Tuesday, June 3, 2008

If there is a modern day Bud or Temple, one of the first kids that I think of would have to be Chisholm Kliewer. I know that he would love to go on a great adventure. I was glad to give him a book on Monday!
If anyone would like to know how long the Fay bridge is, it is 6 tenths of a mile long. I was riding Little John, Marla was on Rocky, and Patriota was good to go, so Donna was on him as we left Watonga. Since we knew where the vet clinic is in Watonga, and it is on the west side of town, we started our day from there. It is not at the very edge of town, so you know that made me a little nervous…the open road or field is my favorite, and civilization is a little (a lot) scary for me on the horse…but we left….another beautiful morning…Little John had a little more spirit than yesterday when I was riding him, and all of the business/oil field things made me nervous. Also, on that stretch of highway 33 there many semis, and not just the Wheeler Brother wheat trucks we have been seeing for a couple of days. At last we were out of town, and I relaxed a little, but what was ahead but a pretty big bridge. Well, for two days I have done pretty well because there hasn’t been a lot of traffic, and very few semis. This morning however was completely different--- the highway was pretty busy. I know Marla wanted to slap me and say get over it because I kept saying I don’t think I can cross that bridge, I don’t think I will cross that bridge on the horse…. I was too afraid that Little John would see a “booger” and I would be way to close to the traffic. So the wonderful wrangler that Marla is, she didn’t slap me, but instead said she would just pony Little John across, and I could walk across! What a friend…. So eventually we find our way to the east side of the bridge. Marla asks Donna “Do you want to walk across to?” and Donna replies “I can just ride across!” Well, at that point the west bound lane was clear for at least a ½ mile or more so I said, “if we are going, we better go!” and away we went….Although I do not wear spurs like Marla does, I did the best imitation I could with my boots and Little John and I flew across that bridge…me with one hand on the reins, and the usual white knuckle grip on the saddle horn…We had gotten about halfway across the bridge when a four-door type car zoomed past at about 70 miles an hour in the outside lane….Little John found a new speed…one I hadn’t felt before….SUPER FAST….and I felt myself lift out of the saddle…because of the swiftness of the ride and the wind whipping around, I realized my cheapy straw hat was lifting off my head…Remember earlier what I said about one hand on the reins and the other as a white knuckled grip on the saddle horn…well, what hand could I use to reach the hat to keep it on? So of course I made the decision to just let the hat fly off… I thought it was a wise choice---me? Or the hat? No contest right…. Because of the elevated speed and the wind the hat had no chance… So the other “eventful” moment was when we had turned southwest on HWY 33 toward Thomas, and we had gone about a mile past our second stop of the day…that was the place that Steve had all of the horse blankets drying on the fence looking like a tack peddler!! Anyway, the truck had gone ahead, and Matt had been by when we saw a truck go buy with a couple of flags attached…they were just flapping in the wind, and it startled Little John, but he did pretty well. I must have been in la la land because it was a truck for a wide load…I guess I thought it was wheat equipment (combines and trucks) BUT I WAS WRONG --- it was a double wide trailer zipping down the highway at about 75 miles per hour….the first part opened to the side of the road were we were riding…Remember when I said the two small flags whipping in the wind scared Little John. Well, just imagine how he reacted when the double wide wrapped in plastic that was flapping in the 25 mph wind……. He wanted to bolt!!!!!! Marla said she was so proud of me because I think I have a little self preservation…..I think I actually turned loose of the saddle horn (shocking!) so I could rein him in….we had gone from 2 miles an hour to 125 mph in 1 second!!! Okay, so I exaggerate, but he was moving fast….I didn’t end up in the highway or on the barbed wire fence—or the ground!! I was heading Steve Winterbottom’s advice---Don’t fall off!!! If you were trying to follow this blog down the map, I know I went out of order….Sorry---just wrote what came to mind first….
But sad news was just after the Fay Bridge…..about 1 mile after the bridge, Patriota collapsed again….He has a sore place on his back that was pressing on a nerve…He will be okay…. We walked a little after that, and Steve came to get us at the Weatherford turn….We were thankful to make it to Thomas. Thanks Justin for talking to the Thomas Newspaper….. Kendra was very accommodating to wait for Chisholm to come to town to take the picture. Sorry we disappointed Mary by not riding by the Wheeler Brothers so could see us…..
What hospitality we were given by the Kliewer family! Thank you Aunt Mary, Uncle Justin, Chisholm, Darcey, Bailey, and Kalli! Thanks for coming out to see us Travis Wolf….hope you enjoy your new home in Thomas….good luck at pharmacy school….Chisholm loved the horses, and after a super dinner, I should say feast, of Mexican food, we headed up to the school farm to let Chisholm ride Rocky while I rode Little John…… Chisholm loved the horses so much, and definitely was able to ride Rocky better than Donna and I did! He wanted to ride to Custer with us on Tuesday. Aunt Mary (his mom) said no way to that! After I dismounted ever so gracefully ( just kidding) and Chisholm was still riding, I noticed that Little John sure seemed to limp on his right front leg… Although he will be okay, we had to make a very hard decision. The horse ride had to be over for a few days. This part of the trip had to come to an end…. The Hewitts headed east on 33 Tuesday morning with a very heartbroken Donna and Melody in Thomas….. Flexibility is necessary on a journey, and we are continuing on the next few days on a similar path, but just a little faster.. We will camp out, and spend a little longer in the Wichita Mountains and Frederick than we had planned…. The Hewitts will bring some horses back to us on Friday so we will have them on Saturday….. I know they were as sad as we are….. I know Marla wanted to ride as much as I did……
BUT WE RODE 80 MILES IN 3 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We can’t forget that….We are proud of our accomplishments.
I will never forget these days…………………they were super! And Mary helped me remember, New York City is going to be great also! Our trip has just begun….even though the horseback riding was cut short a few days….our journey has just begun…………………………………

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