Thursday, June 28, 2007
Seminole Bob the Wanderer
This is such interesting country out here. We are always seeing interesting things and meeting interesting people. Today while Edie and I were riding, a man stopped on a small motorcycle. He offered us water for the horses if we wanted to stop at his place, less than a mile down the road. We thanked him and explained that we were going to be camping just two miles further. We got to talking and found out that he had taken a donkey and traveled from Seminole County, Florida to Seattle, Washington the year of the World's Fair. If you remember, a few days ago, I blogged about Sundown Bob. Seminole Bob knew Sundown Bob. There seems to be a whole little subculture of wanderers out here. He had not heard the Sundown Bob had passed away and was sad to hear that bit of news. He said, "I haven't heard from him for awhile," then, when we told him he had passed away, he said, "Well, I guess that's why I haven't heard from him." We didn't know quite how to respond to that...
We are about half way through the state of New Mexico. We traveled on highway sixty from the point that we entered the state to I 25 Then we had to be trailered 25 miles due north to pick up highway sixty east again. So even though we trailered 25 miles north, we will still have crossed the entire state of New Mexico because where hiway sixty east takes off from highway sixty west is in the same place. Where one leaves off, the other picks up again, only 25 miles further north. Now if I have you thoroughly confused, the bottom line is that we are glad we will still be able to ride the complete distance across the state from west to east!
As some of you might know, Edie and I are trying to complete the requirements to become official Long Riders. There are less than 300 of them world wide. CuChullaine O'Reilly, one of the founders of the Long Riders Guild, has been so helpful to us. He is excited that we are so close to our 1,000 miles. The requirements for Official Long Rider status is that you do an equestrian journey of 1,000 miles or more. You are allowed to count things like trailering short distances for reasons of safety, or injury to an animal, or if you have to transport a horse on a ship to another country, as is sometimes necessary. Edie and I have already met our 1,000 miles on this equestrian journey, but we chose to count only actual riding miles before we apply for our Long Rider status. We will have that sometime in the next ten days. Marla will meet us at our 1,ooo mile marker and bring a bottle of Champagne! We will toast our success at the mile marker that it occurs and will send you all a picture. Wish us well...
One other point I would like to mention. On Tuesday, when we were riding, we completed 20 miles. The temperature was 107 degrees! The sun was hot but there was a slight breeze to cool us. We were walking the horses, and they are in such good condition that they did not even break a sweat. I was blistered however, on my arms, even with 45 spf sunblock! It is HOT out here! We have now completed 859 actual riding miles... only 141 more to hit our 1,000 mile mark!
J.C., Ruth and Dru, I really miss you. Mary... I miss you so much. Jessie, Ryan and Naja... hope you are having a great summer. Please give Naja a pat on the head for me. Robin and the crew... I think of you often. To all my friends and family... God Bless You... I miss you all. Andi
CROSSING THE RIO (not so) GRAND
Well...well, here is the mighty Rio Grand.
Our day started out on a trailer. Andi spent nearly a year planning and talking to people in preparation for our route. She was assured that when we followed Hwy. 60, it would run parallel with I-25 for just over 25 miles. Not only that but we would be able to literally ride beside the Rio Grand. Unfortunately, that was not the case. That 25 miles WAS the interstate and I have to say we were presented with options. The police actually offered to excort us on the interstate or trailer us. We both felt as if we had played with the 18 wheelers enough in the early part of CA and opted for the trailer.
Our thanks to Officer Kenneth Greenwood for his assistance and trailering. He dropped the horses off right at the off ramp of the exit and we started our ride. Approximately a half mile later we crossed the Rio Grand.
While waiting for Marla to catch up with the rv, I had ridden ahead and looked for a camp spot. When I returned, she drove the rv to the spot and I followed on the Harley and she then brought me back to the horses. Point here - I rode a motorcycle across the Rio Grand four times and even stopped to take the above picture. I also saw vehicles and big trucks cross without anything out of the ordinary. When Andi and I got about mid-way across, hundred and hundreds of little birds started flying out from under the bridge. The filled the air around us....these horses have gotten so used to so much that they hardly reacted.
