Upon awakening in the morning, we could see no sign yet of the snowstorm so we decided to make a run for it. Jeanette found a couple 18 miles east right on our path who was willing to host us for a few rest days if we could make it there before the nasty weather. Carl gave us a hand getting ready, which made it go a bit faster and got us out earlier. We stayed off the main road to avoid attention so we could efficiently make it that far…. hopefully before snow started to fly. It was a bitter cold and windy day, one requiring two face masks in order to prevent bad wind burn. Even with hand warmers, it was hard to keep my fingers from going numb. We both had to get off and walk 3 or 4 times that day to warm up. And walking in my huge snow boots is not exactly easy! (Nor is it pleasant to relieve oneself in temperatures like this when your only options are bushes!)
The highlight of our day? We got honked at by a train again! I would imagine that most people who get honked at by a train never hear anything again, so it seems kinda special to be acknowledged by the captains as they fly by! The truckers who travel highway 50 regularly honk at us too when they go by. You can tell the ones who see us often… their honk gets louder and longer each time as they realize our horses aren’t scared of it! What good ponies we have!
We experienced yet more Kansas kindness as we rode. On three different occasions we had ranchers stop who were traveling the back roads and offered us hay for the horses. However, Bob and Kel at the Oasis Ranch and Retreat Center had already offered to feed the horses, but we were grateful for the show of generosity and kindness. I had to call Kel a couple times to get directions from her- using a pen to push the phone buttons so I didn’t have to take my gloves off! We finally made it to the Oasis about a half hour after it started flurrying and the wind really picking up.
We didn’t waist any time getting those horses taken care of and settled into a corral- complete with a nice big shelter from the storm and a round bale for them to eat all they wanted. Bob and Kel took us to dinner and we visited with them for a while about the ministry they have at the Oasis. They shared a pretty cool story of how God has worked in their lives. We were then shown to our accommodations- a private retreat! We had a bedroom, livingroom, bathroom, laundry, and kitchen all to ourselves! Bob and Kel even generously stocked the kitchen for us. It’s rare that we get time to ourselves when we are not riding, so we were excited for the opportunity- and most of all- for the warm shelter from the storm!