Need more info?

The first trip, I was asked often what my cause was, that one I really didn't have one, but now I do. I am riding for awareness, not just about Uterine Cancer, but our health in general. We know ourselves better than any doctor, stand up and fight for yourself, it may just save your life.
Head to the Facebook page, Kathleen's Wild Ride, once again updated most days by my friends Mary and Jay.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another one bites the dust . . . actually two

Some days I am amazed that I have only come off once on this trip and not been injured too badly. Today is not one of those days.

We have been having a good trip through Illinois so far, we have stayed with some wonderful people, Steve and Barb of the Stronghurst area, who are interesting, funny and apparently big tennis buffs . . . Terry and Alexsha of Roseville, who fed me pizza and let me mess around on their computer and let the girls spend the night in their pasture and eat all night, they were so happy. We met Dorothy and her friend Karen who brought us hay to Middle Grove where the city let us stay at the old school house. We had many visitors there, kids, parents and people out walking their dogs, who seemed surprised to find 2 horses picketed in the middle of town, like that doesn't happen everyday. So many people offered to feed me or let me take showers I was feeling guilty for turning them down. The kindness of the people I meet on this trip never stops to amaze me. I stopped in Farmington for a late breakfast, tried my first Monte Cristo sandwich, sounded good, and for the half of the sandwich, it was pretty good. My advice is to only eat half of them, then run, fast from the table, before you start on the second half, that's where you get a little ill. I was joined at Kersh's cafe by Katerina, a friend of Dorothy's, and we had a lovely talk about the trip and Katerina's dream journey. I look forward to reading her blog and facebook when she can make it.
We headed out of Farmington to meet up with several people at the McDonalds and have the ladies working there give me apples for the mares. I met a woman from the service posse who must have contacted the Peoria county posse since they met me when I got to Hanna City. They found me a place to stay and will be arranging a police escort across the bridge in Peoria. Thank you guys for keeping us safe.

It was leaving Hanna City, heading for Niles and Linda's barn to spend the night that our cool day took a temporary bad turn. We were riding on the right of way below people's houses and above the rode, crossing driveways and had reached the last one before we dropped down to the shoulder again. As we started across it, Delightful slipped in front and when she tried to balance from behind she slipped there too. She started scrambling, trying to maintain her feet and lost the battle. Her legs were swept out from under her and we went down on the pavement. I took the hit, right knee slamming into the ground, Delightful landing on top of me, smashing my ankle and sliding about 3 feet before she rolled free of me, struggling to regain her feet on the slick surface. I righted myself, started to get up to help her and hit the ground again, my knee giving out on me. I took a moment, and a deep breath and forced myself to my feet just as she regained hers and both of us stood perfectly still for a minute, then she stepped onto the grass and started eating and I bent over and tried not to swear like a sailor as several cars had pulled over and people were coming over to make sure we were o.k. It took me another minute to make myself move and I went over to Delightful, ran my hands all over her legs, chest and belly. She was not cut, and had no swelling or heat anywhere. I was relived, happy and slightly annoyed. I could feel my knee swelling and my ankle was swearing loud and clear, I'm glad I could break her fall, really I am.

Oh by the way, through this whole episode, Mystic was just happily eating on the people's lawn. I am starting to wonder if she might have tripped or shoved Delightful. Hmmmmmmm.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Farewell Iowa . . . who is that hiding behind that tree?

Today is my last night in Iowa and I find myself at dinner with a wonderful woman, Sylvia Kreamalmyer, having eaten so much food I don't know if I can stand. She passed me a few days ago and again today while talking to her daughter and her daughter told her to turn around and talk to me. I am so glad she did. We have had a wonderful time talking and eating lol soo full.
I have met so many great people here, none of which have called the police on me, yet. The last few days have been the Dennis Glover Guided tour of eastern Iowa. He arranged for food for the girls in both Fairfield and Mt. Pleasant. He and his wife Liz have been wonderful and I am glad to know them, Shawn and Mary, wonderful people, even though they keep stalking me, well sort of. Bethany and Donna of Albia were terrific, escorting me through town and bringing hay to Ottumwa and all of them have been checking on me to make sure I am o.k.
We have had some very humid hot days that have been difficult on horses and me, even to the point that Delightful had a slight colic issue last night causing me to be up walking her for hours just to make sure she was fine. The rain has been both welcome and annoying, soaking all of my things for a few days, but cooling us off. Sometimes I feel guilty for enjoying almost every aspect of my ride, even the hard parts, the pain I am in still from my fall, the long days, worrying about the horses, all of it is amazing, and the people I have been meeting make this trip truly a gift.
So tomorrow we head into Illinois and across the Mississippi river, that ought to be interesting, long bridge, lots of traffic. I am excited to meet the people of that state and of course see Shawn and Mary hiding behind another tree.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rolling up and down the hills of Iowa . . .

