Vivid cumulus clouds gathered above Two Ocean Plateau and the Yellowstone River headwaters region in the Thorofare country of Southeastern Yellowstone National Park. All I felt was a Cecil B. DeMille movie being portrayed before me.
I stood knee deep, with a wide angle lens, in the icy waters crouched low trying to render on film, the drama of river, clouds and the profile of a fine horse and rider galloping through the river just a few feet in front of me.
Waters splashing, my butt wet and adrenalin surging I was impressed by the striking rhythm and smoothness both Tom and his horse, Blue, plied as they raced through the river toward me. They worked in unison, a team. I couldn’t tell which liked it more the horse or rider.
With my 20mm lens and motor drive whirring I could feel the horse’s thundering hoofs vibrate on the river bottom as they blew past me like an energy wave. I got soaked. How excellent to feel so alive.
With a location like the Thorofare this backcountry adventure was even more extraordinary. We were the farthest from a paved road you can get in the lower forty-eight states.
My two week horseback trip with Medicine Lake Outfitters covered more than 150 miles deep into Yellowstone. We trailed through Heart Lake basin, climbed along the Continental Divide and crossed the famed Snake River several times. We bathed in its thermal regions and camped near the headwaters of the longest wild and free flowing river in North America. www.medicinelakeoutfitters.com
At camp that afternoon we built a sweat lodge with canvas tarps. We placed heated rocks into the enclosure and crawled in. After a cleansing of body pours and brain cells we ran laughing and hollering, jumping into a small tributary pool chest deep in waters that took our breath away.
The air was sweet and fresh that night. The campfire warm with rising sparks blending into the night stars above. We were isolated. The world was quiet. All was good.
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