Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 265 - Jasmine and Apollo

Thought of the day: Jasmine and I rode horses at a ranch today. I had some pretty interesting chats with the owner.  He came to the US from Poland after WWII when he was barely 14.  Like so many other immigrants, he was penniless and knew not a single soul when he landed. He carried out hard, manual labor in various places and ended up in Colorado where he started to buy forest land, bit by bit, at a price that was dirt cheap as few people at that time saw the value in the tree covered, mountainous land.  Over years, he accumulated a good chunk of land and got pretty well-off after its value skyrocketed.  Now his family owns three ranches, two in Colorado and one in Arizona.  His children and grandchildren grew up in the ranch and many of them still work there as the ranch apparently has a mysterious draw for them. He offers horseback riding tours as the ranch is ideally located in the Pike National Forest.  He is already in his late seventies but is still full of energy and vitality and works in the ranch every day. It's another one of those immigrant stories, but the familiarity of it makes it no less exciting or impressive.  Despite the craziness that's going on in the American political arena, people like him truly embody the American spirit. Meeting and talking to people like him never fails to inspire me and give me hope.

Photo of the day:
Jasmine riding her horse Apollo with me riding Roman behind her. Apollo is a super-gentle horse but she has a tendency to walk slowly and Roman kept trying to overtake her.  Other than that, we had a beautiful and unforgettable ride through the forest together.

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