Bonnie and Babe helped us get the horses ready in the morning. We were quite thankful for their help, especially considering as how Babe was afraid of horses and really got in and helped us. Plus, Bonnie hasn’t had the opportunity to be around horses in quite a while and it was her ‘horse fix’ time just like hugging her friendly cat was my ‘kitty fix’ time from missing Nacho. It was a blessing for all of us to spend time with each other’s animals!
We left that morning once again without knowing where we were spending the night. We were aiming for Neal. While riding through Eureka, we were stopped by a lady who gave us the contact of a pastor in Neal. I had 3 or 4 other contacts in Neal to call, but the number she gave me was the only one I got an answer from when I called! Hmmmm… another coincidence? I think not! He went to work finding us a place to stop for the night while we rode his direction.
The day was gorgeous. Unseasonably warm. In fact, we stripped off every extra layer and were literally rolling our sleeves up! Mid sixties! We couldn’t believe it! We even saw our very first armadillo out for a stoll in the sun.
A man stopped us along the road and wanted to see what we were up to. He asked the strangest question, “What are you going to do about winter?”
Huh?! What do you mean winter?! First of all, it’s 65 degrees out! Second of all, it’s the end of January- we’re already thearetically more than half way through winter! What can we do other than put one foot in front of the other and ride out any snow storm that comes our way. I don’t get it. That question would have made more sense in September. Um, can you repeat the question please?!
Richard said later, ” I should have told him I requested in triplicate that God just skip the whole season this year!”
We managed to hold our amused tongues and laugh off the question with a lame answer. …………….. Should I be sharing this?!!!
Anyhow… I’m still chuckling as I reread the story I just wrote …… we made it to Neal still having no idea what we were doing that night. We weren’t even sure we were even stopping in the town. The town sits off the side of the main road. It’s pretty cool that the main road doesn’t go through the center of town so the whole town (which is positively tiny) is quiet with dirt roads and no traffic. We had a little more time in the day and we almost rode right by actually, but saw a man across the grassy lawn of a tiny church and decided to go talk to him first and see if he knew anything about us and what we were doing that night. As if he would have a clue! It’s not as if I called him. We didn’t even know who he was. What were we thinking?!
“Welcome to Neal! You’re putting your horses in the pen right here with my brother’s cows and goats. Glad you made it.”
Apparently we had walked right up to the very man who knew exactly what we were doing that night!
“Yeah, and you’re going to Ken’s house tonight for dinner and to sleep there.”
“Wow.” That was easy! God is so good to direct our paths!
Turns out we could have literally asked about anyone in the entire town and they probably could have told us the same. It was that small! But what a cool town! We attracted quite a crowd. Everyone was really nice, all seemed to get along really well, and were quite interested in Hearts Up Ranch. We were glad we didn’t ride right by Neal!
Ken and Karla were really nice hosts. We had a great “fried baloney” dinner with them (steak actually- but they were teasing us about their menu plans for us). They worked hard making phone calls to find us a host for the next evening. We are so incredibly appreciative of the Kansas hospitality making sure we stay warm for the winter!