Monday, July 30, 2007
Lucky Dun It Again...
Well, once again, I can not upload any pictures. A few days ago I blogged about my new filly, Nika. Now it seems that there will be two new fillies coming home with me! "Lucky Dun It Again", is a beautiful two year old dun overo Paint filly. She is the half sister to Nika. They are by "Lucky To Be Gold", out of different dams. As soon as I can get some pictures loaded I will post them. My friend, Nanci, raised both of these fillies in New Mexico. I am very excited about both the new additions. I guess I don't have to worry anymore about Jericho being lonely when we get home! Thanks to Nanci, to Edie, to Peggy, to Guy and to Bobby. Each of you have played a MAJOR role in this turn of events and it would not have come to pass without each of you. I am eternally grateful! I am so looking forward to getting back into the Paint horses. I raised, trained and showed them for years. I have always loved them. Now, when I get back, I will have plenty to keep me busy. Hopefully I will be able to load pictures soon. Until then... keep good thoughts and be happy.... Andi
For those of you who know me well,it can be said that I generally don't sweat.Let me tell you...I'M SWEATING !!! The humidity is just incredible here.When we came in today I was soaked to the bone.I feel for the horses though.They are in great shape and can ride a 22 mile day and come in nice and dry.Now they can be just standing in thier pen and be wet.Summer in the south.
Anyway ,we are getting closer to home and I have to say,we are more than ready.Our work out here isn't done so we have to finish what we have started.We still spend our days talking to folks and handing out cards ,telling our story to anyone who will listen.Funny thing is that is seems to me that it is the younger adults who are most interested.The ones our age always know someone who has been affected by stroke and will share thier story with us.We talk to the waiters and waitresses and the clerks at the store and the people at the post office and anyone else whos ear we can bend.
We got an e-mail from a lady early in our trip who wanted to meet us.We wrote back and forth for a while.She left on a journey to visit her sister and tried to catch up to us in Arizona but it didn't work out.We didn't hear from her for awhile and then all of a sudden she popped up again and was on her return trip to home.She and her friend drove out of thier way to meet us in Texas.Thanks for keeping up with us ,Sharon and Kathryn.They spent the day with us and it was like being with old friends.Sharon even cut our hair.Thanks.
We have met some really wonderful people since we have been away from home.Some really treated us like family.Some say that we now are family and will always be. It's these things I try to remember on these hot sweaty days. What a trip!
Love to all,
P.S. we are having trouble down loading pictures so we will catch up as soon as we can.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
JACOB HAS GONE HOME
How sad...we sure miss him. He had really developed into quite a strong member of our team. He and Marla had their routine for setting up the pens. On one of his last days here, he put one six panels by himself. These things are not light and he is only eight. He was also quite important to her in the unloading of the motorcycle from the hauler. We gave him a lot of responsibility and he did a great job. He loved pulling out his wallet and giving cards to strangers and telling them about our mission.
He starts football practice Monday, this is his first year playing. That is something else we worked on while he was out here. He is strong as an ox and I suspect he will be on the line somewhere.
We are nearing the Arkansas line and boy...the humidity is a crude reminder of our south. There is such a difference between dry heat and this humidity. It was strange how it things change so suddenly. From New Mexico to Texas, the amount of water available changed almost like the flip of a switch.
Our riding now is almost like riding in SC. There are trees that provide shade in places along the roads. All of this familiarity has made us so homesick. We are getting so close but still have so much more distance to make. At least we are moving at a better pace and home seems within reach.
