(remember- this blog took place prior to our arrival in Lexington)
Our host just outside Lawrenceburg let us graze our horses on his hayfield and camp in his barn. We had quite the welcoming party that night with the reporter, the neighbors, the locals, and their friends who had heard of us and had shown up out of curiosity or to offer their assistance. They had contacted the local police department and had arranged an escort for us through town the next day and especially over the Tyrone Bridge over the Kentucky River between Lawrenceburg and Versailles. We had been warned that the bridge was narrow and would be dangerous and they wanted to make sure we would be safe on it. Thank God for locals who care. What would we ever do without them?
That morning was quite amusing. We were very surprised when a sheriff deputy showed up way ahead of time- the horses weren’t even done grazing. But the deputy was even more surprised when we thanked him for coming so early and for being willing to be there.
He had a very strange look on his face. “Apparently I have no idea what’s going on…”
We were confused. “You mean you aren’t here to escort us through town and over the bridge?”
Baffled, he said, “Escort you? I’m here because someone called in about loose horses!”
In between giggles I managed, “Those horses are hobbled by permission of the land owner! We are riding across America and were EXPECTING a police officer to help us this morning- just not so early!”
Richard chimed in, “Yeah, we better go catch those wild beasts and get packing!”
It turned out that after the police escorted us with lights, sirens, traffic control, and quite a scene through Lawrenceburg (for which we were very grateful for their protection), this very same deputy that showed up for our “loose” horses was assigned to escort us over the bridge. He was glad, as he was a horse enthusiast and very happy to help. The Tyrone Bridge is a very rare (I think there are only two in the world in use) “S” shaped bridge. Narrow was a very accurate term, as was dangerous and high. We were incredibly relieved that the sheriff’s office was so helpful and actually closed down the entire bridge for 10 minutes while we crossed it.
Bella also got special treatment. It was an exceptionally hot day and she was overheating. We were getting concerned about her, so the deputy let me put her in the back of his car in the air conditioning for a few miles.
When we got over the bridge and up the worst part of the curvy hill, the deputy was out of his jurisdiction and had to take his leave. He let Bella out of the car, wished us well, and gave us quite a compliment full of insite from just a few short miles of ‘walking in our shoes’.
“I’ll tell you what, you guys have grit. God’s speed.”