared intently at the man and the horse, as if trying to get a better fix on if they were a threat or not. A two legged man on a four legged animal was a little confusing at best.
The horse raised his head, slurping on his bit, as the excess water fell back into the creek. Responding to the slight pressure in his flank from a booted heel, the horse fell back into his brisk walk down the trail. The rhythm of the hooves striking the ground, the jingle of his spurs and the combined smell of high mountain fir and horse sweat had a way of putting all the problems in the world into perspective for the man.
The trail began to climb, switch backing up the mountainside. Being well above the tree line, the higher they climbed, the more expansive the view. The horse began to breathe deep and the rider pulled him up. In front of them the trail snaked along the steep hillside and traveled through a rocky slide area. Far below them glistened a lake, the early sun falling on it and just beginning to work a mirror image of the peaks around it.
A feeling of well being pulsed through the man, so intensely, he knew beyond a doubt it just simply didn’t get any better than this.