Can't wait to see you in SC;
Saturday, July 28, 2007
We've all heard the saying"Everything's big in Texas" I have to say that there is a lot of truth to that.When we stayed with the Mason's ,they took us to a dairy.It is supposed to be,not only a Texas size dairy but one of the largest in the country.I had no idea that technology had hit the dairy buisness in this way.Now I don't want you to think that I believe there are still folks out there milking by hand cause I'm just smart enough to realize that that would be awful hard to keep up with the population but I was simply amazed.The dairy has near 10,000 head of milk cows.Imagine!There is a carousel these cows load onto that has an 8 minute rotation time. This thing holds 78 cows and revolves 23 hours a day.Let me help you with that math...that is over 4000 a day!!Each cow gets milked 3 times a day,5 tankers a day at 6,500 gallons each of fresh milk every day.Check out the pictures.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
The day we made our 1,000 actual saddle miles was one of the truly great moments of my life. To set a goal and then work so hard to achieve it makes victory that much sweeter. Edie, Marla and I celebrated with a glass of wine and a steak dinner! We figured we deserved it. You really don't appreciate the distance of a thousand miles until you have experienced it from the back of a horse. It gives you an entirely new perspective! Not only did we ride one thousand miles, but at the end of that thousand miles, our horses looked great and were in fantastic condition. That was the most important thing to us... that we could do it and keep the horses in good shape. They have been through a lot and a doing great. I guess that is a testiment to the good care we give them. I can't wait to see my friends and family... We are getting closer every day. We can make excellent time now in this beautiful terrain. Texas has been good to us....Andi
We must, once again, add to the list of Sweet Folks in Texas. Tom and Barbara Mason let us stay at their beautful ranch for a few days. They were the sweetest folks and were very kind to us while we were there. Tom fixed up a place for the horses to stay in some of his cattle pens where they had room to walk around. We combined our resources and shared meals with them and they were wonderful. Barbara set a bountiful table and Marla and I both got some recipes from her to take with us. I got to go to church with them while we were there, and on the way back home, Tom told me some interesting things. He said that within a 100 mile radius of Amarillo, six MILLION cattle go through the feed lots per year! Now, that's alot of hamburger, and good Texas Steaks! No wonder we have seen so many feed lots across Texas. Barbara served us the sweetest cantaloupe at every meal. It was some of the best I ever ate. Tom was a quiet man, but he took Jacob under his wing and let him go with him on the tractor. Jacob had a ball! I asked Tom before we left if we were the most unusual bunch of women he'd had on his place for awhile... and he looked at me and said... "Ever!" He said it with a smile, so I guess that is O.K.! We will remember them always as two extremely sweet folks. We miss them alot. Andi
I told ya'll earlier about my new filly, Nika. I finally got some pictures of her to share with you. She is a two year old. She has blue eyes and is very sweet. Edie has a loud Appy, (Whiskey), Marla has a gorgeous buckskin mare, Shilo, Edie has a bay mare, Hershey, Doug has another bay mare, and when you throw Nika and my roan gelding, Jericho, into the mix... we will surely be a colorful bunch! The "Rainbow Brigade from Abbeville"! Hope you like the new addition... I can't wait to get her home. Andi
Sweet Texas Folks
One day, while Edie and I were riding along a railroad track service road, we saw that the road we were on was going to veer off hard to the right. Marla had put out water for the horses but we would have to follow the highway on our left to get to it. We crossed over the railroad tracks which had steep rocky sides to the rail road bed and thick weeds growing near the bottom of the rail bed. I got off to lead Jericho down the steep embankment and slipped in the rocks. I fell in front of him, but as luck would have it, he avoided stepping on me once more. He has had many opportunities to step on me when I have fallen right in front of him, but he never has. I really love this horse! Anyway, when we got on the other side of the tracks, we realized that we were in a cattle feed lot. These things are HUGE! They are so big that they have a network of roads running through pen after pen of cattle. They also smell pretty bad. The horses didn't know what to think of the thousands, (and I do mean thousands...) of cattle. At one point, we were trying to figure out how far we were from the road but there was a berm between us and the road so we were unable to see how far we were off the highway. Jacob was with us that day and we were all walking, so we asked him to go climb the berm to see where the highway was. There was an area that looked all cracked and cakey like it had once been wet and had dried up. When Jacob took a few steps in that, he sunk into a muck bed. It was a deep bed of cow manure! By the time poor Jacob, (wearing his brand new cowboy boots, of course...) got out of the muck, his boots were caked with cow poo. He was not happy! He was sure Edie and I had known what it was and sent him there on purpose. We finally convinced him that we did not do it on purpose... we assured him that his boots would dry and could be cleaned up again at that point... that appeased him somewhat. While we were walking on the inside of the fence near the highway, Charlie Overton saw us. He is the person we stayed with in Yeso, New Mexico. He was on his way to Hereford to take some cows to the packing plant. It was like old home week! We were so excited to see him again. We talked a few minutes and he was on his way. We finally found our way out of the feed lot and got on the highway again. The rest of the day went well... We have enjoyed this part of the ride so much... have a great week! Andi
Shortly after we arrived in Texas, we met the Johnson family. They own Scott Johnson Farm Services. They go all over Texas and cut corn for people who have dairy and beef cattle. They also raise show steers. They have a "cold room" that is air conditioned to put the young steers in so they can grow hair to make their coats thicker. Jacob had a ball learning all about show cattle. They also have three lovely daughters that show their pigs and steers. Jill, Cari, and Abby are in the 4-H club and were inerested in asking lots of questions about the horses and our ride. We were very grateful for their hospitality and friendship while we were there. They were the first people we stayed with when we first got to Texas and we were to find out that they were the first of many very sweet people we would meet here. Love to all... Andi
Friday, July 20, 2007
We Made it!