Our next town is Mountainair, NM and it is approximately 30 miles. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we retain a signal as we leave the Socorro area.
Take care and love to all;
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The Magdalena Driveway and Explosions...
We have found that out here, there are places they call "Driveways". No, they don't lead into a garage or car port as they do where we come from! They are places where cattle or sheep were driven to a feed lot, train yard or market. We have just completed one hundred and fifteen miles of the Magdalena Driveway. Highway 60 which is the road we have been riding on for the last week is the road that cattle and sheep were driven on to take them to the rail head at Magdalena. It was a beautiful ride and I could just envision a herd of sheep or cattle ahead of me. It is a dry stretch of the high plains and would have been a difficult drive. The plains are almost beyond description. They stretch out to the horizon as far as you can see. There are desolate mountains sporadically placed as a loose perimeter for the plains.
Today as we were riding toward Socorro, Edie and I saw a thick cloud of billowy smoke. Then, minutes later we heard and felt an explosion. Not knowing what caused it, we called Marla to see what she could find out. If it was a controlled thing, that was o.k. but if it was a natural thing we wanted to know what it was and what to expect next. ( We knew we were riding parrallel and only a quarter mile from the Magdalena fault line.) She called back and told us that not only do people blow things up in the mountains all the time... there was actually a school there where they teach people how to blow things up! It is a place where they teach demolition techniques to students who are going into the mining industry. We thought that was interesting... as long as they didn't do it again as we were riding in close proximity to the mountain. We heard a few more explosions but they were farther away. I can say one thing about our ride... there is seldom a dull moment! Andi
SOCORRO NEW MEXICO
Shortly after we crossed over into New Mexico, we stopped in a little place called, Pie Town. Pie Town has three claims to fame. 1) It sits squarely on the Continental Divide, 2) The Daily Pie Cafe, and 3) Sundown Bob. They have a horse friendly RV park there called Jackson Park. In a secluded corner of the park, beneath a tattered American flag, sits a little wagon. The wagon has car tires and hydraulic brakes. It is made out of a patchwork of mismatched pieces of wood and lots of plastic tarps stuffed into every place it might leak. There is a large can in the wagon that served as a wood stove and a crude plywood shelf that served as a bed. The door to the inside of the wagon is small, so I assume Sundown Bob was a small man. His boots are sitting where he left them as if they are waiting for him to put them on. Pots, pans and a few cooking utensils hang from the frame of the wagon. No one seemed to really know much about Sundown Bob, yet everyone knew him. He spent 50 years traveling in a circle from Montana to New Mexico and back again. Everyone that knew him, speaks of him reverently. They all miss him. On the front of the wagon is a sign that says, "September 7th, 2006... Gone to be with God." On the back of his wagon is a Marine Insignial. I wonder if he found it or was actually a Marine at some point in the past. Did he have a family? Was he a sad man or a man that had discovered that it doesn't take a lot to be happy? People who had known him say he was severely disfigured from atomic bomb testing that he was somehow involved with, years ago, in the White Sands testing area. We were told that he had only one eye and was badly scarred on his face and neck. Some of the people that I spoke with said that Sundown Bob laughed a lot and he always welcomed people at his campfire if they wanted to visit a spell. I arrived here too late to meet Sundown Bob. I would have liked to sit and talk with him a while. No vandals have bothered his camp. Everything is as he left it. For a moment we shared a place in time with Sundown Bob. I'm sure he was watching... Andi
We are just outside if Socorro and were delighted to see a Walmart
.It's a good thing though because we are getting ready to cross another difficult stretch of road.We have about 115 miles of nothing in front of us so we have to stock up on everything.
