We spent the night on a picnic table under the roof of the meal room at the trail riding event facility in Hartsville. We were utterly grateful for the non-tent shelter, considering ours is more like a sponge than a tent! It thundered and lightninged like you wouldn’t believe! The rain was incredible. Though our gear was under the porch roof, more than half of it was soaked again in the morning- like we could literally wring it out- because the wind was so strong in the night that it blew the rain under. We keep hearing reports that we are getting between 3 and 5 inches of rain a day!
We took our leave and continued on, this time taking to the roads and leaving behind the extremely muddy River to River trail. The quantity of rain we’ve endured in the last week was clearly evident today. Many areas of the roads were or had recently been flooded. Debris was everywhere- large trees, dirt, corn stalks, fish…! We were starting to feel once again like it was an adventure instead of a dull ride down another road! We were having fun in the downpour rain- laughing that we were actually riding though it, and we were slightly amused that there was still thunder all around. It echoed in the valleys and sounded really cool. Thankfully, it was close, but not on top of us.
After about 4 hours of serious rain, it wasn’t so fun anymore. We were nearly soaked through. My rain hat was no longer working and water was running down my neck and back, my sleeves had absorbed water up to my armpit, and my seat was wet from the saddle. We were perfectly warm and comfortable until we got so wet and our fingers were pruning. So we decided to get off and walk to warm up. We couldn’t find anywhere to camp- it was all private property fields with no houses around to even ask. After several extra miles more than our normal riding day, we finally came across a ranch with horses and we stopped to ask if we could camp in the barn for the night. They agreed and took pity on us looking like drowned rats and let us stay in the house! The horses even got a roof over their heads to0 and for once were able to have a dry night.
In the morning, it was Easter, so we tagged along to church for the Easter service. We had decided the previous day that we would not be going to Cave in Rock because the ferry was closed due to flooding, so we were heading for the bridge at Old Shawneetown. At church, we met the sheriff who offered to escort us over the narrow bridge and we happily accepted! Willy let us stay for Easter dinner, so we spent the day with them and their family, and watched Joe and his granddaughter train barrel racing horses.
We are really starting to miss being at home for the holidays, but we were grateful not to be stuck in a wet tent for Easter. We’d like to extend a special “Happy Belated Easter” to all of our readers and supporters. If it weren’t for the grace of God, we could have done none of this, and we are thankful most of all for the gift of eternal life for our souls that Jesus extended to all who would accept on the very first Easter Day.