We were prabably the last thing a couple from Chicago was expecting to come by their new home. They lived in the suburbs of Chicago and had recently purchased a second home where they hoped to retire in the future. They were on a working vacation to do some more remodeling… and along came two crazy people with 5 horses and a dog!
I had ridden up to their house on Apache- actually in search of water. We had found a nice place to camp a mile back, but the creek was dry. So I had trotted up the road looking for the next water source when I came across their home, pond, and barn. I decided to ask if we could stay in the barn so that water access would be close.
They welcomed me just as warmly and heartily as any country person would. I was surprised to learn later that they were from Chicago! They kindly allowed us to use their field, pond, and barn. So I loped back to get Richard (the speed was exhilarating since we rarely get to ride our horses faster than a walk these days!) and he introduced himself to John and Tina too, before we started setting up camp.
A little while later, they came walking out to the field. “Tina couldn’t stand the thought of you sleeping in a tent out in the barn,” John confessed, so they ushered us into their unfinished home to get a shower and sleep under a roof.
The morning was nothing but rain, rain, and more rain, so we dilly-dallied over breakfast with them, and simply enjoyed our conversation. They were really cool, looking forward to moving to the country, and maybe would even get Tina a horse eventually. Our delay proved worthwhile, as the rain paused for several hours and we were able to pack up and get riding without getting wet.
We made it to Marble Hill that day, complete with a welcome from a local paper. They were expecting us, thanks to Ted Holzum- the 4 wheeler we had met back in Timber- and the reporter got some pictures of us riding along busy 34 and then interviewed us when we stopped at the Moody’s- a host that Ted also had set up for us. They were a horse-loving couple, and we were impressed that at 89 years of age, Jewell still rode his horse and kept up with his trail riding group!
The following morning, we weren’t sure how far we were going to get. We had a stopping point that Ben (another 4-wheeler we met in Timber) had planned for us to rest at while planning our bridge crossing in Cape Girardeau. The only problem was that it was 21 miles- a bit further than we have been going in a day. We didn’t really want to spend 6 hours in the day working to ride for just 6 miles the next day, though. We ended up pushing through and making it to John and Ellen Lorberg’s as it was getting dark. But alas, we finally made it to Cape Girardeau county!