CROSSING INTO TEXAS
More news to catch you up on... Edie and I are now officially Long Riders. So much has been going on, it will take us a few days to catch you up on all the important past events. We are really trying to make some time now as the terrain has opened up for us. The horses are in great condition... they never even break a sweat anymore. Their weight is holding well, their feet are in good shape and they certainly have plenty of energy... Texas is being kind to us, so far. The people are very friendly. We are in the heart of the west Texas farm country. Such a change from the desert terrain... a welcome change. The desert had it's own beauty, but this is different. Everything is green and growing. No more steep climbs or decents... Few gopher holes to step in and virtually no deep drifting sand. We are anxious to see what lies ahead for us in Texas. I'm sure it will all be interesting. I am still homesick for my friends and family. I miss them all so much. Hi to Jessi and Ryan... give Naja a pat on the head for me... you guys are precious to me. Thanks so much for taking good care of her. Hi to Ms. Julia... and Julie... and the rest of the clan that are holding down the fort in Abbeville and caring for my cat, Evie. Mary, J.C. and the rest of my family and friends... I can't wait to see you all again. I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ.... "there's no place like home... there's no place like home..." I keep clicking my heels, but no magical journey home... Just more hoof prints in the dirt... heading towards home... to where my heart is... I love you all.... Andi
We are still catching up on pictures. Here is when we actually crossed over into Texas and it is definitely cowboy country. I have seen the biggest stockyards and huge dairies here. There are also fields of corn and the sweet smell of tilled soil. I know lots of ranchers use ATV's for long distance herding but there is still a need for horses in certain circumstances. We watched a couple of guys cutting calves from the herd for medical attention. It is so cool to watch roping being done as part of the job and not just for competition.
I agree with Andi about the road courtesy here. Virtually everybody gives us road room, even though we are riding on the shoulder of the road. It is a gut wrenching feeling to be riding and have two cars coming toward you and the back one decide to pass and whips out as if it is headed in your direction. I have witnessed several people actually wait until they are past us before passing the car ahead of them. Thee shoulders of the road are so much more conducive to horseback riding and we are certainly excited about our ability to make better time. Home is certainly starting to feel closer to us.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
BANDALIER NAT'L PARK
We had so much trouble with computer signals in New Mexico that keeping up our pictures on blogs was virtually impossible. Any signal I had was used for working and quick blogs. I am trying to take some time to show some of pictures we took while in New Mexico.
As a reminder, we had to put the RV in the shop for a couple of days. While it was there, we were able to use a car and drive up to Bandalier and back through Santa Fe.
Bandalier Park is the ruins of the Pueblo Indians (also referred to as cliff dwellers) dating back approximately 500 years. They lived in caves carved out of the soft mountains created by volcanic ash. Some of the pictures show the ruins of buildings that were built from block also carved from the soft stone. The bottom left picture is the ceremonial cave and we had to climb several flights of "ladders". There was a great view from up there. The round structure is called a kiva and tourists are allowed to go down in there. It was quite an experience and a place I have wanted to see for a long time.
I felt funny actually wearing shorts and probably looked even funnier than I felt. My arms and face are very tanned but my legs are stark white from wearing jeans while we ride. Hope I blind anybody while we were there.
BILLY THE KID'S GRAVE
Here are a couple of pictures taken in the old downtown Santa Fe. The picture on the left is along the square. This is where the locals display their handmade jewelry and blankets. No doubt that there were many talented craft persons. The picture on the right just exemplifies the architecture in that area.
Can you guess who took this picture? I don't know who was more excited about riding horses in the same town as Billy the Kid....Jacob or me.
I guess I had Billy pegged as just another bank robbing, murdering outlaw. He was actually called a Regulator and after his boss/teacher was murdered, they were deputized. They were given warrants to capture these men and bring them in for trial. Billy just didn't see the need to take them back in. Even though his tactics were more of a vigilante, his actions got attention from the President and ultimately helped dissolve some of the government corruption in New Mexico.
In Andi's blog, she mentions about the mountains and mesas disappearing...here are a couple of pictures of those beautiful New Mexico mesas.
Texas, Texas, Texas...