Edie and I road in to Albuquerque on Sunday to get some medicines refilled.What a fiasco!We had only traveled about 12 miles and we had a flat on the bike(just had a new $220 tire put on 2 months ago).I got off and stayed on the side of the road in hopes that Edie would be able to get to a station to get it fixed.No such luck.The bike could not be ridden safely 4 miles later.Now ,Edie and I are separated and miles from the nearest town.I hadn't been sitting for long when a man and woman came up and called me by name."Marla...Edie sent us" That way I knew it was safe.I had been sitting long enough that my leg had fallen asleep,only I didn't know it,so I jumped up to go to the truck and immediately fell down.My leg wouldn't work!!!I fell not once,but 3 times!I felt sure the nice people who were trying to help had to be wondering what kind of drugs I was on .Anyway,these folks not only helped ,they loaded the motorcycle in their truck and took us the 80 miles to the Albuquerque Harley dealer and dropped us off. Thank you so much Peter,Angela,Marty and, Bernadette.We would have really been in a fix without you.
So we ended up having to get a room for the night and come back Monday.Long story short,my $16.00 prescription cost a total of nearly $500.00!But we are safely back on the road.I would also like to say "thanks" to Andi for being so good to Jacob and taking care of everything while we were gone.
I miss you all.(Good to hear from you Candice)
Saturday, June 23, 2007
FUNNY BUT TRUE STORY
We are now in a town called Magdelena, NM. It is about 110 miles into the state and another very small town. When we crossed the state line, we knew the first town would be Red Hill...it was on the map. There was one building there and it was a real estate building. The next town was called Quemado and there were stores, etc. We were excited and set-up camp just over a mile on the outside of town. I had to take a day off from riding because we had not been able to get a signal at all. The next day, we took the rv to a shop to have the trailer hitch welded while I tried to get a signal for the computer. I walked from place to place to no avail. Finally, late in the afternoon a woman named Sandra was able to get me on-line via dial up. It was slow but I was happy, it worked and I was able to get payroll off to our employees.
When we ask about cell phone signals, we are told "well...it comes and goes" or "you can get it at the top of some hills and the bottom of some hills". We have pushed pretty hard to reach a place just outside Magdelena where we were sure we could use the computer. We got the horses all set up at this great place where they can run, buck, roll and act like horses. Marla and I had to take the rv to a shop due to a leaking propane leak. The answer was to plug the leaking area until we get to a town large enough to have it repaired. So...we have hot water and the refridgerator works but no stove. That is way better than nothing. We got back that night and I set-up to start catching up on some work. Guess what.....no signal.
Today we drove into Socorro. I agreed to do our laundry while they shopped at Walmart. This gave me about an hour to catch up but nearly the time I needed. Our camp (Rancho Magdelena) is only about 25 miles from Socorro so I know we will have signal Monday night. This has been more difficult than the Majove....maybe because we were prepared for the long lapses between signals.
I hope we will be able to start more regular blogs next week.
I miss and love my family. Please pray for my step-mother, she fell and broke her hip. She had to have replacement surgery but seems to be doing good.
Take care and send us comments;
I sure hope I don't offend anyone with this story...but it is true. When we were in Show Low, AZ, Marla and I decided to have an ice cream
while running errands. We entered the local DQ
and when it was my turn, I asked the young man behind the counter "do you have wet nuts"? I noticed he just stared at me and his face was a funny shade of pink. I tried further to explain "you know...not the dry nuts". By this time his poor face was red and he was looking around....I am sure he was looking for a hidden camera or something. When I realized what was going on...I explained that at our ice cream
parlors, there are walnuts in syrup that are called wet nuts. He still had not uttered a word so I just said "I'll have a caramel sundae". He pushed away from the counter with both hands and Marla and I couldn't help but laugh and laugh.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
OUT OF TOUCH
Hello everyone.Marla here.Don't have much time but wanted to let you know all is well here.We just had to drive 22 miles to get this signal.They call New Mexico "THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT" and it is beautiful herebut considering our technical troubles ,I prefer to call it"THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT"We are in a place that has no signal for cell or computer.Weill be in touch as soon as we can.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
JACOB JOINING THE TEAM
NOW IN NEW MEXICO
I cannot help myself...I had to put these pictures of Jacob on here. I promise, we will get back to business soon. I am so proud of how he is participating. Saturday, he stayed with Andi and I for several hours. We took turns with the horses and he was great about doing his share of the walking. I know he walked almost two miles that day and rode for about three or four. Marla picked him up and he went to the rv and helped her set up the panels for the horses. He is such a strong little man.
