Saturday, March 31, 2007
More new friends...
We had a wonderful day of riding yesterday. Probably the best one yet. The weather was perfect, (although I wish the wind would quit for awhile!) and the going was easy. Jericho is having a little bit of trouble with the wind and blowing sand. He had an injury to his eye when I bought him and we worked for several months to get it cleared up. Now, the wind seems to irritate it and makes it tear up. This morning it was a little swollen and red. We have a short ride today, and then I will try to get him a fly mask to protect his eye from the wind and see if that helps. I am putting medicine in the eye again. It should clear up by the time we ride out of 29 Palms.
He is turning into such a great horse. He has calmed down quite a bit, although he can still be a handful sometimes. He seems to know we have a job to do out here. He is becoming more and more responsive and affectionate to me. We are bonding in a deeper way and I love it. We are working on overcoming some of the trauma he experienced in the early part of our journey with the traffic. He is doing well and getting more relaxed in traffic every day.
There is such a sense of peace and tranquility out here. It broaches a plane of spirituality that is hard to experience in the hustle bustle of everyday life. We are meeting interesting people and sharing our information for stroke awareness every day. Yesterday, while we were sitting down to a wonderful supper that Marla had prepared for us, we had some visitors. Nick Clements and his lovely wife, Lynn, stopped by when they saw the Carolina Trekkers banner on the trailer. They do photography and were doing a fashion shoot somewhere here in California. They are from London, England and were on their way back to Los Angeles. From there they were going home to London. They were very interested in what we are doing and were anxious to see our website. They were sweet and interesting people and I hope they will email us when they get home. We were very pleased to be able to meet and visit with them.
As we head into this desolate part of the desert, please keep us in your prayers and we will keep you all in ours... Andi
My turn on the computer.I guess you already know we may be out of touch for awhile as we are crossing the desert so don't be alarmed.
I was glad to see all of the kids at home and that life has gone on without us.I want to ask everyone to say a little blessing for Trevor and Leslie for a long ,happy marriage.I know they will.
Not much else to say. Just that I love and miss you all and am looking forward to seeing you all again.
Our trip to SC was wonderful, it was great seeing our family. The wedding was so sweet and the bride was gorgeous. Trevor was very handsom
in his tux and the love of his "to be" bride shown brightly when she was coming down the aisle toward him. No doubt about the love between them. As with all young couples, we pray for their love and marriage to last.
It actually took me a couple of days to get accustomed to the conveniences of a normal home. When I got ready to take a shower, I was surprised to think that I didn't have to go outside and light the hot water heater. I also realized that my body was missing the riding routine. My legs starting to getting sore and stiff.
Yesterday (Friday), we were fully back into our routine. I have to say, I think it was the greatest riding yet. We still had the discomforts of the riding desert riding terrain but there was a renewed excitement about our cause. My whole heart and soul is brimming with love and peace.
Marla and I didn't have any real time at the Yucca Valley Equestrian Center since we literally flew out the day we arrive and rode out the morning after our return. Our sincerest and deepest appreciation to Steve and Cindy for allowing our horses to stay there and rest up for the ride across the Majove
. The also opened a rental house for use (shower and kitchen) while we were gone. Thank you both for your generosity.
As of today, we are only about 9 miles from 29 Palms. Our plan is to ride to the outer skirts of town today and as usual, take Sunday for a day of rest. Monday morning, we are going to get our horses' health certificate to cross over into AZ and pick our way across the city of 29 Palms. It will not be too difficult, there is desert land behind the city.
One last thing...we are experiencing technical difficulty with our air card carrier. We have not had signal and have not been able to blog until today. As we cross the Majove
, I am certain we will have other problems with signals.
OK...in closing, it is great to be back on my Whiskey. I think he actually missed me even though he would never admit it. He responded quite well to my voice and we settled into our riding routine very quickly.
