We left Dave and Carrie’s house as soon as the outdoor temperature became humanly tolerable. The roads were clear of snow for the most part, but the paved roads still had many patches of thin ice. After the last day of sliding on ice, the horses had learned to walk extremely slowly and carefully. We headed straight for the nearest easterly dirt road where the snow was compacted but not icy like the paved roads. It was much better going after that.
It was actually quite a lovely day of riding. The sun was out, the snow was beautiful, and the road was very quiet. We enjoyed the quiet and reminisced about the morning in the Utah desert when we heard that void of sound that was an absolute silence. We’ll never forget that and probably think about it every time we are in a very quiet place. We watched many hawks flying and even saw one catch a squirrel. We were told that this area is a winter migration area for hawks, so that would explain why we see dozens every day lately. It’s pretty cool actually.
Dave had set up our next destination about 13 miles away. We have to do short days while the roads are slippery because it’s much slower going. Our host that evening was RV Hale, an 86 year old widower and retired rancher. We had to adjust our conversation volume, but he was thrilled to host us and our horses. Since he didn’t leave the house in the winter, he explained very carefully where to put the horses, our gear, and all we needed to know. He had even called a neighbor to have them bring over a bag of grain for our horses!
Dinner was venison stew made by RV’s daughter-in-law, as well as other homemade goodies. Then two of his sons stopped by to check on all of us and get the scoop on our Ride Across America and Hearts Up Ranch. Lon, one of the sons, made many phone calls on our behalf until he had our next night’s destination arranged so we’d have a warm place to sleep. We also got to see Dave one more time when he brought Richard’s chaps back to us that had been fixed by Delbert. What an amazing community to work together like that to help us out. America really is an awesome country!