This morning, we had a Sunday devotional. He was very sweet and added his own input. He and Andi stayed with the horses while Marla and I went into Quemado, NM for some water. When we returned, he had made us a cross from wood and leather. He has such a good heart.
He considers the whole team as his aunts...
On Wednesday, we crossed over in New Mexico. I cannot believe how much the terrain is changing and how quickly. We are definitely leaving the mountains behind and are riding into the prairie. As we are leaving AZ, the first part of New Mexico is very desolate. There are parts that remind me of being back in the desert. With the mountains, we are leaving the lava washes that were so hard on the horses feet. The prairie is very sandy and we are back to having lots of varment holes with which to deal.
We are having major problems with signals for the phone and computer wire card. It sure makes things difficult with communication for both business and friends. My Mother (Jacob's Grandmother) is certainly not happy about not being able to talk to him each day. We let her know he is fine as often as we can.
On June 10, our 8 year old nephew joined our group - Jacob New. He flew by himself from Atlanta and we picked him up in Phoenix. This gave us an opportunity to visit with Charlie, Sherry and Charles of Super Gentle Horses. If you recall, their place is where I purchased Whiskey. It was like visiting with family and I hope they are able to join up with us further into our ride. Sherry is considering participating for part of the ride.
During our drive from Phoenix back to Show Low, AZ - we drove through Salt River Canyon. Jacob loved the scenery and we took him back to Overgaard to let him see the Percherons. We told him there were little horses and when he walked in and saw these horses, he was almost speechless (which is an accomplishment all of its own with him). All he could do is stare and when he finally spoke, he said "they are giants". The men that handle the team were in the barn and all of us couldn't help but laugh.
In Show Low, we stayed with Susan and Joe Dowd. They entertained Andi and had a barn for our horses when Marla and I went to Phoenix. When Marla and I returned with Jacob, they were very kind to us. I felt like we had bombarded their home and openly prayed for Susan's patience in the wake of our visit - lol. We certainly appreciated their hospitality.
Jacob is now an honorary Trekker and could not be happier.
More to come;
Saturday, June 09, 2007
THE DAY FROM H...E..DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS
THEN THERE WERE THREE
What a day...an entire movie could have been written about this day!!! I have made lots of new friends from AZ and love them dearly. I can tell you without question that "good road" is certainly a relative term. We should have learned this when we were told the rv could make the Fossil Creek Road. I road it on Tonto and knew quickly that a blown engine would certainly been our end result.
When we left Overgaard, we were told that there were trails...roads that would keep us off hwy260 and would come out in Show Low. We were even provided with a map - how easy could this be. The road Andi and I would ride, which was called 300, paralleled hwy 260. There were lots of trails/roads that crossed between the two and all we had to do was pick one and Marla could meet us on the corner for the night's camp. Now that she and Tonto are a "train", I am no longer needed to help confirm our spot.
The horses had just gotten new shoes and I decided not to have pads put on Whiskey since we were going to be on roads. Well.....the winds from the previous day had blown trees down all along 300. We had no problem crossing on the horses but the short 20 mile ride took a long time. There were so many rocks and logging trucks had made deep ruts that caused the horses to have to walk a "tight rope". To make matters worse, my cell phone (our only means of communication was dead). The last thing I heard Marla say was "I cannot get to you because the trees are down on the road". When Andi and I got to the intersection of 300 and trail 132, we had to try to think what Marla would do. We hoped and prayed that she would just come as far down the trail as she could so we started toward her. I wish I could describe just how tired we were even at this point and if we ended up having to go all the way to 260, it was 8 miles. Whiskey's feet were too tender so I decided to walk with him. Andi was starting to have blurred vision, she is a diabetic. We were scrambling for an answer when she finally found some candies that had become lodged between the lining of her saddlebags and the inside. This seemed enough to stop her from bottoming out. We were not too far down the road when the sun was completely gone and we were trying to find our way down the dark dirt road. Knowing that there are some "not so friendly" animals in the area, I made up songs to sing as we walked. My night vision was better than Andi's so I lead and sang "follow the white appy butt" to the yellow brick road tune....lol. It was 10:30 when we finally got to the end of 260 and.....no Marla. I also noticed that the road sign was different from the one she was supposed to enter. Yep...we should have taken 130 and not 132.