Take care...we love you all and hope to continue blogging at least a few more days.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Since we left Ventura, the weather in California has been mostly in the eighties and low nineties. We have had a few cool days where it was in the high seventies. The other evening, Steve, our host here at the equestrian center, stopped by to let us know we were going to have "some weather". Well, let me tell you what that means in California! In South Carolina, when we have 75 plus mile an hour winds, it comes with rain and we call it a hurricane! Out here it had no rain but about blew the RV into oblivion. I hardly slept all night! Then the next day, a huge black cloud settled over us and the temperature dropped to 28 degrees. The next thing I knew... it was snowing big fat flakes and blowing so hard they were flying horizontally... Today... it is in the low seventies and gorgeous... go figure! Well, we leave out again in the morning. Next destination, 29 Palms. Last stop before we head out across the dreaded 115 miles of nothing until we hit Parker, Arizona. Keep us in your prayers... we love and miss everyone... Andi
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Edie and I are in S.C. In case you didn't know,my daughter Leslie got married on Saturday and we came home for the wedding. And it was beautiful. Leslie married a young man named Trevor. She is just crazy about him. We got in on Thursday and saw Leslie and Shelby Friday afternoon at the rehearsal. They both spent the night with us,along with Leslie's best friend Becca, at our friends Jennifer and Troye
.We had a ball. The wedding went off as planned and Edie and I were very pleased. Leslie was simply divine
in her dress .And Shelby was stunning. Leslie and Trevor left for their honeymoon in Pigeon Forge Tenn. and will return Monday evening.I hope we get to see them one more time before we return to California on Wednesday night.
Thanks to Andi and Wanda for holding down the fort while we are gone.
Love to all,
p.s. pictures will be coming soon!
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
THE SWEETEST THING...
I have a little story to tell,I may not have all of the facts right,but we want to share it with you.
Remember Val and David?Val sent us a message about a young man whose mother is in Val's church group His
name is Brian Clow
Brian had a report assignment
for school and chose us as his subject.If I remember correctly,Brian is 8 years old.Anyway,Brian wrote his report on us and turned it in.Not
only was it a good report,he won an award for it and...his class took up money and sent us a donation!!!
Thank you Brian.What a nice thing for us.If you will send us the report you wrote,we'd like to post it here for everyone to share.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
What a week this has been.The desert is a whole new thing for me.Not only is it's appearance
strange to me but the sun and wind are sooo
different from home. It doesn't seem so hot because there is usually a good wind but ,let me tell you,it will flat burn you up. Even 30 sunblock doesn't keep you from burning. If there is no wind you feel like you are on a pit slow roasting!
I went to the store on Tonto today and while I was there I meet a lady by the name of Liz Hayes(I think).She pulled up on her work horse type buggy(sorry Julie) and as she got out ,I noticed she walked like Julie so I asked if she was a stroke victim. Of course she said that she was so I went into my spill about what we are doing.Much to my surprise,she told me that come September ,she and her trusted dogs will leave Lucerne
Valley in her buggy(sorry Julie) and make their
ways to Washington D.C. in protest of senior citizens(which she is ) insurance and health benefits
.You go Ms. Liz Hayes!!!May God watch over you.
I am constantly surprised by people.There are so many people who have all the reasons they need to sit quietly and let life pass them by but they don't! No sir.They don't give up.So I say here's to all of the Julies and Marys and Lizs
in the world.If you can keep going...we can too.I love you all and admire you.
To those of us who have our health,please do all you can to help.People need us to be aware of how devastating a stroke can be to all whose
lives they touch.Help us to make life a little easier for someone who suffers a stroke and gets the immediate attention they need.Through awareness and research ,a stroke victims life and the lives of their
loved ones can be so much better.Ok
, I'm off my soap now. My daughter Leslie is getting married this coming Saturday. I can hardly believe it. Leslie,we love you darlin
' and wish you and Trevor the very best. We will see you on Friday.Love you. To everyone else,I hope you have a great week and ...I love you too!
Saturday, March 17, 2007
My Ariat Boots
Amos Taking his turn
Well, the girls here tease me so much about my boots. They are always saying that I sleep in them, but I will tell you what I do. I don't sleep in them, I sleep with them. That way if something happens I know where they are and can grab them and put them on running. I also know there aren't any critters hiding in them.
So now you know the rest of the story.
