Before we left home, many people and reporters asked us what we were most looking forward to on this trip. Obviously we are excited about kicking of the fundraising for Hearts Up Ranch. We knew we would meet many interesting people. We were looking forward to spending lots of time with our horses. But I think we both were most excited about seeing all the natural wonders in God’s creation. It was nearly impossible to choose something- one thing across the whole country. So for the sake of answering the question, I chose Canyonlands National Park in Utah and Richard chose the Divide in Colorado. But we knew the most memorable part of the ride would be ALL the natural wonders we saw.
But we were wrong. After crossing an entire state, riding over 400 miles, and having numerous experiences both good and bad, we can say HANDS DOWN that the most memorable part of this ride has been the people we have met along the way. We have met police officers, stable owners, retirees, surgeons, pastors, homemakers, principals, winery owners, ranchers, etc. But the interesting thing about these people is not their profession, but their heart. Each and every person we have stayed with or been helped by in some way along our trail has given freely and generously of their talents, resources, contacts, finances, cooking, homes, and hearts. But it’s not so much WHAT they gave us, but the KINDNESS with which it was given that left imprints on our hearts. Many of you reading this are the people that I am referring to. Thank you once again from the bottom of our hearts. You may never realize how much you impacted our lives, but I can honestly say that we would not even have made it this far if it weren’t for your kindness, help, and love that you showed us.
The media will try to convince you that there is only evil in this world. Don’t believe it. The popular stories are of crime, war, and murder- enticing you to think that this is the norm in society. Don’t believe it. Our culture of self satisfaction and self protection will lead you to believe that your neighbor is the enemy. Don’t believe it. In fact, go say hi to your neighbor. Maybe meet them for the first time. I know I will make a special point to go meet my neighbors when I get home! Honestly folks, there is evil in the world. It has been unavoidable since the time of Adam and Eve. But God is still evident within the human race. Our tendencies are to be selfish, but our God given soul still shows itself through kindness to others. We have seen it time and time again. Had we known how much we would have to rely on others to get us down the trail- instead of our own self sufficiency- we would have gotten cold feet before we ever left. But with the dozens and dozens of people that we have had no choice but to trust, rely on, and to get to know closely, we have had only one slightly bad experience- and even that wasn’t all that bad. Those are pretty good statistics I’d say.
The beauty of creation has certainly been memorable. We have gotten a unique tour through some pretty special areas of the country. But the beauty within people outshines anything else we have experienced. And I’m serious- go meet your neighbor! You just might make a new friend, find a person in need that you have the ability to help, or who knows- maybe they will become your guardian angel when you least expect it.
To see more pictures of the wonderful people we have met, please check out our gallery!