Andi and I crossed the highway and found our way to a LDS church. I tried to enter and find a phone but it was locked up tight. I asked Andi to watch the horses and I was going for help. I was able to flag down a couple that allowed me to call Marla...she only had enough cell battery to tell me she had tried to find us and came up 300 from hwy 60 and was stuck....the rv was dead. The sweet woman of the couple was determined not to leave us stranded and contacted James Rogers and his girls. They had just come in from barrel racing and still had their horse trailer attached and came to the rescue of our horses. When we got to their house, Debbie and James agreed to take us to find Marla. After a couple of hours, we found her smack in the middle of the road on a huge incline. We thanked Debbie and James and told them we would stay in the rv and be back for our horses the next day. By this time, it was 2:30 am. Our feet hurt so bad it was as if we had been walking on hot coals. I got into bed which felt like a 45 degree angle...I had to put my feet on the headboard to hold my position. Marla had informed us that the alternator belt had broken and she had run out of power. I got up and pulled the generator out of the back of the horse trailer and pulled it up to the front of the rv. I filled the gas tank and attached a batter charger hoping to get enough charge to get us out of there the next morning.
Marla had bought a new belt so in addition to the battery being charged, I put the new belt on. More than one belt broke so it was fun trying to figure out which pulleys the belt actually went on. Once the belt was secure, you cannot imagine how excited we were when the rv actually cranked. I pulled it into drive but the severity of the incline was too much from a dead stop to pull the hill. I backed all the way down to a flat spot and got something of a running start. I didn't even make it back to the original spot and it just would not pull the hill. We dumped all the water and removed whatever heavy things that might make a difference. I backed at least 1/4 of a mile..over a big hump and up a hill to give me a better running start. I said a prayer and pulled it into drive. I didn't slow down...not even for the hump which Andi swears the both front tires of the rv came off the ground when I came over it. We were all wooohoooing as I passed them and crested the hill.
The rv and trailer have a few new character dents but seem to be ok. We were to be staying at Joe and Sue Dowd's place just beyond Show Low. Sue's friend and another angel in our path named Rose took us to retrieve our horses.
Days like this let me know that we are truly surrounded by angels. We are not promised there will be no obstacles...but we were provide the wisdom and help to overcome the unique challenges of this trip.
Thanks for your prayers;
Wednesday, June 6
We started out as a team of four, then were reduced to three. The most cumbersome ordeal as a team of three was the morning movement of camp. Marla would have to drive the rv to the next night's site and I would follow her with Tonto. Once the rv was parked, she would take me back to Andi who was literally "holding the horses". Many times we had volunteers who were more than happy to assist but that was something of which we could not depend.
Marla found an attachment and hitch that bolted to the floor of the trailer. Tonto now gladly follows her to the next camp without the required help of anybody....even me. Of course we now call her our "train".....increasing from two to three.
Ain't it cool!!!!
Tuesday night, we arrived at Bison Ranch in Obergaard. That night and all day Wednesday, we dealt with winds of approx. 70 mph with gusts up to 90. That rv was rocking and rolling like I have never seen it. The top right and left pictures show the cute little mock western town we were parked beside. We understand that the tops of these stores are actually time-share condos. We all would have loved to have spent more time there but we were so concerned about our horses. At first, we had the rv parked and they were getting the full brunt of the wind. We decided that it would be better for them if we moved the rv to block the wind from them. What a mistake. That level of wind created something of a tunnel under the rv and they were pelted with loose dirt and sand. It didn't take long for us to realize we needed to move the rv back to the original position. Keep the winds in mind, it will be important during one of our next blogs.