Love Yuns all,
Amos had to take his turn at the wheel. I guess he knew I felt bad at this time so he took over. It's great when he helps out. LOL
Thank you Dr. Eric J. Sandoval, D.D.S. You have been a God send. After a week of hurting with a toothache, I didn't know how much more I could have taken. Thank you for being there for me and all that you did. You have no idea how much I appreciate you. May God be with you each and every day and and bless you and yours.Love,Wanda
ST. PATRICK DAY EVE
As you all know, Jericho and I had not had much time to get to know each other before the trip. He is a little more hyper than Whiskey and can be a little bit contankerous. I have to say, after what we have been through with the traffic and some of the other difficulties that we have had, he has come through like a champ. He knows now that he has a job to do almost everyday... He usually leads out, but he keeps his eye on Whiskey and doesn't like it when he loses sight of Edie and Whiskey. I sometimes have to make him do little maneuvers around tumbleweeds to get his mind back on his job and pay attention to me. He is doing better. I told Edie that he might have to have therapy when we get home and seperate him from Whiskey! He might have to put him in a detox center so he can get clean from Whiskey! Maybe it will require intervention... Only kidding... Jericho is doing great. I am gaining a tremendous amount of respect for the little roan Quarter Horse that I am sharing my journey with right now. He does anything I ask of him, and usually does it willingly. I am really proud of him.
We are leaving Lucerne Valley today and I will miss it. We have met some wonderful people here. The desert is beautiful here and the weather is hot, but there is usually a pleasant little breeze that makes it comfortable. Well, guess we better get going... Happy St. Patty's Day.... Andi
We left the Horsemen's center and rode to Lucerne Valley yesterday. It was a hot but great ride. We rode across a dry lake bed with the dried clay-like squares. Jericho and Andi were in front and Whiskey and I followed. As we crossed the lake bed, there was a nice breeze. As Jericho stepped on the hardened clay, it would break into pieces and the wind would cause the pieces to roll as he lifted his hoof. This had Whiskey's full attention as if he was trying to figure out what those little varments were that were running out from under Jericho's hooves.
Marla had gone into The Burger Depot to get something to drink. She shared our story and they insisted on feeding us. Wow...it was great; big hamburger, great fries, drink and fresh strawberries for dessert. Thank you David and Laura at BURGER DEPOT for such a great meal. When we arrived, they not only took care of us but placed a 5 gallon bucket of water for the horses. The top left pic includes David and Laura. The top right shows the boys taking a drink from their bucket. Jericho was just taking too long so Whiskey decided there was room for two.
Marla and Wanda had found us a spot and had camp set-up behind the local VFW. They were great to us, sharing their power and water. We had a wonderful St. Patty's day meal for dinner. Thanks to all here for their hospitality.
Later, we realized that Ray Sims was going to visit with his friend Betty Gaule and there was no way they would see our camp behind the building. Andi, Amos and I went to the road to see if we might see them. We weren't there 10 minutes and there they were. We had a great evening of visiting...meeting Betty and sharing horse stories.
We are preparing to leave this morning. We want to thank you all again for your prayers. We might not thank you each day but we appreciate them each day.
Love to all;
Friday, March 16, 2007
ANGELS IN THE DESERT
MEET RAY SIMS
Wanda started suffering with a tooth ache a few days ago. You know the type, sensitive to cold and air.The kind that makes you miserable.Well, while I was on the hunt for the next camp site, I stoppedc at Hooves and Paws (who donated a very nice bale of hay ) and next door was a dentist.Well, with nothing to lose , and everything to gain , I stopped in to see if the Dr. would find a way to give these out of towners some help. There was an angel behind the desk.His name is Eric Sandoval. Not only did he see Wanda without charge, he took xrays ,pulled her tooth,made an impression for her and sent xrays for her hometown doctor. Wanda has no more pain.Thank you so much Dr. Sandoval for your help. You are truely a blessing.
WHO IS MAPPING THIS TRIP
After a day from climbing in the rocks, just as we were walking into camp a truck pulled up. Out steps this inspiring man and asks if he could ask us a few questions. Long story short....Ray Sims rode across the U.S. in 1982. His trip started in New York and ended in Ventura, CA.
He did it alone....and he only rode one horse the entire trip. He shared stories of meeting different people and places he stayed. He admits that things have changed in the last 22 years and certainly not nearly as horse friendly.
He is planning on joining our camp again and bring a friend that has also done some long distance riding. I hope we get to meet her and see him again.
Our hats are off to you, Ray Sims.
APPLE VALLEY HORSEMEN CENTER
No wonder our route consisted of so many Harley shops and feed stores......we gotta get the map away from these two.
