Riding through the Flint Hills of Kansas today was some of the most interesting scenery we’ve had in nearly two months! THERE ARE ACTUALLY HILLS IN KANSAS! Not huge ones, mind you, but hills- real hills! We can only imagine how beautiful the Flint Hills must be in the spring when the grasses are all green and waving in the wind. We kept saying- “Look- a cliff!” “Look- a real gully!” “Look at THAT hill over there!” We were pretty excited to have a change of scenery!
It’s almost like we crossed a line and are really nearing the East of this beautiful country. All of a sudden, there is water everywhere; in ponds, lakes, creeks, ditches, swamps, puddles, everywhere! It’s been so dry for so long with only an occasional river crossing. The Rockies, of course, were full of water, but even since then it has still been pretty dry. Random fact- the Arkansas River (that we crossed what seemed like 50 times!) rhymes with the state when you are in Colorado, and rhymes with Kansas if you are in Kansas! It is also an actual river near the Rockies, then dries up to nothing but a sandy bottom for miles and miles and miles, than suddenly becomes a river again somewhere in mid-Kansas. So we are pretty excited to see water everywhere. There are also trees everywhere in comparison. No more ‘shelter belts’, but rather big bunches of trees everywhere. Growing up in Connecticut, I know it’s not quite wet enough and treed as thickly as the East, but it has me excited that we are making noticeably eastward progress just because of the terrain change. The downside? Humidity is definitely increasing. That means the bite in the bitter winter wind is getting sharper. Good thing we are already more than half way through that season!
We made it across the southern tip of the Flint Hills to the west edge of Eureka in one long day. It’s the first town to my recollection that is a repeat name of one we’ve already been to. Bonnie and Babe, two sisters from the church we spoke at last night, took us and our horses home that night for a warm bed, a hot meal, and good company. A third sister came over too, and we shared some of our story with her and her husband. Bonnie also shared her and her husband’s vision for the ministry at the Christian Hills Camp and Resort where they live. Another local, Ashley, came by with grain for the horses, tons of contacts for us, and a local vet appointment already made and payed for. You see, now that we have been gone almost a year ( I can’t believe it either!), certain things need to be taken care of again. One of them is the Coggins blood test for the horses that is required annually to legally cross state lines. Our current paperwork will expire shortly and Ashley took it upon herself to generously make sure that need was met! Unfortunately, the horses’ reward for a long day of travel that night was a nice poke with a needle, but they hardly noticed considering they got a big bucket of grain to make up for it!