We spent the evening of our last snowed in day having a wonderful time with the Sharp family swapping stories, eating good home cooking, and praying together.
In the morning, Delbert kindly got out his propane heater and warmed up the barn where we prepared the horses for the day. Then he helped us by hacking out the ice balls that had built up on the bottom of the horses’ feet while we brushed the ice and snow off them and put saddles on. We said our goodbyes and knew that Delbert wished he could come with us on another long distance ride.
Shortly after we started riding, we passed by Craig Sharp’s house and his wife and four daughters came out to hand us warm sandwiches and cheer us on. It was definitely slow going. Even though the roads were plowed, there were still many ice patches that caused the horses to slip frequently. We let them walk as slow and carefully as they wanted. We normally ride at 3.5 miles per hour and we were lucky if we were going 2! Thankfully the roads weren’t too busy because we wandered all over the road wherever the best footing was.
We rode right through the middle of Humboldt, which seemed like a really nice town. People were friendly, came out and took pictures, and offered us in for a warm up and coffee. We declined the kind offer, though, because it was hard enough getting on and off our horses with all the clothes we had on, let alone even thinking about taking them off for a pit stop if we’d have consumed coffee!
We stopped by D&D Propane in town to get directions from the owner who would be our next host. As we headed towards David’s house, bundled to the max complete with hand and toe warmers, a snow storm we were not expecting came in. We noticed the street that we were riding on was labeled “Hawaii.” Was that was ironic, funny, or just plain cruel?! We weren’t sure!
But our cold ride was brightened by a second visit from a new friend. We had met Carrol a couple days prior when we were waiting out the snow storm and he had taken us out to lunch. He was a semi-retired man turned school bus driver. He loved the kids and had briefed them about the cool thing they were about to see. The kids had already rolled down the windows and were all on our side of the bus when he drove them by very slowly. They were yelling and waving out the windows in excitement, asking questions, and completely enjoying it- as were we. It was a sweet highlight to a cold day.
We weren’t far from David’s house when the snow really started falling. What the heck? We thought the snow storm was over. This wasn’t in the forecast! It really started to become a problem when the roads were totally covered in snow and we could no longer see where the icy spots were. It got VERY slippery and treacherous. The last two miles to David’s house took us well over an hour and we thought we were going to have horses fall several times. But they maintained their balance despite the hidden ice and we arrived all in one piece just before dark. Man were we glad to be off the roads!
We were given a warm welcome at David and Carrie’s home. David was another truly gifted host- the kind that makes you feel almost like you are in your own home. The horses were let loose in his 40 acre pasture complete with hay, we were ushered inside for a warm meal by the fireplace in his beautiful home, and then we collapsed on the most amazing king size Temperpedic bed. We have one at home and it is one of the things we miss the most, so we jokingly warned him we might not leave because of the bed! He said that we were most welcome to stay- there was another huge snow storm on its way anyhow! With that in the back of our minds, we turned off our alarm and slept like a baby.