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Reminder to Self

We had a joyful surprise this day. First, about lunchtime, we were hailed by a couple as we passed their yard. We pulled off and they were so excited to meet us, offer us lunch, water, a bathroom, goodies for the horses, and help finding a place to stop that night. Ric and Gail were just a joy, and they got us hooked up with a church down the road where we were allowed to camp out back. They brought us hay and then spent the evening with us because it just so happened that the church was having an early Thanksgiving celebration that night. So instead of nasty dehydrated food, we got stuffed on homemade Thanksgiving dishes!

Since we camped at a church, we attended their Sunday service in between packing up, then we rode a shorter distance that afternoon. We were met about 2 miles from our goal by Harold and Dorris who rode their horses with us back to their place. We were in for a nice treat. Harold, a cowboy at heart, had a fire going in the firepit (with a piece of cedar smoking that smelled amazing), had BBQ going on his grill (permanently located in his barn next to his horses), opened an old bottle of wine saved for a special occasion, and invited over good company. It was an enjoyable evening that made it hard to leave- especially when we were serenaded by Mandolin playing and breakfast on the grill in the morning.

The following day was a reality check. We came out on highway 460 and realized that we would be on busy roads – mainly 460- all the way to the end. It’s not exactly relaxing riding, but it is exciting that we are getting so close! Poor Apache is just emotionally maxed out on trailer trucks- he is just  having a hard time dealing with them going by. He’s better than he was after Roanoke, but not nearly like he used to be. We found a semi quiet yard to camp in just a short ways off 460 and we got in our tent just as it started raining. We were counting our blessings that this tent is much more water proof than our last one was! (Not that it owed us anything after the use it got!)

And now to share a short excerpt from my journal:

“Note to self: Why to never do this again even when it sounds like fun after the memory of the pain fades…….   We are all struggling to finish. It’s so close, yet it’s like senioritis in high school. I don’t want to sit in the saddle anymore. I don’t want to walk. I don’t want to make phone calls, yet I do just to pass the time. I am so bored of going the same speed in the same direction all day. I feel braindead from doing the same thing day in and day out…. But my nerves are fried from our constant brushes with danger. My day and night dreams are plagued by nightmares of the horses or Bella getting run over and looking like the road-kill we ride by on a daily basis. I think that’s called ‘battle stress’. We sing and pray constantly to stay sane and calm, reminding ourselves that God is bigger than all this. I am tired of chafing and getting rashes (in unmentionable places). I can hardly remember a time when my back, neck, shoulders, tailbone, and hips didn’t hurt. It is a constant pain- often nagging, sometimes stabbing. I slouch in the saddle because I am too tired to bother riding properly. I don’t think I even keep my heels down anymore. I am so stiff and inflexible- what a chore it will be to bring my body back from this abuse. If I have this pain, I know the horses all have pain too. We are all living on Ibuprofen and Bute for the next couple weeks just to get through….”

Does that answer the question of if we are riding home or not and if we are happy or sad to finish?!? :)  We are so definitely NOT riding home (it would be horse abuse to even think about it- not to mention self abuse) and definitely ARE ready and happy to finish!!!  :)  Hanging on to Jesus for strength and keeping our eyes on the finish line………



8 comments

  1. When I’m cleaning the toilet I think of you and wonder when the last time was that you had to clean a bathroom. I guess at this point you would gladly trade places with me! I e-mailed two TV stations today and wrote about you. Hope that helps. Channel 13 and Channel 10. I will do the third (Channel 3) in a little bit. BTW, thanks to you we’re getting that bed of yours! If you can stop by here on your way home you can sleep in in and soak in our hot tub. Love to you all. Barbara and Jerry

  2. I’m so amazed that you have all made it this far, I can not imagine doing what you all have accomplished. Maybe, God willing, you will spend Christmas at home being taken care of by all of those who have missed you for nearly two years. Congratulations on making your dream come true. Even though it has been so hard on all of you, you will have this to cherish the rest of your lives. May God continue to work through you as you strive to help others. You have inspired so many as you have passed through their lives. I for one want to say thank you for stopping and spending a bit of time with us. God Bless you and your pack.
    Looking at your tracking today looks like one more day and you should be there. Yipee!

  3. HARK THE HEARLD ANGELS SING and bring you STRENGTH and GRACE.
    SO NEAR TO THE END!
    So CAN RELATE about your back! Hang in there!!!
    There are ANGELS singing for you. Rejoice!!!!
    Hail the new born Prince of Peace. Keep your focus on HIM!
    Re: Everything!! GOD BLESS YOU IN ALWAYS!
    Not much further. The Lord, Jesus Christ is with you all the way to the finish!
    NO matter what happens… HE IS WITH YOU!
    Glory to the King and ALL your horses , Bella and Fiddle!
    So love you guys! You are giving SO MUCH for all the peeps who have followed you,
    yourselves – HEARTS UP RANCH and THE KING!!
    Rejoice,
    Terry

  4. I know you are getting antsy to finish and I wish you godspeed but it is going to be really weird not doing my morning ritual of setting down at the computer and reading your blog but I totally understand that you are just tired of it all and want to go and sleep in a normal bed and getting up and not having to pack up and move out to a different place. But just think each footstep you take moves you closer to your goal. May god watch over your and your animals(he has already proved he does!)

  5. I wish we were able to come to see the big finale, but I hear you might be coming for a few days to visit! I’m so excited!


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