The spirit of wild horses

Today was another wonderful day of enjoying my Homeland Holiday. This time, it started with a drive to Vantage to visit the Wild Horses Monument with my Daddy. Although, the monument is technically called “Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies”. But as all of the public signage calls it Wild Horses, that’s the name it’s best known by.

The public art display was created by David Govedare and installed in 1989. The original plan included a massive basket, toppled over with the horses running from it. But when funds ran dry, so did the basket plan. Personally, I am quite happy about it because, without the basket, it just looks like a herd of wild mustangs running along the ridge of a hill.

As it is today, 15 life-size horses are running along the top of the hill. The climb is less than a quarter of a mile, but it is a bit steep and very sandy underfoot. Still, it is not a challenging climb for most people (including children). Once at the top, it is relatively flat and covered in sagebrush. There are a couple of trails that you can follow to explore the rest of the hill, some of which offer great views across the Columbia River.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve made the climb. It was a stop that my late husband and I made often as we made the drive between our home in Garfield and my hometown of Cle Elum. And I stopped often with my (former) foster daughter when we made the same journey.

Daddy had never made the climb, so it was a good first for him to enjoy. And it was also a good excuse for him to break out his drone for a wee fly-over after we climbed back down. Of course, I had to climb back up to the top when he was flying because I forgot to take my “trackable” for my geocache find on my first climb.

I do love the wild horses. It is such a simple climb and the views never really change. However, with each climb, my soul is renewed just a little bit. Maybe that’s because I am a bit of a wild horse myself. And being there alongside them fills my spirit with the passion I need to keep running.

I will be leaving The Homeland in a couple of days to return to my home in Scotland. Here’s hoping I can keep hold of some of that wild mustang spirit to see me through to the completion of my PhD later this year!

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