Ann’s Friends…

…were mostly from Salt Lake City and they all seemed to be former Mormons. One who wasn’t was George. I think he was a friend of Joan’s but he also was a friend of Ann’s. He stopped by one night to invite Ann and me for a trip to the Sierras.

Some months before, he had taken his roommate with him to visit a beautiful site in the mountains. But there was an accident and his roommate had drowned. George wanted to revisit the site where it happened and he wanted us to go with him.

We couldn’t leave until late Saturday afternoon as Ann worked as a telephone operator at a nearby diary. George drove a sports car with a faulty heater. And now that it was a hot afternoon, the heater worked. I thought I’d be baked.

As we got to the mountains, the temperature dropped and I came to appreciate the heat. We finally stopped at about nine o’clock at a bar that served food. I thankfully ate and had a beer. After George and Ann had a few dances, we left and George found a place for us to sleep–on the ground. No nice air mattresses, just a sleeping bag for each of us.

The next morning we drove to a ranch to hire horses. We got our horses and began climbing the nearest mountain. I was happy. There was no way my horse could run away with me.

Instead, the belt wasn’t cinched well and when the horse took a belly full of air to climb the steep path, (the edge of the trail fell off to the left, down some distance) the saddle, blanket and I went shooting off the back of the horse and I landed on the ground. The horse, free of its load, continued to follow Ann’s horse up the mountain.

It happened so quickly that I was speechless. I just sat there trying to figure out what had happened. Around the bend in the trail came George.I”m sure I was glad to see him but I didn’t quite realize I had to get back on the horse. That was no fun; my rear end began to hurt.

But once we’d reached a level place, it wasn’t so bad. We found the creek that George’s roommate had drowned in, ate our lunch and went back down the mountain: much harder than going up, for the path went down at an angle and the horse went down at an angle. I tried to be straight in the saddle.

We made it down. I wanted to report my accident to the owner, a woman, and I hoped she’d have some aspirin. She sounded helpful, so I followed her into a room. Before the door closed behind me, a man came in and leaned against the wall at the rear of the room, watching me.

Suddenly she became threatening. She accused me of planning to sue her. I was flabbergasted. All I wanted was an aspirin. She produced a paper that stated I would never sue he for any damage done to me. I signed it and left.

Never have I felt more threatened. And I still needed an aspirin. I had to ride back to Berkeley in  a sports car on my poor, sore rear end.

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