As we hesitantly left our paradise on the water and our new friends- the Stewart family- we looked ahead….. into the rain. The highlight of that day was our second ferry ride, which the horses handled with a bit more poise this time. The coolest thing was that Demi was able to take our camera, take pictures of the whole thing, then take a ferry ride and bring the camera over to us! (Those will come soon to the gallery…..) The day went downhill from there. The wind picked up so badly that we walked a bit to prevent getting blown off our horses. Then the rain started – or should I say the torrential downpour!?! I invented the sideways cowboy hat- I got tired of holding it to my head, so I turned it sideways on my face so the wind plastered it to my head – and since the rain was blowing sideways, it kept me dryer that way anyhow. Why were people looking at me so weird? The horses were not happy with us for making them walk through this weather, but onward we must go. By the end of the day, we were utterly sick of being wet, cold, and wind blown. Then we realized that the lady’s home we were heading to was on the wrong side of the river from us. Great. Just great. But God is taking good care of us. This lady came looking for us, discovered we were on the wrong side and would not make it to her house, realized we were 1 mile from her friend’s house, called him, and just like that – we had a place to stop. Woo hoo! Of course, the rain stopped as soon as we got to his house! Gotta love the weather.
But honestly, it was meant to be. We were totally supposed to go to Paul’s house that night. We had been talking about the route the American Discovery Trail suggests going through Sacramento and Richard was getting a nagging feeling that is was not a good route for the horses. It turned out that Paul had grown up right in that area and was able to draw us a detailed map of a much safer way to ride horses through the city. The following day was more of the same rain and wind, but we had a half day ride to get to the Catholic church where Father Dan allowed us to stay for the night. The horses where glad to have the ‘garage’ to keep dry! We got up early in the morning, and Paul’s map worked perfectly- and we had an enjoyable and relatively stress free ride through Sacramento! Thanks Paul! We also had fun as Mike, a news reporter and filmer for NBC channel 3 in Sacramento, followed us through the city with his camera for a couple hours. We happened to ride right by his home, and he and his wife treated us to some city hospitality – the horses had water waiting and then proceeded to mow their lawn and we were fed lunch, coffee, and strawberries. Mike continued to film as wide eyed bike trail users stopped by to see “HORSES in the CITY?!!” and took business cards and gave donations. Then we rode by a Kobasic’s Candies and the owner came out and gave us about two pounds of the best chocolates I have ever had in my life. And that’s saying something since I LOVE chocolate and have tried lots of varieties. That extra weight on the horses was WELL worth it (at least for us!) Our first 21 mile day ended with a lovely ride through Discovery park on the American River Parkway (which was nicer than we could have wished) and staying the night at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds. We are, by the way, officially on the American Discovery Trail. Woo hoo!
After getting to the Fairground at 7:30pm – everyone completely exhausted from the long push to get through the city- we had NO motivation in the morning. We didn’t get going until 1:30 in the afternoon! We made it a short day and took lots of breaks to stop and talk to people on the bike path. It was confirmed that we were indeed on the news, as well as in the Sacramento Bee, and that we are supposed to be on for a long news feature on Saturday night! A lovely farm called Soil Born took us in for the night. Their cow shared her pasture with the horses, but she wasn’t too fond or them! Thank you to the couple who suggested this as a stopping place! The last day of our first 5 day riding week went a bit slow. Everyone was dragging. Richard and I ended up walking a lot of it since the horses were so tired. A couple ladies suggested Knicker Knob stables as a place to stop for a rest weekend. We called them and they were super nice and welcoming. We knew we would be in good hands there, so they arranged a trailer pick up for us at the trail, and will drop us back off there on Monday morning. (thanks Lois!)
Currently, Richard and I are doing lots of mending. It seems that something is always breaking or wearing wrong and needs to be adjusted. Richard is doing ‘surgery’ on Fiddle’s pack saddle to make it into a two cinch saddle. We are hoping that this helps prevent it from moving so much and wearing down her fur. We also were given lots of samples of Cowboy Magic and such from a tack shop to make her fur slippery. When we figure out how to stop this problem, we’ll let you know what worked. Next stop is Cool – only 3 or 4 days away. We have a benefit concert on either Friday or Sunday – we’ll let you know the date asap. Thanks to everyone on the trail who has so kindly pointed us in the right direction! – Jeannette and Richard