Our horses have dealt with alot of traffic and have ridden through alot of towns. But Winchester was quite a challenge.
It started with riding down highway 60. It was an extremely busy road and only got worse the closer to Winchester that we got. There were fewer and fewer places we could ride off the road, and traffic went by awfully close to our horses. By the time we got to town, we already had frayed nerves.
When we rode into the heart of Winchester, we were in for quite a challenge. The streets were narrow, the buildings were close, and the traffic was very congested. It was one of the few places we had to put Bella on a leash because it was so dangerous. We had a reporter follow us for a short bit with a camera through the city. Thankfully, most of the traffic was polite, but it was still unnerving to go through such a city. We have had police escort for much less, and this was one city that it would have been nice. But we didn’t expect it to be so challenging! We finally stopped on the sidewalk and asked a local if there was a side street that would get us through town and over the railroad and highway and such so we could get off the main road. He gave us directions and it was a sigh of relief to get off main street. I told Richard that I think I just accumulated a few more gray hairs in the last hour!
We made a random stop to talk to an older gentleman out working on building a pond in his yard. We ended up watering our animals, using his bathroom, and eating a snack while we talked to him! As we got to the outskirts of town, our route quickly turned into a quite country route- a welcome reprieve. We road through rolling hills and farmland out into the country. The wood rail fences through Lexington are pretty to look at, but it was nice to have a change of scenery and get back into the country where fences are simple and about function rather than fashion.
We actually ended up having company for the last few miles of our day- someone going our speed. His name was Josh and the breaks on his car locked up. So he wasn’t able to go any faster than us. It worked out great- we had someone following us with flashers, and he had a good “excuse” for going slow so he didn’t feel bad about holding up traffic! We chatted a bit as I turned around in the saddle and he leaned out the window. We were offered a field to camp in at L and E Junction – a ‘town’ of sorts. Where we camped was the remains of the railroad track and bridge that started the town. While the horses were hobbled, we hurried to get camp ready for the impending rain in between chasing the horses out of the road.
That evening was quite special. We got to enjoy our -maybe fifth?- campfire of the whole trip. Quite a luxury because it takes time and effort to make a fire- something we usually don’t spend the extra energy to do. But we had company. Our hosts who owned the field stopped by with the firewood, Patty came by with our gear that we had left behind for a light weight couple days, a man we met along the road came by with steaks for dinner, and Josh and his brothers came by twice- first to help unpack, then to enjoy the campfire with us. We had a great evening hanging out around the campfire with our new friends and enjoying the peaceful evening sounds before we fell fast asleep for a great night’s sleep in our tent.