We said Goodbye to the Locks for the second time and headed out for another short day- the second half of our ride that got cut short yesterday. You see, we were about to cross the Flint Hills between Rosalia and Eureka and it was pretty lonely out there. Not that we couldn’t have camped, but, we’ve been pretty spoiled in Kansas through the winter and decided it was worth it for one short day and one long day to get across the Flint Hills in order to get to another warm home. Rosalia was just at the West edge of the very south part of the hills, but it was only 10 miles from where we gave up yesterday on the east edge of Eureka.
Turns out it was a good thing we had another short day. I answered my phone that morning in surprise when Channel 12 from Wichita was on the other end. They wanted to come do a feature story on us. Guess we are getting pretty famous in Kansas now that the news is calling us and not the other way around!
A nice man came out and met us with huge camera in hand as we were making our way east on highway 54. We spent quite a while interviewing in front of the camera while the horses grazed on the roadside. I must say, we’ve had a taste of what movie stars go through. It’s not as glamorous as one might think to be on TV. It’s hours of work for moments of coverage and fame. We only wish we got paid as well, but Lord willing, this work will pay Hearts Up Ranch well! After the interview portion, we rode while the reporter got footage of us in action. He left the microphone on me while we rode so he could get the sounds of the trail. I had to laugh when they used me saying “on the road again…” in the TV cut of the story. It’s kinda become a joke between Richard and I that we sing the first verse of that song when we get going again after a rest stop. Check out our News and Events page for the link to that story… complete with my own personal sound effects!
Alison came by during the interview with lunch complete with a blizzard- from Dairy Queen in El Dorado. It was the owner’s way of personally apologizing to us for our “welcome” by the police in her home town. We continue to be touched by how many of the locals are extending their personal apologies for the incident- (the police themselves not excluded from that). It shows a real sense of personal responsibility that the residents of El Dorado take in how their town welcomes newcomers. It’s very refreshing to see a town where so many people take responsibility for what happens where they live and how their town is run. I like it- I like it alot! Kudos to the residents of El Dorado for such concern that your town is a stellar place to live!
So we sat in Alison’s car for a while warming up after the TV filming while we ate our lunch and blizzards. Wait… I thought we were warming up… why are we eating ice cream?! It’s good for the soul! We said goodbye for the third and final time to Alison and I nearly cried as she drove away. We’re going to miss the Locks dearly.
The 10 mile day to Rosalia felt like forever and a day long. Weird for such a short day. When we arrived at the little community church in Rosalia, we received a warm welcome. One of the members had brought in a panels for a round pen special for our horses, as well as bales of hay. The pastor helped us get situated then showed us to the shower in the church so we could get washed up before our scheduled speaking time in front of the congregation that evening.
During the potluck dinner, we sat with a newly married couple who were planning to ride around America indefinitely with 3 horses, a trailer, and tools to fix about anything. They have a heart to help older folks with handyman needs that they aren’t able to do anymore, while at the same time, sharing with them about Jesus. They came that night just to talk to us and hear our story. We wish them success, safety, and a beautiful ministry.
After worship time in the sanctuary, we were handed the microphone…. to which Richard promptly turned off the microphone and asked everyone to move forward and squeeze in so we could talk like friends! There were quite a few people there, but it was an intimate evening of sharing our ministry plans of Hearts Up Ranch, stories of how God has provided for us as we’ve traveled the country by horseback, and how we have grown and learned as we have experienced life on this journey. It’s hard to describe the feeling when God speaks through you, but when you just shared something from your heart in a way you don’t normally- kinda like it’s just flowing without you thinking about what you are saying yet you know you are speaking perfectly and you felt led to speak the words you did- then you look up to see tears in many eyes- you know that something you just said was what others needed to hear and you may not even know exactly what you just said….. like I said, it’s hard to describe. But that’s what that evening was like. I wish we had videoed it. Many people were touched deeply, encouraged, inspired and uplifted that night. We were blessed to have been a part of how God is working not only in our lives but in those who we meet along the trail across America.