Camp is where ever Marla parks the RV and it is rarely at a campsite or RV park. Most of the time we are on the side of the road. This particular night, we are on the side of Hwy. 60, Jacob and I are cooking the infamous
It seemed like forever that I was talking about the desert... It seemed like forever that we were in the desert... WE ARE DEFENITELY NOT IN THE DESERT ANYMORE! We are on a flat planet that has not so much as a bump on it all the way to the horizon! Beautiful fields of corn and milo and soy beans. Huge irrigation sprinklers and huge tractors. Huge cattle feed lots and huge dairies. It seems they don't do anything on a small scale in Texas! Huge trains that require five to eight engines to pull them down the track. There are some other differences in Texas... the drivers are the most courteous we have seen yet... They are so careful around the horses... they slow down or even pull over to the breakdown lane when coming at us in the oncoming lane of traffic! Truckers are especially courteous. It is a far cry from California... We have come quite a ways in Texas and I am very impressed. The people are kind and sweet. The weather is HOT and the breeze sometimes feels like it is coming off a blast furnace, but at least it cools our skin a little. It's hard to believe we have come so far. It has been incredible. I thought alot about Nika today. She is beautiful and I am looking forward to having a young horse to work again. Jericho whill love having another horse for a buddy. The world is beautiful, the trip is fantastic, and ...for the moment... all is right with the world. Marla is cooking something wonderful... I don't know what it is... but it sure smells good... mmmm mmmmm she is a great cook. The side of the roads here are soft and grassy. We are making great time. Few rocks and even footing... we'll be home before we know it! Love to all... Andi
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
US, SUE AND LINN
Here is a picture of our SC visitors. We have one of just them but couldn't get it to load on the blog page. I was able to show this one. It was sure great visiting with them.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Two Ladies from Home...
What happened to the rocks and mountains?
We got a great surprize yesterday. A lady from Greenwood, South Carolina, a town twelve miles from where we live, called us. Linn Johnson and her sister, Sue, were in the area where we were and saw our picture in a paper. They were so excited to know we were close and they wanted to meet us. It was like old home week. Linn lives in Greenwood and her sister, Sue, lives in Charleston. We had a wonderful visit with the ladies and enjoyed them so much.By the time they left, we felt like we had been with two long time friends! It was such a treat to hear another South Carolina accent and to know that when we go home, we have two new friends. I have been trying to post a picture of them but have not been able to upload the picture. I guess we'll have to post it when we can do it later. Any way... they were an absolute joy and I can't wait to see them again. What a special gift their visit was to us all... We have been out here so long that things take on a different perspective... At home, people are going on with their lives... We are so seperated from our loved ones... we miss them and will be glad to be home when our journey is over, but when we get to see someone from home, even people we have never met before... they are very precious to us. Linn and Sue are another high point in our trip...Love to everyone... Andi
One Bad Apple...
We know we are in Texas because there are NO ROCKS OR MOUNTAINS clear to the horizon, in any direction. We are riding on a table top of beautiful green grass and it actually rains here! We were in the desert for so long, I never thought we would get out of it. Four months of sand, sand, and more sand! Five months with NO RAIN! Rocks have been everywhere and now there are no rocks... That would not be a problem had I bought a shorter horse, but even though Jericho is only fifteen hands, I need a little something to step on in order to mount him. Long gone are the days when I could grab a horses mane and swing up on him bareback... Sherry, from Super Gentle Horses, where Edie bought Whiskey... gave me a neat little tripod thinggy that I can stand on to mount and it folds up in my saddle bag. It will get a lot of use out here! I am glad that my new paint filly won't be a huge horse... I would have to carry a step ladder to get on her! Oh well, getting older brings on some concessions, but at least I am still riding... As long as I can figure out how to get on a horse, I will ride. The people in Texas are very nice and I like it here. The terrain is much better and much more conducive to faster travel. Things are opening up for us and we are glad. We are hoping the hardest part is over now that we have left the desert of California, the mountains of Arizona, and the prairies and mesa's of New Mexico behind us... nothing but wide open spaces ahead of us and lots of them... Peace and blessings to all.... Andi