This was our backyard in Apple Valley. The park could not allow us to stay inside but didn't mind if we camped just outside the fence.
Wanda had been suffering with a tooth and Marla found her a dentist. So.....Thursday morning, Wanda had to have her tooth pulled. We stayed an extra night for her to start feeling better. Friday afternoon, all but Wanda played in the rocks....it was too cool. We actually climbed all the way to the top and there was a plateau. We found lots of coyote droppings and even a couple of bleached skulls. Thank goodness, no snakes or live coyotes.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
On our way to Yucca Valley
Tonight we are camping just outside Apple Valley, CA. The plate back morraine mountains just in walking distance behind us are incredible. We will be posting pictures tomorrow.
Oh....meant to tell you, Marla and I replaced the master cylinder on the RV and the brakes are great. I called my brother, Kenny, and he cautioned me about bench-bleeding the master cylinder before replacing it. We did but still had to bleed the lines. Marla and I worked out a system that did the job but the first attempt spewed fluid all in my face and mouth - lol. It doesn't matter, our brakes are now "fixed" and we did it pretty cheap.
We learned a hard lesson with Victorville and want to thank Pam for helping get us to this area and avoid all the traffic congestion. It is funny, we are only about 10 miles from the fairgrounds but the travel is extremely different. I am looking forward to getting back to what has become our normal day of riding in the desert.
When we reach Yucca Valley, Marla and I are planning to travel back to SC for a couple of days so the ride will be on a short "hold" until we return. Her daughter, Leslie will marry Trevor Hewitt on March 24. Marla is so proud of her girls and talks about them frequently. I know she is excited about the wedding but also about getting to see her girls. I will also have a short opportunity to see my family, too. I cannot wait and unless they read this blog, they won't know it until I walk in the door. Ok...I will probably tell them in advance but would love to surprise them.
OK...enough for now. Will blog more with the pics tomorrow.
Love to all;
Hey folks, the comment I made about trading Whiskey for a draft horse to make my hiney look smaller was only a joke. I thought when I put (just kidding) people would know that it was a joke. Even when I was a skinny little girl, I have always had a posterior that was (ahem) out of proportion to my body. I have been teased all my life with names like "bubble". When Peggy saw the bumper sticker about trading for a draft horse, I openly stole it from her.
Just to set the record straight, there is no way I would trade that horse. He is what I have dreamed of and more than I thought could have been possible. Our bonding is growing in leaps and bounds. As a ranch horse, he has been taught to do a "job". Getting rubbed for no reason is something they do not receive. He gets plenty of that now and is learning to love and trust it. I cannot imagine there being enough money to buy him from me or any horse for which I would trade.
I love my Whiskey...the four legged one!!
My love to all;
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
HARD DAY YESTERDAY
I would like to ask all of to please pass this web site on to all you know.Our personal lists can only take us so far.We need YOUR help!!
BOY - THAT WAS ROUGH!!
Andi and I left out on the horses around 10:00 am. When she planned the trip, a police officer from Victorville said we should not attempt to enter the city without an escort. He even volunteered himself to help us out. Of all days, he was on vacation. With Marla's map and motorcycle help, we avoided most of the congestion entering the city but could not avoid the fact that we had to cross over I-15. We had already crossed over one interstate and horses don't like traffic flowing under them. When they don't like something, they show it by dancing around and the traffic will not slow to a dancing horse. It can be real scary to say the least. Our original plan was to have the RV block traffic by driving slowly behind us. That plan got foiled when Wanda called and said she had NO BRAKES. She was able to let them cool and pump up enough to get to the fairground where we would be staying. We crossed back over and found a passage that was 2 lanes instead of four lanes. We stood in the direct heat for about 45 mins. trying to get help crossing. Finally, Marla put on an orange vest and when the traffic slowed, she pulled out into the lane and blocked traffic. She was cool...holding her hand up with all the authority of an actual cop. We were finally able to cross. It can be difficult to explain how only 10 miles can take only a few hours and then like yesterday.....we fought in the sun (no cooling breeze at all) for nearly 8 hours. We were exhausted last night.
Looks like we will be replacing a master cylinder today and head back out on Wednesday. We are expecting reporters today, I sure Marla and I are not under the RV trying to fix it when they arrive - lol.
