We rode 460 the entire day after Pearisburg. It was reminiscent of Nevada. Long valleys, rolling hills, straight, and pretty boring. No offense to Nevada- great memories there, but it wasn’t the most exciting state to ride through! Besides, it was spitting on us all day- not raining, but not nice either. Getting off and walking a bit kind of breaks up the day, but I hate walking when it’s raining. My saddle seat soaks up the water and then its no fun to get back on!
Lots of people honked along the road, which is always entertaining. But other than that, it was just putting one foot in front of the other all day long.
The evening brought great disappointment. We were sooo looking forward to getting done for the day and getting in our dry tent when we got to Pandapas Pond. Everyone in the area had told us it was a great place to camp- water, grass, perfect distance. Sounded great.
Then we got there.
The sign was explicit. No camping. No horses.
We were extremely frustrated. We were no where near civilization where a land owner might let us camp, and all the forest around us was obviously signed that it was day use only. That meant we had to ride with no end in sight any time soon. I was, um, not happy. My butt, tailbone, and back were in misery, but we had to keep riding. It is hard when you are hungry, cold, wet, tired, disappointed, in pain, bored, tired of watching deadly traffic, and utterly want to be doing anything other than what you are currently doing- to be positive and trust that God has a plan. See- we’re human too! But God DOES always have a plan and we just have to put one foot in front of the other and let him unfold it for us and trust that he will take care of his needs even when we want it NOW! But he is faithful.
When we continued down the road, we did have one exciting moment. We randomly came across a sign on the side of the road that said we were crossing the continental divide of the east coast! Huh- I didn’t know there was such a thing! Well that’s cool- now we were officially going down off the Appalachians.
2 or 3 miles later, we spotted a house through the trees. There was a person in the yard that turned out to be a teen boy working when I went down to talk to him. I expressed our need to find a place to camp before it got dark, so he called his Dad. He hurried home after work, met us, and quickly offered to let us park our horses in his yard. We were expecting to tent it, but he wouldn’t have it. We were to sleep on the livingroom floor. We ended up being extremely grateful for the indoor accommodations because the temperature dropped alot that night, the wind was brutal, and it started really raining to boot. See, God had a better place for us than the tent that night!
While we were unpacking, a vet named Faye that had contacted us earlier in the day, came to find us. She helped us unpack, brought us supper and supplies, food for the horses, and let us use her clippers to trim Tiska’s ankles (she has such thick fur that the humidity back east is causing fungal infections around her ankles. So we clipped the hair so it could dry out and we could doctor it easier.) Faye’s friend, Michelle, also showed up with her family. It was a blessed evening of making new friends and great conversation. A
And as we listened to the wind howl and the cold front move in over night, we went to sleep with a smile that God knew what he was doing. We were inside and warm and didn’t have to fight the cold in our tent.