From the very beginning of our ride, we have been truly blessed by wonderfully supportive people that understand how important our ride is to spread avareness of strokes and promote early stroke detection. The people that are following us, know how hard it is to do what we are doing out here. Edie and I both have watched our sisters struggle with the aftermath of their strokes. We are passionate in our attempt to spread the information necessary in order to possibly prevent someone elses sister, brother, parent or child from unnecessary damage by getting an early diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes there are people who are malicious and vindictive for different reasons. These "armchair critics" are not people that could or would do anything of this magnitude and out of pure unadulterated viciousness use any opportunity to try to cast a pallor on a good thing. Today we had a vicious comment that was meant to hurt and damage our efforts. Because of one bad apple we have been forced to change the method that our comments are posted. From this point on, comments will be sent to our email site automatically for us to filter and post. It will mean a slight delay in the appearance of a comment, but we hope you will all continue to comment. It means so much that you are following us and are keeping us in your prayers. We love you all. We will not allow one bad apple to spoil our barrel of beautiful apples! Andi
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Genghis Kahn Meets the Matrix
CORN FIELDS...HOME SWEET HOME
Wow! Some really exciting things are happening! CuChullaine O'Reilly, one of the founders of the Long Rider Guild, has contacted us to let us know that we are going to be the "stars" of an upcoming article in some prominent technology magazines. Our expedition has been the first of it's kind in the history of the world!!! Never before have equestrian travelers all been linked on the internet while doing their rides. I have been setting up the first network ever where the six other riders that are doing Long Rides in North America are in contact while on their expeditions. Edie has another claim to fame.. She has combined the fourteenth century activities of long distance equestrian travel and exploration while using modern technology to work on her computer while we are out here. I send in a weekly article to our local paper, updating our journey and am using my computer to write a book about our trip. Edie makes and receives work related calls on her cell phone while we are riding our horses down the trail. Marla uses the computer as well, to find things we are going to need... to order things for us like Tonto's new tracking hitch. One of the riders is from Germany which makes this an international network. We are breaking ground in so many area's. I had no idea when we left that we would be setting some records while we were doing our thing... how cool is that? Love to all... Andi
MY NEW GELDING IS NOW A FILLY!
The terrain has changed so drastically during the last 100 miles. We have actually seen corn fields in Texas. I cannot describe how happy we will be when we reach the other side of Texas. I think we will all feel like we are in the home stretch.
There have been barbed wire fences along the shoulder of the road all through AZ and NM. Once we crossed into TX, the fences disappeared. Our boys are cetainly loving the little bit of grazing they are getting within the confinement of their pens. Marla and Andi love to go out and adjust the pen locations....they get a whole new crop to munch when they move them.
We have so many pictures to post but have been so busy. There has simply been no signal in NM and we will be taking the next week to get caught up.
Thank you for your patience;
Sometimes things get confusing out here. I blogged earlier about my new addition that would be coming to Abbeville when I get home. My friend of many years, Nanci, had her old horse, Bub, and three beautiful Overo Paint horses. One of them was a gorgeous 3 year old Palomina Overo gelding named Splash. The other two were a pretty little dun Overo filly and Nika, a bay Overo filly with a bald face and a blue eye. When we went into the barn at her house, she said I could have either one of them I wanted. Initially, I chose Splash. It was really hard for Nanci to give him up because he is already working under saddle and she is very attached to him. I decided that I might like one of the girls instead. So Nanci and I talked, and she is thrilled to be keeping Splash and glad that I am taking Nika. Nika was orphaned at five days of age and has been handled quite a bit because of that fact. She will be my replacement for Fancy,(if such a thing is possible), and will be with me until one of us is gone. I had my good Paint mare, Fancy, from the time she was born until she died at age twenty eight. It will be especially nice to have a horse that was so important to one of my good friends. It will be like Nanci and I have a common ground forever. So now that I have you completely confused... My new addition is a beautiful bay and white Overo Paint filly with a blue eye. The name Nika is as close as another friend who is Navajo, could come to a word that means "orphan". It literally means, "One without relatives. As soon as I have a picture of her, I will post it. Love to all... Andi
Thursday, July 12, 2007
OUR FIRST REAL STORM
Since we started riding, we have only encountered rain a couple of times. Once when we were in the mountain tops near Prescott, AZ, there was a storm and we could hear the lightening and thunder. It was close enough to cause concern and we only got sprinkled with rain. Another time, we were within sight of camp and we got caught in rain. Yesterday....we were IN a thunderstorm.
It was funny...in the beginning of this trip, the thing that scared Whiskey the most was blowing or flapping plastic, especially bags. It took lots and lots of bags to help him overcome this fear but trust me, there were plenty in California. Yesterday, I became
a flapping plastic bag with a poncho. I would have loved to have been able to read his mind. The look on his face was as if it was some cruel joke.