A day like yesterday lets me know the prayers are with us. It is not always the obsticles, we know we will have them. It is that none of them caused us any harm or real damage. Thanks to all who are praying for us.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP
I'd like to say thank you to all who are responding to our blogs.You will never know how much it means to us.It used to be that when we entered the site, the first thing we did was to see if there had been any donations made.Not the case anymore!As soon as a computer gets turned on,we all wait to see if we have any new comments.It's kind of funny actually.We read them out loud and enjoy them together.
This past week went a little smoother for us.Even though the land wasn't so easy to cross in places,closer to the end of the week it was much more condusive for the horse and rider.I think as we go along ,the desert riding will allow us to make more mileage each day.
It turns out that Wanda is a wonderful cook and has really foiled my diet plan.She even made lemon icebox pie from scratch with lemons I picked right off the tree.Not to mention the cornbread and meatloaf and all the other wonderful things she makes.
Andi has been dubbed "THE COFFEE FAIRY"Every morning she makes coffee and serves it before we are even out of bed.(I know that's how she gets us up!)She is always ready to help.
Edie ,well, Edie is Edie.She wakes up working and goes to sleep that way.For those of you who know her,you are probably laughing but it's true.She and Whiskey are really bonding now.She says"I love that boy." and you can hear it in her voice.He has learned that she takes good care of him and is an expert scratcher.
As for me,I do what I can to make the day a good one.Somedays I work a little harder at it than others.I think about my girls alot and hope they know how much I love and miss them.My Abbeville family is always on my mind.I wonder how Mamma is holding up ,knowing that if I ask ,she will say she's fine.To Julie,Doug ,and Jacob,I love you with all my heart and appriciate all that you do.
Enough of that...
As we get into the desert,we are starting to see all the lizards and jack rabbits.No snakes yet but I'm sure it won't be long.It's 87 degrees today but very cool in the shade.
That's all for now.Please keep the e-mails and comments coming.
Love to all,
The weather is great right now. Hopefully it will stay this way for us. It gets a little warm during the day and kind of cool at night, but nothing like it will be later. We don't have to worry too much at this point about dehydration and the girls wear sunscreen to keep from burning. The wind gives them chapped lips more than anything.
Tina, the pictures of your wedding are beautiful. Sorry I couldn't make it. Congrats to you and Daniel. I think he has the one of the best wife's ever. Surely I don't sound biased.
Thanks to you and the rest of our families for sharing us. We are working our way home. All of you are special too.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
A little bit homesick...
Check this out
I was glad to see that Walt and Andy commented to our blog. Yes, Amos is named after the Jerry Reed song. You are only the second person that has ever picked up on that... He was a sorry looking piece of yellow fur that only weighed about 3 lbs when he crawled out of a den in New Mexico. I was raised in south Georgia where we had 'gators. He looked like alligator bait to me... that's how he got his name... little did I know that he would grow into an 80 lb beauty and be the best dog I ever had! Looks can be deceiving! We rode the horses today with their new Ariats on and we could sure tell a difference. Whiskey, (the Appy), kept up with Jericho instead of loafing along 30 feet behind him. They both covered ground better today then they have been. We really enjoyed meeting you guys and appreciate all your help. You were our heros for the day.
Our ride today went very well. It was one of the easiest days we have had. I talked to my son and his wife today and with my sister. I miss them all and can't wait until I see them at Edisto Beach when we get there. Wanda made good ole' fashioned chicken and dumplings for supper. Yum Yum... and a lemon ice box pie... double yum yum... Marla and Wanda take good care of us out here. I am missing my other dogs, Naja and Kiah and I miss seeing Raven as well. I may have to steal my cat back from Edie's mom because she has fallen in love with her. I am so thankful that Naja is doing well with Jessi and Ryan. I really miss my fur buddies. This trip is a wonderful thing but parts of it are really hard... like leaving our families and other animals at home. We have talked to many people about stroke awareness and I know what we are doing is a good thing... still, it is hard to be so far from loved ones for so long... Well, tomorrow is Sunday and we will have a rest day. I will make some phone calls and do some computer work. I miss everyone... Keep us in your prayers. Hi to Mr. and Mrs. D and the rest of my church family. Love to all... Andi
WALT BROWN FERRIER SERVICE
I know this is dark but this is where we are camping tonight. We will be resting on Sunday and riding the final 5 miles into Victorville on Monday morning. I wish this was a shot from the old west as it appears....unfortunately, this is a home ruin that included a large swimming pool in the back. Hate to ruin it but I had to be truthful. I still think it is beatuiful and the mountains are real - lol.
