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We were so glad that Ralph and Linda had lent us their barn. They had had us in for supper and visiting before we retired to our tent. But in the night, a massive rain storm developed and it was raining quite steadily when we woke up in the morning. We had been laying there doing our morning Bible reading, hoping the rain would stop. Richard finally used his phone to pull up a weather report and it was definitely not going to stop. Yuck. Just then, Ralph showed up with Terry, the man we met yesterday who found us this place to stay, and offered to take us out to breakfast if we wanted to stay put for the day.

It was raining- really raining. We are getting toughened back up with the periodic camping now, but Kansas made us soft with their above and beyond hospitality (well- we DID ride through the winter but they made it bearable) and we were not finding a thread of motivation to go out in THAT! Yup- breakfast sounded great!

We learned that Terry was a fan of long distance trail riding. He had done several one to two week long trips as well as several wagon trains, each trip covering well over 100 miles. One such ride had been the River to River trail in Illinois. He thoughtfully had brought his map along to give to us of this trail, as well as many suggestions on the route. It is a very strong option for going through that state. It is slightly north of where we cross the Mississippi, but not out of our way considering where we are heading on the East coast. Besides, it would be a welcome change from constant road riding to get back on trails for a week and a half or so.

Terry drove us up to Walmart to pick up a few things, then we spent the rest of the day huddling inside our sleeping bags in our tent reading and making phone calls and trying to stay warm from the damp, chilly day. At least we had the hay barn to help protect us from the rain. Ralph and Linda invited us back over to the house for dinner where we got a chance to visit with Steve again, who happened to be a neighbor, as well as a young but mature brother and sister who had come over to meet us and ask great questions. We had a fun time talking with them about specialty cattle grazing practices, organic gardening, horses and barefoot trimming. We never tire talking to people about the benefits and possibilities with keeping your horse barefoot. It’s been an education beyond words, a joy, and testament to the barefoot horse to ride our horses over 2,600 miles barefoot and booted when necessary. And I’ll take this opportunity to slide in another heartfelt thank you to our hoof boot sponsors: Renegade and EasyCare for their devoted and extremely generous support of our ride for Hearts Up Ranch and our mutual goal to educate horse owners about the barefoot horse.

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