The ranch also has a Percheron team complete with a semi for transporting. Marla is in the above center picture with Major. Marla is 5 ft tall which should give you some indication of the height of these horses. Just seeing their halters, harnesses and other tact was awesome. When we were walking toward the barn, Marla pointed out the horse shoe game hanging from the wall of an out building. As we were leaving and after closer view of the magnificent horses, we realized what she saw was their old shoes....not a game.
Thanks to Sylvia for allowing us to park beside her barn for a couple of nights.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
WHERE ARE WE NOW....
I LOVE NATURE
We are in Obergaard, AZ. We had to come into a coffee house so I could get a signal on their Wi-Fi to get some work done. We have no phone or computer phone card signal. I am using this time to catch up some of our blogs. We will be taking pictures of this place and posting them later.
It is planned for Jacob (8 yr. nephew) to join us on Saturday. I am so excited and know this is going to be an adventure of a lifetime. He is so excited and wants to see a coyote so bad, I sure hope it works out for him.
We will be crossing into New Mexico next week.
Keep us in your prayers;
FOSSIL CREEK ROAD
After the ride up to Strawberry, we started toward Payson
. We found a road called "Control Road" that allowed us to bypass the town of Payson
. We back tracked two miles and went 22 miles down Control Road for camp.
Marla and I had scouted out that road the day before. During the ride, we came across a cow elk. Several miles later, we saw a baby trying to get into the brush to his mama. He was right beside us...we just watched but didn't do anything that might cause him further distress. The next day while riding the horses, Andi and I saw a huge mama elk with her baby crossing the road. When we got into camp, Marla and I went out to find our site for the next night. As we were returning to camp...a HUGE bull elk crossed right in front of us. We were riding Tonto and I was trying to keep the light in his eyes to get him to stop. Marla told me to hit the high beam and when I did, he just stopped, turned and looked straight at us. He was totally magnificent and had huge antlers. It was definitely up close and personal - lol
. Sure wish we could have gotten a picture.
Back at camp that night, we were awakened all night by coyotes. They had to have been just out of sight and were extremely loud. It was nature at its finest!!!
Love to all;
Here are a couple pictures we took while riding Fossil Creek Road. It was a 25 mile ride and 10 of the last 12 miles were steady incline. In the 10 miles, our boys went up approx. 3000 ft. in altitude. We found a stock pond (a muddy watering hole) about 10 miles into the ride. Just before the incline, we came to the Verde River. Verde in Spanish means green, you can see by the top left picture how it got its name.
The walls of the creek were very rocky and we almost never found a spot for the boys to get water. We finally came across a place where the creek was very wide but shallow (top middle) and we could get them down for a drink. There were tall stands of lush grass that looked like fescue. As you can see, Jericho kept his mouth full. It was a good break for them just before they started up that incline.
We recently met a man named Charlie and he says that few people do that ride from Camp Verde to Strawberry, AZ in one day. He also said that the rides he has participated in had to be changed to start in Strawberry and ride down to Camp Verde, AZ. He made us feel very proud of our accomplishments and our boys.
MILT AND GAIL PATE
For anybody that loves horses, you can relate to having to face losing one. Our friend and neighbor in Abbeville
, Marchelle Taylor, lost her pregnant mare this week. It was a miniature
and had been bred to an Appaloosa mini. She has been so excited anticipating this birth. Apparently the mare had some distress and she could not get a vet to respond, thus losing both.
As her neighbor, we all knew the little mare, she was such a sweetheart. All of our hearts are broken for Marchelle and our own personal feelings of loss over the little mare.
Edie, Marla and Andi
We shared lots of stories about these wonder folks but I don't recall showing you a picture. They were very sweet and helped us in so many ways. Last Saturday, we tried to rent a car and never thought about rental places being closed. As another generous gesture, they allowed us the use of one of their vehicles.
Thank you so much for all of your generosity and taking us to see so many areas we wouldn't have been able to see between the ears of our horses. Arizona is a beautiful state.
With all our love;
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Scratch, scratch, scratch...