Riding hazards in the desert
What a set-up these guys have. Their trailer had everything from a firing furnace, metal cutting and grinding equipment to a mini office with a computer and printer.
When I first bought Whiskey, the AZ ferrier had intentionally left the wall a little long due to some bruising on his sole. During our rocky ride on Thursday made me miserable thinking his feet might be hurting, even though he never really showed signs by stumbling or limping. Marla found the Walt Brown Ferrier Service online and they rearranged their schedule and came out to us. This area of the desert can go from rocks to sand in a short distance.
Whiskey and Jericho now sport front shoes that have a piece of leather nailed between the shoe and the sole of their hoof. There is a shock absorbing material that not only helps reduce shock but it also molds and fills the space between the leather and the sole. And...that ain't all. The sole is medicated to prevent thrush in the even of moist areas. I don't see us running into that anytime soon - lol. This substance also prevents small rocks or other debris from becoming entrapped between the leather and the hoof sole.
Since the pad is leather, we are saying that our boys now have their own new pair of Ariats - lol. As you can tell, we love those boots. I wonder if Ariat makes a motorcycle tire to fit Tonto. He seems to be the only team member without a pair now.
We had taken a picture of Walt and Andy but for some reason it will not upload. Some of these pics are just whipping me, I tried for an hour or more but will try again tonight. Hopefully, we will be able to show you them and their trailer.
We also want to thank them. They donated their labor to our cause. This came at a real good time for us and was a true blessing. Thank you guys....and God bless.
Thanks...John, Jen and Tate
Here are a few of the riding hazards of the desert. The picture on the top left was taken from the bed of a "wash". When the desert gets rain, it pours and floods causing these types of washes. These cannot really be seen from the road and as you can see, the walls can be quite high. We usually have to find a way into the bed of the wash...ride down the wash to find a way out. Our original idea of 3128 miles is going to be quite a few more miles than that. The second picture is a friendly little cactus named chollo. The static from passing too close can cause the spines to actually appear to shoot you, we give them plenty of passing room. People sometimes describe them as the leaping cactus. I had two more pics that just refused to upload. One was of barbed wire, we run up on strands all the time and they are so dangerous. Our route is often changed to find passes from old fences that the post have long since disentergrated and left only the wire behind. The other pic that just refused to cooperate was one of a rock bed. We had to ride through about 3 miles of nothing but rocks that varied in sizes. There was virtually no flat ground for the horses feet. It was a long, long ride as we gave the horse their head and allowed them to pick their way through.
You know all those cowboy movies where they are riding wide open in the desert....I say bull!!! Ain't no way. The most common thing is gopher holes that causes a hoof to sink anywhere from 4 to 8 inches. I know if we ran, all four of us would be eating dirt.
I don't want to sound like I am complaining..I am not. There is still plenty of rugged beauty as we pick our way through. As we are riding, we can see more distance between us and the snow covered mountain tops. At night as the sun sets behind it, I say a prayer of thanks for keeping all safe and a magnificent close to our day.
Marla at work
We stayed overnight at a place called Cadillac Ranch. He has approximately 3500 various Cadillacs there. He was a vet as well as a stroke victim. Our thanks to their hospitality - they were very welcoming and accomodating to our stay overnight.
Sometimes it seems as if we just sorta light for a couple of hours before moving on. Many nights are just in a clear spot in the desert. We didn't have much of an opportunity to spend much time with John, Jen and Tate but our short stay was comfortable.
Thanks again guys;
Here is Marla with Tonto packed from one of her routine trips. On this particular return, she has: a new coffeemaker, 5 drinks, 2 quarts of oil, a veggie net, 2 tank tops, 2 bags of candy and a new net for packing more stuff on Tonto. I wonder what people think that might see her frequently going up and down the highway. If it was me, I would be asking "wonder what she will try to carry on that thing next" - lol. I suspect if we have a sick horse, she might try to carry it to a vet instead of using a trailer.
You all write to us....ya hear!!