It was raining so hard that Jericho instinctively turned his rear to the rain which caused him to walk sideways. It was stinging Andi and I as well so we went down on the lower shoulder and all of us turned our back and hunkered down to wait it out. It rained so hard that even through our shirts and ponchos, it stung like we were on a motorcycle. There was nothing to do but stand there and try to think of songs about rain. It was not pretty hearing Andi and I singing songs like "rain drops keep falling on my head". We love to watch people's expressions during such events, we just laugh and wave. What else can we do.
I guess it goes without saying that this severely slowed our pace. We knew we were going to have to face a railroad underpass that was of concern to us with clear skies. It was in the last mile or so of the ride and we were literally approaching it and looking to see if there was anyway to go down over the track instead of over the bridge. I had just told Andi that I had real concerns about the visibility with the weather if we had to go over the bridge. The bridge has an arch that would obstruct view of us and there was not much shoulder. Our singing certainly was silenced and the concern was showing on our faces as we were hoping to see an answer to our dilemma. Once again, God came to our rescue with a couple of angels in the form of cowboys with a trailer. They pulled up behind us and asked "are you endurance riders"... in unison we said "NO!!". He then said, "will trailering be against what you are trying to do"...again we said "NO". He opened the back of the trailer which was an open stock trailer with a front cover. We loaded the horses and I noticed he was still standing at the back. We told him that no further than we had to go, we would just ride with our horses. No since getting the inside of their truck wet. Our thanks to these guys...it all happened so quickly and with the weather, all we knew in the end is that one of them was named Jesse.
Our camp is located beside a small, old church. There are no windows or doors but it provided a great shelter for us to change out of our drenched clothing into something dry. The cowboy rescue bringing us to this old church was more warming than the dry clothes. We were reminded again how many prayers are with us during our mission out here.
Love to all;
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Good Bye to Billy the Kid...
As Edie and I rode off of the Overton's ranch, we learned from Charlie that part of the Billy the Kid ride crosses his ranch. It is a ride that retraces the last ride of Billy the Kid from Lincoln, New Mexico to Fort Sumner where he was killed. Charlie Overton guides the ride for two days.The ride takes about a week and is a yearly event. It was kind of neat to be riding the same trail that Billy the Kid rode. We visited his grave site and the museum. It was really quite interesting. As you know, Jacob, Edie's eight year old nephew is with us right now. It was especially interesting to him. Marla picked up the movie "Young Guns" for Jacob and we all watched it. There were some things in there that I found especially interesting since we were here in the area where it all took place. Edie, Marla and I watched it and learned some things we did not know. We all knew that Billy the Kid was an outlaw... (Edie and I both thought he was a bank robber...) what we did not know was that he was actually deputized at one point and was a Regulator, one of a group of young men that worked in the capacity of protecting agents for a rancher and store owner. Billy the Kid played a big part in stamping out corruption in the New Mexican government. President Rutherford B. Hayes stepped in to clean up the corruption after Billy the Kid made him aware of the situation in New Mexico. Yes, he was an outlaw... but he was also a vigilante that did some wrong things for the right reasons... I came away with an entirely different concept of who Billy the Kid really was...
Both Peggy and Marchelle correctly guessed that Splash is a horse. He is a beautiful three year old, palomino and white overo paint gelding. Good guess my friends...
I want to thank Bev and Charlie for allowing me to attend church with them. I would like to thank all the wonderful people I met there. We happened to have pot luck dinners both days I attended and they have some pretty fantastic cooks in Fort Sumner and Yeso, New Mexico... !
To Jessie and all... thanks so much for your kindness... God bless you all.... I will never forget you. I will miss Bev and Charlie... Yeso is a wonderful place. I loved it there.... It is so hard to meet new friends and have to leave them... The Overton's family have lived on that ranch for generations and it has a rich history... this family is a great example of the families that made the west what it is today... the ranchers that took on the challenge of the land and forged a partnership that still works today. We are truly blessed to have met Bev and Charlie... they generously donated our horses shoeing and took such good care of the animals while we were away. They may never know it, but they also donated many rich and colorful threads that we will incorporate into the tapestry of memories that we are weaving throughout our journey. I miss and love all my friends and family at home... Hey Jessi... Give Naja a pat on the head for me.... I miss her and all of you... Say hello to your family for me.... Hugs to all... Andi
JACOB THE RANCHER
This is Charlie and Beverly Overton and they are just as sweet as they look. They provide many services at their ranch including raising cattle, horses, guiding hunt groups and young christian groups called Cowboy Country Church. Please visit their site at www.elyesoranch.com
We appreciated their generocity so much. They "babysat" our horses and Amos which allowed us to put our rv in the shop for some much needed repairs. Since we had to get a car, we were able to go site-seeing for a couple of days. Our destination was Bandalier National Park and we routed our drive through a town call Madrid. It is an old, small mining town that has old homes converted into shops....mostly art. We weren't there long before it started looking familiar to Marla and me. Turns out it was the town in which "Wildhogs" was filmed. If you have seen the movie, you recall that the little cafe was rebuilt. It is there but not operational...just a sign about Disney having built it for the movie.
