For only the third time in a decade, I spotted a couple of wild horses while hiking up Mt. Garfield. While not necessarily Earth-shattering, this was the perfect degree of awesomeness at just the right moment.

Wednesday warranted a little social distancing in the form of a hike up Mt. Garfield. Even on the busiest of days, you can make this climb without encountering another individual. Fortunately, the hike did result in a run-in with some indigenous life.

Waylon Jordan
Waylon Jordan

Armed with my dumbphone, the kind that comes free with new activation, I seized the opportunity to grab a couple of photos. Whenever encountering animals my natural reaction is to leave them alone. I'm in their yard, not vice-versa.

There's been chatter on Facebook that at one point yesterday three horses were spotted at this location. In my case, only two were seen on the way up, and none were seen on the way down.

This photo was taken at what I refer to as the "first plateau." Roughly a third of the way up to Mt. Garfield you'll encounter a plateau roughly 100 yards long and several hundred yards wide. The trail cuts straight across it. On all three occasions, this is the place where I've encountered horses. The last time, back in September 2019, the horses were right off the trail. They were close enough I was able to capture a little video.

Before we go any further, there is the matter of making a distinction between "wild" horses and "feral" horses. According to Wikipedia:

A feral horse is a free-roaming horse of domesticated stock. As such, a feral horse is not a wild animal in the sense of an animal without domesticated ancestors. However, some populations of feral horses are managed as wildlife, and these horses often are popularly called "wild" horses.


In any case, they are extremely cool, and the perfect finishing touch to a climb up the Bookcliffs.

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