Grayson stuffed us so much with delicious three inch thick burgers for lunch that we had to walk it off all afternoon! We felt too roley-poley to ride! We are incredibly grateful for Grayson’s generosity and being ‘in the feeding business’ for both us and our horses. The alfalfa he bought has come in very handy crossing this vast San Luis Valley. It’s the largest alpine valley in the world- averaging 7,500 feet above sea level. There’s not a whole lot of grass in some places, nor is there much water on this end.
We can hardly believe October is almost over. We had hoped to be over the Rockies by the beginning of October- not still be crossing them! But we are so thankful that God has blessed us with a mild fall. It’s still relatively warm, and it’s been snowing on the peaks behind us, but not in front of us! We don’t presume that the good weather is ‘because’ of us, but we do know that God made it very clear that we were to do this cross country ride THIS year and not wait! He knows! At least with Grayson here, we are able to make a lot of miles fast because the horses or not carrying their normal loads so we can go more days in a row. Hopefully we will make it over all the mountain ranges of the Rockies before the big snow hits.
We did, however, get caught in a hail storm today. It started mildly, then came harder and harder- dropping larger-than-pea size hail in bucket loads. The horses were no more happy about this than we were- It hurt! So we let them stop and lick on a salt block we found to distract them from being grumpy during the hail. Then just as fast as it came, it was gone- leaving a rainbow for us!
Once the storm passed us, we got to see something we’d never seen before. The valley was so large that we could literally watch the cloud move across and down the valley for over an hour. But the coolest part- that rainbow was under the cloud the entire time! We’d never seen a traveling rainbow before!
That evening’s stop was noteworthy. Not only were we out in a vast open valley surrounded by the Continental Divide and the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, we had a most unusual item to tie our horses to! As you know, they are very good at dealing with whatever random thing we find to tie them to for the night. Grayson had scouted ahead and found a huge metal cable spool left in a BLM cow pasture. It looked like a spoked wagon wheel, and it was perfect! We tied the horses around it in a circle and were very amused to think of all the strange things we have tied our horses to: garage posts, chain link fences, 4 horses to one tree, forest service signs, bushes, gates, picnic tables, cable spools…….