“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road
This is my last morning from Medora! Today I head east to begin Phase II of Fly Without Wings! After the 4th of July I begin the daunting task of sorting through thousands of images to create the compelling hundred that will portray the lives of these majestically wild and spiritual horses ofTheodore Roosevelt National Park.
Little did I know that arriving on March 19th how difficult it was going to be to leave today. It is bittersweet.
Has my life been changed? Of course! The respect and admiration for the land, her flora and fauna, and of the horses has only deepened further the realization that this is their world! A world we must share and and how tenuous our existence is on this spectacular orb spinning through the galactic Milky Way.
I discovered how the wild ones move people. There is something that connects people to what WAS in the hope that it will always remain wild and free! The wild ones live their lives unencumbered by the rules and restrictions their domestic brethren must endure, living only by the expectations of the herd, the changing seasons, and the rugged and carved Badlands.
The 157 wild ones living free in TRNP bring out the good and the bad in us humans. There are those who want to claim them as their own and not share them, the ones who don’t respect them and the land they live on, or the ones who tease and torment them. The wild horses are oblivious to the turmoil and antics of humans around them! They go about their daily routine traveling up to twelve miles a day foraging for food, sipping from hidden pockets of water, defending their bands, and passing on the traditions of life in the wild.
But the good that I have seen over the last three months, chasing the wild ones over 46,000 acres, far outweigh the few who create turmoil! The greatest discovery was that without the wild ones there would not be all of the precious and life changing relationships which have graced this journey. Not only the blessings of actual time spent with new and old friends, but the distant connections created by the link to the intangible cyberspace. You are all amazing!
There is the good of the North Dakota Badlands Horse Group and ALL of the people involved working tirelessly and diligently with the dedicated park staff to ensure these horses never face the horror of a slaughter house! NDBH will find qualified and amazing homes for the horses that will become available using low stress methods of capturing them, no longer being chased with helicopters! The park staff are as forward thinking, caring, and completely dedicated to making this new partnership work. That is good for the soul!
The good of ALL of the gentle, caring, and passionate people, near and far, who appreciate how the wild ones touch that something deep inside that cannot be explained. There are hundreds of thousands of you who are moved by the spirit of the wild horses all over the world! You are the ones who understand that civilization was built on the back of a horse and how important it is to preserve that last connection to what was!
The wild ones are about us AND about them! The wild ones can live without us and our interference and obsessions, but can WE live without the freedom they represent?
Thank you ALL, emphasis on ALL, near and far, new friends and old, family, and most of all my husband who has been steadfast, encouraging, and supportive through this first phase of the Journey to Fly Without Wings. You have all kept me inspired and motivated! A special thank you to Lincoln and Melissa—my fun, awesome, amazing, filled with life research team mates who have made these last month’s even more memorable!
I hope many of you will make the journey to Fly Without Wings in October. Fall is Minnesota at her best all dressed in brilliant colors and Red Wing is a historical river town on the mighty Mississippi, engulfed in history, good wines, and fine cuisine. That same weekend Red Wing offers the Fall Festival of the Arts and the historic downtown will be bursting with art! Book a room now at the St. James hotel for a taste of the old.
See you in October! I cannot wait to put faces to names and personally share this amazing journey to Fly Without Wings with you!
As always, thank you from the bottom of my heart and goodbye from Medora!
(Satellite leading the way with his mare, Sweetheart, and yearling, Zane.)