The town of Westcliffe was an absolute pleasure. Cute, rustic, small, picturesque, and really friendly. On our way into town, I finally got a couple miles of cell reception. I checked my messages while riding to find that our friend Janet in California had been in touch with her friend in Pueblo. They were going to host us for a long rest, find a place to rest the horses, and get us massages! We were so excited I yelled out loud! I called her friend Bev right away and she sounded just as sweet as Janet. In fact, they decided right then that they would drive out to meet us- tonight!
We got in touch with the pastor of the local cowboy church and he offered to put us and our horses up for the night. They had the whole arena to enjoy, and we were offered to sleep in the church. However, we were also invited by Amy to stay at the Mountain View Inn Bed and Breakfast- and Larry at the cowboy church said we better not pass that one up! So he drove us over to the lovely little Inn, where we took a shower and waited for Bev, her sister Anna, and their mom Ila, to come meet us over dinner. The “Feedstore” Restaurant was very unique inside and out, and the food was surprisingly tasty for a small town. The outside of the building looked just like a feedstore- which Richard and I had mistakenly gone in there to buy horse salt and realized it was a restaurant! We had a fun dinner and had a blast telling some of our stories- and I think most of the restaurant was not-so-sneakily listening in by the end of the night! Our waitress gave us the contact information of a friend of hers in our upcoming path, and we left there feeling very welcome in this small town.
We woke in the morning to a hot breakfast and great conversation with a roughly 90 year old couple who still went out on “surprise” dates. He had told her that she should pack casual clothes for three days, then drove her to the bed and breakfast. I only hope that Richard and I are still able to get around and do little adventures like that when we get to that age! We said goodbye to the friendly B&B owners and thanked them profusely for their gift- the first hotel of any sort we have stayed in on the whole trip!
Getting the horses ready took a bit longer than expected because we talked with Larry, the cowboy church pastor, for quite a long time. We really enjoyed getting to know him, hearing encouraging stories about how his ministry started, and getting contacts of people who were very experienced running boys’ ranches for healing. Not only is this ride a fundraiser, but it is proving to be invaluable for the contacts we make of people with skills, knowledge, willingness to help, and experience.