4:45 am – Richard and I were up and at-em bright and early. We caught, saddled, and booted the horses and put all our gear in the back of the truck. Kenny showed up at 6am for breakfast with Talli and Ronnie. Then we all piled in the truck to head for Elizabethtown. We had a one hour drive plus a one hour time change- thus the early start.
9:30 am (eastern time)- arrived at the exact same corner gas station where we last rode to. It all seemed so surreal, like it wasn’t really and truly happening. Like we weren’t actually going to say goodbye to the Bashams, get on our horses, and ride away for good. Weird. We had found a new comfort zone and were about to have to bust back out of it. Richard and I loaded the packs and saddle bags on our horses and said our last goodbyes.
10:30 am – We climbed on to our mounts, waved goodbye, and headed east on 86 toward Elizabethtown as I wiped away fresh tears. It’s hard to say goodbye to friends. But Richard and I were quite pleased with our leaving time considering we had 2 hours of trailering and time change. Even after nearly 3 months off, we still packed up like it was yesterday. Guess we did it enough times! But the coolest thing was, it only took us the normal 3 hours instead of the 5-6 it was taking us when we were so tired we could hardly do anything. Hopefully we are rested enough that we will continue to be able to pack efficiently.
12:30 pm- Richard and I started wondering if we had missed our turn to Wild Rose Equestrian Center. It had seemed an awful long time. But we were thankful that the horses seemed like they were handling being back on the road ok. They didn’t react much to the trailer trucks or motorcycles. Bella also remembered her rules of the road and was very well. But Chance pulled back a couple times and we were concerned that he was already starting that up again.
2:30 pm- We finally came to our turn. It seems we had forgotten just how sloooooow horse travel is!
3:30 pm- Rolled into the stable yard. The local paper met us in the driveway, as did the Browns. 15 miles was a long first day, but it was worth it to go somewhere we knew on the first night. We were all stressed and somewhat disoriented- like starting all over. So the familiar place helped the horses and Bella settle in for the night much better.
4:30- all the packs were pulled off and it was time for the moment of revealing- Satchmo’s saddle was pulled. All shoulders slumped. His old wound area was somewhat swollen. We are now back to brainstorming for how to keep his sensitive spot comfortable so he can be used- otherwise he will be a very large mascot! We started the trip on 4 horses, so we can end it that way if need be, but ideally- we need Satchmo.
6:30 – We spent the rest of the evening catching up with the Browns over dinner, playing with Paco theraccoon, and watching Kayla and Jordan play horse speed games in the arena. Sleep that night was fitful- it’s hard to get used to sleeping in a different place every night after so long in one spot. One day at a time… it’s like starting all over again and is going to be tough for a bit.
This by the way, is finally the picture introduction to the Browns! (missing only Rebeka) Nice to have my camera back. We couldn’t have done it without them either. They were the family that took us in for the first 3 weeks of our rest stop when we first broke down here in Kentucky. Many thanks to the Browns and it was great to see ya again!!!