Well folks, let me enlighten you to a little critter that seems to be abundant in Arizona. It is called a Cedar Gnat. it is tiny, sounds like a high pitched dentist drill when it gets in your ear... and it bites. I am covered with bites from the little pesky things. I look like I have the chicken pox! The itch will drive you crazy... It keeps you from sleeping at night... It has my right eye swollen and there is a big puffy place beneath my eye. I have the bites all through my hair... It is an awful experience. Jericho and Whiskey have welts all over them as well. We are spraying with insecticide and using Skin So Soft from Avon. We are using those insect repellent wipes while we are riding... and still it does no good. Marla has quite a few bites herself and Edie doesn't seem to have any! I usually ride in front of her and I think they find me and just eat me up and leave her alone. Either that or she is just not as tasty to them. At any rate... I will be glad when we are out of the Cedar Gnat's territory. He is one Arizona resident that I will not mind saying goodbye to.... I love and miss you all.....Andi
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Fly With the Eagles...
Well, we may not have been flying with the eagles on our 25 mile trip up the mountains and into Strawberry, Arizona, but we were riding where the hawks were flying. As we climbed the mountain, it rose in altitude over 3000 feet during the last 10 miles, taking us, once again, to an altitude of over 7000 feet, At one point, we had two hawks flying right beside us, just over our heads and even below us! What a thrill that was. We were looking down into the valley floor over 2,000 feet below us. It was beyond description. We could see forever and as soon as I can get my pictures off the camera, I will post some for you.
The Arizona Republic ran quite an article on us and an old friend of mine saw the paper when he was in Tucson picking up his son's car to take back to Montana until Jake gets back from Afganistan.Warren and his wife, Sana, are two of my oldest and dearest friends... family really... the kind that are related by the heart rather than by blood. We made arrangements to meet and he came to visit us on his way up to Montana. It was a wonderful visit. I hated to see him go... We are all homesick for family and friends and the pets we left at home. It gets very hard sometimes. We are all doing well, except for this little weird creature that is eating me alive! They are called Cedar Gnats. THEY ARE AWFUL! I look like I have chicken pox. The bites are absolutely maddening! The itch is horrible! I can't wait until I am not in their territory anymore! Marla has quite a few bites that are making her uncomfortable, I think I have a zillion of them, and for some reason, they don't seem to like Edie much! Other than that... we are well and making our way across Arizona. Love to all.... friends, family and pets we have left behind... We miss you all. Andi
Friday, June 01, 2007
LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST.....
You know...we have been through so many dangerous situations but it is my opinion that the biggest danger and greatest fear is...motorist.
Please, please pass this information along. If you see someone riding horseback on the side of the road, pass them as if you might pass a child playing on the side of the road. There is no way any rider can predict how or when their horse might react to the simplest of things. This reaction could send the horse and rider right into the path of your car.
There have been a couple of times that both Andi and I have literally almost been side swiped and could have actually touched the car passing at 55 miles per hour with the toe of our boot without removing it from the stirrup. Funny thing, I was actually under a sign today warning of horseback riders and a van almost clipped us. We would not be so close to the road if there were options. When we are that close, it is because of shear walls or drop offs that do not allow us any shoulder.
Folks...this country was founded and expanded via horses. Just like the people that love to attend the antique car shows there are some of us that go back just a little further. All we ask is a little consideration and room when we get squeezed out into the road. We are taking all the trails and back roads possible. We are not riding down main roads trying to make a statement, even though law gives horses the "right of way".
If you see horses on the side of the road....slow down and just for a moment, enjoy the surrounding view. We are so blessed to have such a beautiful country.
This is Gary...he was so much fun and so good to us. He owns his own restaurant but he was so low profile about it, none of us know the name. As a matter of fact, he took Milt, Gail, Marla, Andi and I out to eat but took us to the local Country Club.
He was the most knowledgeable person I have ever met regarding wines....their origin...how they are rated...etc. I cannot even do him justice about just how much he knows. It was quite a treat for us to be entertained by someone of his caliber and we are most gracious. Thank you Gary and I sure hope we hear from you along our journey.
Thanks from all of us;
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