It was a bucket list trip for the two of us. With the writing of a check for our remaining balance, we were off for five days in the wilderness as seen from the back of a horse. Along with the finances to even be able to afford such a thing, to make this trip happen required two wranglers, four horses, and five, yes that’s right, five pack mules, to haul all of the gear to feed, shelter, and shuttle us through some of the most beautiful terrain we’ve ever seen.

As we headed out from the Wallowa Lake Pack Station and hit the trail, the sight of the mules carrying the load so that we could have a bucket list trip brought one, and only one, word to mind…


The mules were the unsung hero of the trip, as step after steady step, they bore the weight for our journey.

How often do others bear the weight so that I don’t have to?

How many unsung heroes do the work that others won’t so that I can have an easier life?

How often do I neglect to recognize that life is only possible because of the unseen work of others?

The memories of this once-in-a-lifetime-trip will be with me forever. So, I hope, will the image of the mules that made it all possible.