We made our way up to the park and it was incredible. There will be a blog later with pictures of the ruins and the caves. It was great. We drove back through Santa Fe and walked through some of the old downtown area. I love southwestern buildings and the fact that Santa Fe requires that style, even for the new construction. Even McDonalds has the vegas.
As we were traveling, we maintained contact with the garage to assure the rv would be ready as promised. You guessed it...we were on our way to turn in the car and get the rv when they told us it was going to be one more day. Marla told them....well, that is our home and guess you are going to just have to plug us into your shop. They did and we camped that night in the Ford dealership lot. How utterly strange - lol.
PLANES, TRAINS AND.ummmmm TRUCKS
As you know, my eight year old nephew is out here with us. We stayed at the Overton ranch in Yeso and met Charlie and Beverly Overton. The time we spent with them was great and Jacob just couldn't get enough time with Charlie. He is not only a real rancher but is also a christian. When we left their ranch, in addition to lots of beef and fresh eggs...Charlie gave us some cowboy bibles to give out. Jacob is reading this bible every night. I told him if he read the bible a little every night, it would be a great thing. So far he is keeping up his reading.
As most of you know, my horse's name is Whiskey. Jacob met me near the end of our ride and I let him ride Whiskey (with me holding a lead rope) the rest of the way to camp. When I talked to my Mother, I told her how proud she would be of him. He is now on Whiskey AND reading the bible - lol.
I have heard it said many time that there is no such thing as a bombproof horse....and I actually agree. However, yesterday we were riding and there was a train approaching us about 50 yards to our right...whistle/horn blaring, there was a semi- truck approaching us on our left and at the same time, a low flying fighter jet crossed in front of us. You can imagine the noise and neither horse flinched. They are pretty close to being bombproof.
Friday, July 06, 2007
More Trail Angels
I'd like to take just a moment of your time to introduce my girls. Three beauties that I love with all of my heart.First born is Jennifer(in the yellow).She lives in Ohio along with her daughter(my grand daughter)Kaitlyn.Hopefully after this ride is over ,we can spend some time together.
Then comes Leslie. Leslie is a wonderful young lady who recently married a young man,Trevor, and started her own life.Very involved in her church and family.She works hard and plays hard.She is quick to give you a smile and a laugh. A warm and loving heart.She lets me know how much she loves me.
Now my littlest angel,Shelby(center),Shelby has a spirit all her own.Very smart and trusting.She will finish high school next year and plans to go to Clemson University and study psychology and is more than capable of achieving her goals.Shelby knows how to love with her whole heart and will still hold my hand in public!
I thank God for all my girls. I love them beyond measure.
Once again, we have met some very special folks that I wanted to take the time to tell you about. While we were in Yeso, N.M. we met a wonderful couple, Charlie and Bev Overton. They have Overton Guest Ranch, a 40,000 acre ranch where they raise cattle and horses. They have some gorgeous horses! They are ten miles off the main road. The are both very musically inclined. Charlie plays several instruments and they played and sang for us. It was so much fun. Their home has been in Charlies family for generations. The original part of the house has adobe walls, two feet thick. They have several guest houses on the property. Charlie also takes out hunting parties. They are a wonderfully sweet couple and have been very kind to us. They are on our list of Trail Angels.... another hint for Wanda, Splash is three years old but not grown yet. As you know, Edie's nephew, Jacob, is with us. He is having a great time working and playing out here. He is a big help to us and we love having the opportunity to spend this time with him. He has crossed the Continental Divide and the Rio Grande. He has seen some wonderful things, and experienced some things most kids will never have the opportunity to do. He will have some stories to tell when he gets home! Hello to my friends and family... I miss you all and can't wait to see you. God bless you all... Andi
Thursday, July 05, 2007
I never thought that I would get so many comments on my last blog, sometimes I just get homesick, not only for my home now, but for places I have lived in the past. I have no doubt now that I have taken root in South Carolina. I consider it a privilege to call that my home. We are all anxious to get back. We had a nice fourth of July and thank God that we are, first and foremost, Americans. What a privilege that is. Now, Wanda has guessed that Splash is a German Shepherd puppy.... Nice try Wanda... but nope. A clue... Splash has one blue eye and is bigger than a bread box! We will be on the road again on Monday. It has been a busy week. Whiskey is doing great with no side effects of his fight with the corral panels. We hear that Texas is flooded in places... hope that is all over by the time we get there! More later... Love to all... Andi
