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Tribal Escort

Tribal Escort

Friends –

What a day this was!! Although it happened several years ago, I still reflect on the magic of the day, and I feel rewarded.

A friend (Rick Schafer) had taken us to some little-known ruins in South East Utah south of Blanding. To get to these destinations, we drove quite a ways on the highway, and then took a dirt road that crossed large pasture land utilized by the White Mesa Utes.

You could say that the Utes owned that land, but their relationship to land is really something different than white-man's concept of property. I venture to say that native people are their land and utilize it with wholeness that is foreign to the exploitive industries that vie for land use in the same area.

So, we crossed through this White Mesa Ute land. And after a full day of exploring, we had to cross back. Rick was in a separate vehicle driving ahead of us, so we stayed back to let the dust settle.

As we were driving along, we noticed a small herd of horses in the distance. They appeared to watch Rick's vehicle drive away and then they began to gallop – toward us!! These beautiful rust-colored and paint tribal ponies got closer and closer to the same road we were on until they converged just ahead of us. Keeping at a gallop, they stayed on the road ahead of us, stopping and turning just 20 feet or so from the gate where Rick was waiting. We drove slowly through their cluster and I reached out the window and let my hand graze one of them. It was splendid! It was as if they were pleased to have had a nice run with us and were stopping to say goodbye.

Lucky for me, Rick Schafer took a great photograph which I was able to use as a reference to paint "Tribal Escort".

It is fitting that I complete this painting just a few days before I travel to Washington DC. I am going with Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUW) folks who have honored me by asking me to attend Wilderness Week with them and help promote Bears Ears National Monument and other SE Utah wilderness areas.

As always, I will make this painting available for your donation to a worthwhile non-profit. I am thinking that SUWA might be the most appropriate choice, but am willing to discuss alternatives!

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