I watched Prince roar around the next corner and wondered if he would come flying back with an angry band of dwaves or bandits hot-on-his-heels. Would we bump into Gandalf or Merlin around the next corner? Maybe we would see a family of Piaute sitting around their agave fire pit. Up here on the top of the Spring Mountains, it was hard to say what we might run into.
The sun broke through the scattered clouds improving the mood on the trail. Maybe my imagination was getting ahead of myself. After all, these are only trees, albeit very old trees. A blast of wind shakes the trees to my left. Was that the sound of tackle jingling from a horse having a good shake? Well, maybe old, wise trees I think. At their age, they had seen a lot!
We are briefly startled, as Prince bursts from the undercover in hot pursuit of a desert hare and disappears into the bush across the trail. Prince is soon back trying to find the spot the hare was hiding. The trees shake again, strong enough to break Prince’s intense concentration, even he seems to understand this forest is special. The sun slides behind another cloud as we start up a steep section of the trail. It gets colder, even as we heat up from the work of the climb.
We break out of the forest at the top of the hill, we can see for many miles. Out in the open we can feel the wind pushing cold air across the top of the mountain. It feels like rain. We have had a lot of that this year and it doesn’t look like we are done yet.
A little further down the trail, we come to an almost perfectly preserved Agave fire pit. The native peoples used these pit to roast the roots of the Agave plants. This is a big pit; one of many in this area. Fortunately, it takes some effort to get into these back woods and they are relatively well hidden by the old twisted juniper trees.
Working our way down the other side we are heading for a stream. We know its here from previous trips on this trail. We hear it before we see it. Loud slurping and slashing turns out to be Prince. He’s hot and a little tired from his exploits.
A couple of hours later we are back to the car. No magical creatures jumped out at us, no bandits and no dwarves. We joke about being watched. We all pile into the car and head back to Las Vegas.
On a small hill, partly hidden by the wise-old trees, a single rider on a great white stallion shakes his head, with a small sad smile he rides back into the growing mist.
Written by Shawn