Thursday, March 08, 2007
The Old and the New
VIEW OUR 8TH CREW MEMBER
In the beginning of this ride, we were dreading the long stretch of the Mojave Desert. Now, as we are beginning to enter the fringes of the desert, we see it from a new perspective. After dealing with the horrendous problems we had in the Ventura and Los Angeles county traffic, the desolation of the desert is a welcome reprieve. We can now ride as far from the highway as we feel is safe to avoid traffic problems, but we can see the road in order to not lose our way. As we were looking off into the distance, yesterday, we could see the silver ribbon of highway full of busy vehicles transporting busy people to appointments in their busy lives. For us, riding our horses for so many miles... time takes on a new dimension. One of the things that I have had difficulty with, is getting my pin number from my bank in order to be able to access my account while I am out here. Finally, yesterday, the bank called with my pin number while Edie and I were on our horses, riding in the desert. Neither of us had a pen or pencil or paper to write it down. We wrote the number in the dirt and then put it in Edie's phone as a phone number so we wouldn't forget it when we got to camp that evening. It was a strange blend of the most primitive means of note taking and modern technology. The other observation that I made was as I stared across the desert terrain. I can't imagine the early settlers even thinking of trying to traverse this terrain with any sort of unmotorized wheeled conveyance! My hat is totally off to the early people who crossed this country. Well, Wanda made us a huge breakfast, so I better get busy and work it off. I miss and love everyone .... Andi
If you look under the bio's, you will see that we have added an 8th member. Even though he has been with us the entire time, we just realized he should be on the bio's.....his name is Tonto.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
I traded my Appaloosa named Whiskey for a draft horse today.....it makes my hiney look so much smaller. (Just kidding - and Peggy, you cannot prove that I stole this from you)
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
ON THE EDGE
Home Sweet Home
Well,here we are on the edge of the desert.Didn't make much progress today.Sometimes,the traffic is very bad and dangerous and we have to call it quits early.Hopefully,just a few more miles and we will be on BLM land(bureau of land management)and the riding becomes much easier and hopefully more miles every day.The first week of riding has been more difficult than I had expected.
The land here is different from home.Blades of grass are only found in places like buisnesses or occasionally homes but not on the side of the road or even in some parks.There is a lot of brush and small trees and rocks.Lots of rocks!!It gets really warm during the day.(which my bones like alot.)
There has been almost 1000 miles on Tonto(my bike) since it was unloaded in Arizona and I enjoy being able to ride so much.It's also a game now to see just how much I can tote on it.I go to the store and bring home 3 packs of buns,1/2 gallon of milk,hot dogs,hamburger and a little bit of chocolate!(for me).
So,life is anything but usual anymore.Don't really know what will be around the next corner or what the day will bring.But rest assured,we're ready for whatever it might be!
That's all for tonight.
Love to you,
They say home is where you lay your head....well, this is home for now. This place has a lot of Joshua trees (top left pic). I would have just thought they were short palms...lol. Andi says she heard a story of how they got their name. She said legend has it that in the desert, at a distance they looked like a person waving. They would get disoriented trying to find the person waving at them. A bit of trivia...lol.
We left Lazy T ranch as planned Monday morning. The first part of the ride was great. A woman that lives on the ranch took through terrain to avoid quite a bit of traffic. She had three big dogs that ran ahead playing and hunting while we rode. One of them jumped a huge jackrabbit and both were running our way, it was too cool. Don't worry, the rabbit never really had a threat. The further they ran the more distance there was between them.
Marla and Wanda found a place for camp, that is the picture above. We never really know what the backdrop of home will be, it was beautiful last night. There was a great sunset and a full moon.
We started out this morning but neither of us had a good feeling about the route that we had planned. We had gotten out a couple of miles and decided to head back. We have mapped a different way and Marla just left on her Harley to scope things out for us. We believe we only have 5 more miles of this traffic with which to deal. I sure hope that is true.
We received an e-mail from my Preach Darren Hook. We appreciate so much the words of prayer and encouragement we receive from everybody.
Take care and love to all;
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Even on an off day of riding
Even on a day the girls are not riding they still work the horses to keep them in shape. Here Andi is lunging Jerico to make sure he is staying in condition.
