She grew up on a ranch. It was pretty remote: their property alone was 40,000 acres, not even a big ranch by Montana standards, it bordered another larger ranch to the east and the National Forest to the west, which was more than a million acres of wilderness. The drive to school was at least an hour, the first half by gravel road. She went to high school in town, and was friends with all the other ranch kids. But it seemed, in summer, when school was out and everyone went to work, that she'd go all summer without seeing anyone but her parents and her horse.
Sometimes, on really hot summer afternoons, when she was alone with her horse, she liked to strip naked and wander, and ride, or skinny dip in the creek. It was her secret she kept until left the ranch for college. She attended Montana State in Bozeman. After her Freshman year, she brought home a boyfriend to meet her parents. When she took him riding up in the hills near an old homestead, she decided to tell him her secret. She showed him how she used to ride as a young teen, and hoped he'd understand. He did, and wanted to snap her photo, posed by her horse, so they would always remember their first ride together, when they were married and older.
When she looks at the photos, she doesn't see herself as the girl on the date that would become the woman who married and raised kids. She sees herself, a happy, but very alone girl, with her best friend, her horse. So innocent and young.