Middlegate has to be the smallest town I have been to as of yet. It has one business- a restaurant/bar/shower/gas/motel/picnic area/convenience store. There are 10 residents. We stumbled in- literally- after mile 17 on our fifth day in a row through hot, dry, shadeless desert. We crossed two large valleys that day. Nothing was so disappointing as to get to the view of the second valley and realize that nothing was in it at all and that our “town” was further than we thought. We were literally brain fried and our horses were stumbling when we pulled in. People asked us simple questions that we couldn’t comprehend- thank goodness Ted and Trevor were there to help us. Several Navy guys were there who flew in on their helicopters for lunch, as well as a few motorcyclists and tourists. We got cheers, clapping, and lots of interest. I’m sure many of those folks saw us on the side of the rode when they drove by.
And they had trees. About 20 of them! Shade!!!!!!
We were invited to stay at Penny’s house, one of the residents who had horses. Our horses are staying in her round pen while we all rest and recuperate. She and her boys have kindly welcomed us, sharing their meals and home with us, as well as their hay and water. We have stayed here for three days- resting, mending, adjusting Fiddle’s saddle yet again, washing saddle cinches, oiling boots, planning routes, trimming hooves, staying cool, and sleeping without fear of bugs, plane crashes, or mustangs! Apache is infatuated with her five mares on the other side of the fence. I hope he gets at least a little rest!