We are staying at Lazy T Ranch and they have been wonderful to us. It is amazing the great people we have met. They have a great place here to ride with 80 miles of trails without ever crossing a road. They have a 50' round pen, a 55' Bull pen, a full size show arena and two really large corrals.A soda pop saloon, a cowboy social corner, Lots of stalls and several wash racks. They have ninety horses here right now. Their place looks just like a small town. Reminds me a little of Love Valley in N.C.
We really appreciate all they have done for us. A special thanks to Jay for allowing us to share time with them at their beautiful ranch. We also want to thank Joe, Denise, Naya and Mrs. T. We really send thanks out to Joe and Denise for shareing all the ways to go to keep Andi and Edie off the main roads and be able to be safe.
Thinking of all of you,
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Saturday, March 3rd
Once again, we woke up to a gorgeous California morning. We are leaving the orange groves and avacado groves and heading up Copper Hill Canyon towards Green Valley. The terrain is changing rapidly and we have finally left the tremendous congestion of the urban traffic in L.A. county behind us. There is some snow on the ground here, in sparse patches, to remind us that we are gaining altitude. We are learning some interesting things while on this journey. The first is that a shower is one of lifes most underestimated luxuries. Especially for Wanda... It seems like each time she tries to get a shower, something interupts it. Running out of warm water, or just running out of water in general. Both Wanda and Marla have been good about letting us go first when we come in from riding. We appreciate these little sacrifices that our crew makes for us. Another thing Edie and I have learned is not to assume anything about the terrain out here. Just because the terrain looks like it would go over a cut in the road... it probably doesn't. Then it means backtracking anywhere from a quarter of a mile to a half mile. I would hate to calculate how many additional miles we have ridden, trying to pick our way through cross country trails. I can now say that our horses can cross railroad trestles, and go through spooky sounding tunnels beneath the expressways... They should be trail horses supreme by the time we get home! I think there are better ways to travel through California traffic congestion than on horseback. Marla has been going ahead of us and running back and forth on her Harley. She touches base with us several times a day to let us know how much further we have to go to the campsite they have chosen for us. She has been fighting the wind and it is tough on the motorcycle. The wind blows constantly and makes riding more difficult for both horse riders and motorcycle riders. Meanwhile, back at the camp... Wanda is worrying about all of us. She likes it at night when all the bunnies are back in the hutch! Well, there is alot to do, so I guess I'll close for now. Keep us in your prayers. Andi
Friday, March 02, 2007
The last few days ,since we actually started,have been something else.We have seen some beautiful places and met some great people.The riding has been very hard on Edie and Andi.The roads we have had to take out of Santa Paula were not bad until the truckers wanted to "salute" them by blowing thier horns,which the horses did NOT like.They would ride a certain path and then dicover they couldn't make it and have to turn around and ride back so thier 18 miles quickly turns into more.They and the horses are very tired.Training is tough!!!
I have gone quite a few miles on the Harley.I ride ahead trying to find a place to stay for the night which takes a good bit of time.Then I go back and forth between the RV and the girls and tell them how much farther they have to go.All in all, it is working out well.
We hope to be in a position to ride out Palmdale by Monday and there is a young horseman getting trail maps for us.We are all excited to be past the city.
It's 10pm here and we are all tired so I will close for now.
I love you all and miss you everyday.
I want to say thanks to Troye for calling and telling us you miss us.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
The Actual Riding
Well, we have completed day two of riding. There was just NO WAY either of us could have blogged yesterday. Trying to hold two horses through the populated cities of CA has been a real challenge. I have to say, with all these horses have been through, they are doing great. We really didn't take any riding pictures during the first day since it was heavily involved with traffic. There were areas of gorgeous scenery but was too involved with managing our horses to even think about taking shots. We did 18 road miles but I'll bet Andi and I ended up having more like 20 miles with the weaving. We were two exhausted women when we got in last night. Since we didn't get out as early as we should have, we were after dark getting to camp.
We have literally had 18 wheelers as close as 3 ft to us in the more congested areas. As we made our way out to Hwy. 126, we had more shoulder but these guys were traveling much faster. I cannot wait to get through this congestion and get to safer areas.
When possible, we ride through the orange orchards that follow along beside the highway. We have literally been able to pick an orange as we ride along. Wish it was all that safe. We have seen tons of gophers and rabbits. Marla got to see a roadrunner today...I want to see one, too.
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