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Home away from Home
As many of you know, I used to live in New Mexico. In fact, next to South Carolina, New Mexico is my favorite state. As I cross this beautiful state I feel like I have come home... but I can't help but compare it to Abbeville... I have the memory of the Square in Abbeville etched into my brain. The way it is decorated at Christmas... the quaint little shops on the square... the friendly people there that have made me feel so welcome since I moved there. Things here are different. The little towns have grown so much I hardly recognize them. Most of the people that I knew here have moved away... far away... to Idaho, Montana or Michigan. I have wonderful memories from New Mexico... and one wonderful friend that still lives there... but I'm afraid that is all I have left... they say you can't go back... well, maybe they are right... I am back but it is not the same. It was a happy time for me here... but I have many happy memories in Abbeville. My sister and son are in S.C. Hmmm... they say that home is where the heart is... I guess that means that South Carolina is my home... with my son and his family, with my sister, with my grandchildren and with my friends. I reckon I am an ex-New Mexican and am now a South Carolinian... and proud to be one, at that. Oh, by the way, it looks like I will be bringing home a momento from New Mexico... a gift from one of my very dearest friends... His name is Splash and you will have to guess what he is... or wait to see. He is sweet and beautiful and I fell in love at first sight.... Now, I will have a piece of my friend, Nancy, with me for many many years... Love to all.... I miss you... Andi
Desert to Plains
We have really come through some varied terrain. From the citrus groves in southern California, to the stark barrenness
of the Mojave, through the rugged mountains of Arizona and altitudes of almost eight thousand feet, across the Continental Divide, the Rio Grande
and now into the vast prairie
. What a wonderful way to see the United States! While they are suffering from drought in Camp Verde, Arizona... they are dealing with record breaking floods in Texas. Time is such a relative thing when you are traveling by horseback through the country. Twenty five miles takes a day of riding. It takes a week to go as far as you can drive in two and a half hours. You get to see things that a car speeding by at sixty miles an hour cannot see. We take it all in, knowing that we will probably never see some of these things again, and most definitely
not by horseback. The views
have been beyond description, the people we have met are wonderful and difficulties we have encountered have only served to strengthened us and give us a deeper appreciation of all that we have experienced. This journey has given us a view
of the United States far different from any we have had before. This week is the fourth of July and our Nations birthday. I would like to say, "Happy Birthday America" from one who is getting to know her on a brand new level. "You are even more beautiful up close and personal!" Happy Fourth to all.... Love and best wishes to all, Andi
Monday, July 02, 2007
We had a pretty good scare with Whiskey the other night. He is just a solid muscle of a horse which makes him lacking in flexibility. When they have opportunities to really act like horses and roll, Jericho rolls over and back over several times scratching his back. We laugh because Whiskey rolls on one side and has to stand up then go down on the other side and roll. When we were younger, we used to say the value of the horse was based on the number of times they could roll back and forth. Poor Whiskey, he just could not get all the over.....until the other night. Apparently he rolled in his pen which is made of panels usually placed just a couple of feet from the RV. When he succeeded in rolling over, his legs were penned against the RV and through the rails of his panels. We quickly reacted...Andi was getting a halter on him while Marla and I started taking the pen apart. When I removed the panel that his front legs were through, this freed him partially and enabled him to stand. Not good.....his back leg was still through the rail on the back panel. Andi and Marla were in the process of taking the remaining two panels apart and when they succeeded, we were able to literally drop the panel down his leg to free him totally.
We gave him a shot of bannamine for any pain he might have and also hoped to prevent inflamation. He had very little swelling the next day and seemed to be ok. Whew.....it was not fun for any of us. Poor Jacob was in the RV scared to death. We couldn't let him come out with a horse thrashing around and couldn't really take the time to explain to him what we were doing. In the end, all ended good.
Fortunately, we were near a planned stop. From the very beginning of the trip, we targeted Yeso, NM as a stopping point to make whatever adjustments that might be needed. Whiskey has a great paddock at a ranch owned by Charlie and Beverly Overton. He and Jericho will have a little rest for a couple of days. We put the RV in the shop for some minor repairs. We hope to be back in the saddle and on the road as soon as possible.
site design by Network Carolina, Inc.