It was an eight hour ride through eerie forest drenched with moss, light peering through dead branches, rushing streams and steep mountains. We noticed old grizzly paths and as we toddled along I saw fresh poop full of red berries. Our leader stopped to smell the fresh pools of urine. We were indeed following a grizzly or perhaps it was following us. Needless to say the young wrangler was the only one armed with her grandfather's old rifle and my bear spray and bear bangers were packed deep in a panyard. Stupid me.
That day, my buddy and fearless leader did not say a word to me and I was finding myself getting more and more frustrated. I kept trying to let my negative thoughts go by visualizing the cool glacial water luring over my body or picturing myself rolling around in the soft, green moss. I tried breathing techniques while on the back of the horse and tried to soften my gaze into a Buddhist meditation. I guess it kinda worked but I was still upset nevertheless. Never had I been so ignored so much and treated with such disdain. I tried to understand her perspective and to empathize as perhaps some of her life experiences had given her just cause to put up walls.
We finally arrived at the main camp. The last straw was when we were almost at the coral and the guide finally found an opportunity to yell at me as my rope had gotten tangled around one of my horse's legs. "Look out, you are about to have a wreck!" she bellowed. I scowled at her, fixed the rope and marched off to tie up my horses and unpack. 'Great. Two months of this shit', I thought to myself. What the hell am I going to do if they assign me as her wrangler? I'd have to speak my mind cuz there is no damn way I'm putting myself in that situation. And so my days at the main ranch with the head haunches began.