Alot has happened since I left Antelope, Solo Got his booties sent from my friend Joel and after his initial embarrassment at wearing them he was off and running. We journeyed from Antelope to Clarno, 15 miles and he trotted along happily til we arrived at the farm of a wonderful young couple and their beautiful 7 month old daughter, Nora. They kindly fed me and offered me their spare room to sleep in, but something told me to stay in the tent. Which was a good thing since Solo was up all night vommiting. The next morning he was very depressed and I was concerned for him and Tom, the farm owners hired hand told me he would bring him to Fossil for me. So with worry in my heart I headed out to Fossil, a 20 mile ride. In Fossil I met a wonderful couple that helped me get a stall at the fair grounds and I waited for Solo's arrival that evening. Tom dropped him off and I started coming to the realization that he might not be going to be with me much further in this journey.
The next morning was spent trying to figure out a way to let the dog ride on the pack saddle, and after many attempts at putting first a kennel and then foam on it for him to ride upon, all attempts failed. So with worry in my heart I headed out to my next destination. We camped that night in a state park about 10 miles from Fossil and while he was tired he was able to keep up and so the next morning we headed for Service Creek.
Upon arriving at the Stage Stop, I asked one of the waitresses if she knew of a park where I could graze my horses and she recommended one a short distance away. Upon arriving there I found that there was absolutely no grass and after talking with the Rangers, ascertained that was the situation in all the parks in that area. So I high lined the horses and walked back to the Stage Stop for lunch and to see about buying some hay. The same waitress told me she would sell me a bale and bring it to me when she was off work. I returned to my camp and waited, til 10p.m. She never showed up, so the horses went hungry.
The next morning I was up early to get on the road to Spray, but Solo was not doing well at all, he was lethargic and the pain pills I had been giving him had stopped working, but I needed to get to the next town to get feed for Mystic and Delightful so we hit the road. We had gone about 4 miles when Solo appeared to have a heart attack. He was in a lot of pain and could go no futher, so I picked him up and carried him in front of the saddle for about 2 miles til I realized he was not going to recover and could no longer hold onto him. I found a beautiful spot near the river and laid him to rest. This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and I miss my dog terribly.
I continued on to Spray and when I got to town was greeted by its wonderful and kind residents who not only offered me a corral for my horses but provided them with all the alfalfa they could eat. I only wish I had arrived on any other day so that I could have been more expressive in my thanks for their kindness.
Just about everyone that I met said that when I got to Kimberly I should look up Jody Foss, a true legend amongs Long Riders, so I did exactly that. It turns out that Emma, the young lady that made me the best bacon cheese burger I have had so far on the trip, is her step daughter. She told her dad about me and when I got to Kimberly he invited me to their home to stay for the night. They let me shower (Yay) and do laundry and set out such a repast of food as to honor a head of state. And Jody found me a place to stay in Dayville, my next stop. The kindness and generosity of others is heart warming and calms my shattered spirit.
I am sad, I miss my dog, my heart hurts but I shall continue with the help of all of my dear friends and the new friends I shall meet along the way and Solo will be with me, running faster than before, nipping at the heels of Mystic and Delightful, keeping them in line for me, just like the good dog he always was.