Excerpt from my journal: “It was totally crazy today! Phone ringing off the hook, crisis management, people vying for our attention left and right! Trying to get prepared for tomorrow- not enough time! We didn’t leave until 1pm again and that was even with throwing the packs in the truck and only putting saddles on!”
It’s a good thing we only had 5 miles of riding planned! We are falling apart at the seams. Chance was able to walk today- well at least he was ok to walk 5 miles. Now Apache is limping mildly. Tiska is groaning and it seems her back is getting worse. Satchmo is getting tired. So Richard decided to walk the whole way and I rode Satchmo so he wouldn’t have to carry as much weight. I was just too tired to walk that far anymore- even with all the excitement.
We and our escort crew all let out a big whooping cheer when we arrived at the Virginia Beach KOA that was to be our last host of the Ride Across America! There were oceanfront signs everywhere and lots of people stopping us to find out what we were all about. Our KOA hosts were super nice and our cabin was absolutely lovely.
Mark came through yet again with all the essentials. He had set up a temporary electric fence outside our cabin for the horses for the night complete with hay and water. He is now known by us as “Mark the amazing and resourceful!”
As soon as we got the horses settled and our gear inside or covered, we were driven all around Virginia Beach by our special helpers getting last minute things done. Once we took a wrong turn and were heading toward the beach with only blocks to see it. Richard and I covered our eyes— no seeing the water before we get there!
We met with Pastor Bubba of the Rugged Cross Cowboy Church who would be hosting our benefit dinner tomorrow night. We planned our dinner decor and schedule for the evening on the spot. Thankfully, his experience was very valuable. We also ran to print off some photos of the ride and pick up some miscellaneous needed items for the dinner and ceremony at the beach.
By 9pm we finally made it back to the cabin where we had a wonderful reunion with our friend Judy from California who has been the only person who was able to help us for the entire two years of this journey! We all had lasagna that was kindly made by our KOA hosts and had a blast hanging out for a while. Finally, it was time to get down to business. Judy, several other special helpers, and Richard and I were all committed to staying up for the duration. We prepared donation buckets, signs, the program and plan for arriving at the beach and ensuing ceremony, signed picture frames for special people, etc. We were up until 2 in the morning when we found that we were being so goofy we weren’t exactly working anymore. So we wrapped it up and got some fast forward shuteye.
My journal entry that night ended with, “OH MY GOSH TOMORROW IS THE DAY!!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHH! “