Now I know that I absolutley loved Nebraska, but I must say I am cheating on Nebraska with Iowa. I have missed the trees and the rain, though not the humidity. Our crossing Iowa has felt fast and we have met many wonderful people here. The further I have gotten across the state the more help I have received. I have had people calling ahead to the next towns to set up feed and places to stay, Dave calling to Albia to let Donna and Bethany know I am coming, they bringing me hay to Ottumwa, meeting Dennis Glover at Batavia and he calling Sean and Mary to bring me hay to Fairfield, along with Joe, also known as Marvin, who sent his wife Joanne out with hay also. Tammy Jones of classic 96 radio station bringing me grain to both Fairfield and then to Mt. Pleasant, as well as putting me on air, to personally thank Garry for sending me on a "shortcut" that was 5 miles longer. You all are wonderful and have made my trip through Iowa well worth the time and aching backside.

Auntie Em, Auntie Em . . . oh wait this isn't Kansas

Upon leaving Waverly I headed out of town with Jackie Colton and her arabian gelding, Shasta. We were riding to Murdock on the way to Murray and as we got going we started to see all the wind damage from the storms that ran through the previous night. It was amazing, trees blown down, roofs pulled off sheds and barns and our favorite, round bales that had rolled out of their field, across the road, down the ditch up the other side and into the next field. They left criss crossing paths through the beans, like the winds had been bowling with them, truly amazing. We spent the night in Murdock at Jackie's son Clint's friend Nate's house and another big storm ran through that night, almost flipping me in my tent and pulling a gate free from Nate's fence and dropping it against Delightful, who was scared enough to break her halter and get free to trot off, Shasta following behind. She came back as soon as I called her and Randy, Jackies husband, brought me a replacement halter and we decided to haul a little ways to get past the bad weather and pick up some time. So we loaded up and headed off.

What to me seemed like a short time later we were in Iowa, and I was setting camp up in the city park in Creston, a little farther than we planned to go, but we had got to talking and missed the town we were heading for. Thanks Jackie, you rock, hope all is well with you and Shasta, and of course Randy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My appologies to Sidney Nebraska

I must apologize to Sidney Nebraska, I misspelled your name in my blog entry about the owner of Grandma Joes, Roxanne. She has kindly sent me 3 emails, pointing out my error and generally being less then sweet. How Odd lol.

Once again, it is Sidney Nebraska, not Sydney, I apologize to all the wonderful people I met there if I offended them.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Poor Delightful. . . RIP

So it happened, my first real fall of the trip. Stupid baby, throws a temper tantrum, drops me on the ground and steps on me a few times. No bones broken, no stitches needed, just a lot of bruising and scraps and most annoying of all a huge tear in my britches. Well she was a good baby, I will miss her, anyone have a shovel?

Just kidding, she still lives, for now. But I am sore and beat up and taking a day off in Waverly. I met Jackie Colton on the road yesterday and she invited the girls to stay at her place and her friend Karen is putting me up in her horse trailer living quarters. Wonderful women who might ride with me for a day when I leave tomorrow. It will be the first time someone has ridden with me on the trip, not counting the time that Donna Wade and her family came and met me on the road to show me the way to their house. I hope both can ride along for a bit, it will be nice to have some company and someone to prevent me from killing Delightful, still kidding . . . maybe.

Another one bites the dust . . . oooooh crap. by Delightful

Its about time I got to have some input on this darn page. So my first entry will be a fond experience for me . . . well it was for a moment.

After complaining about our shoes for weeks, Mom and I finally got new ones put on in a little town called Malcom. The mean one seemed annoyed cause she couldn't get anyone to commit to shoeing us and finally was able to get a guy out after some nice people came by and brought us hay, very delicious, though Mom ate too much I think she is kinda fat, and then they offered to pay for most of our shoeing cause the guy didn't want to help us for free. What does it mean, free? I mean really free is an odd word and you always get something for whatever you do, even if its a good feeling or in Mom's case, really fat, she needs to eat less and I need to eat most of her food, could someone talk to the mean one about that? Anyway, I thought we should stay in the park, but the mean one and Mom decided to leave and I had to carry her big bottom again, Mom is lazy and doesn't take her turns, she isn't sore, she is just faking it so she gets more food, and she is fat!!

We headed down the road and I wanted to graze, but old cranky big bottom wouldn't let me. I kept tossing my head and dancing around and stopping and she would just make me go on and not let me eat. I think that is mean and selfish and when do we get to ride her? She looks strong enough to carry me at least (Mom is really fat). We had been going for about forever (Mom says an hour, but what does she know) and I really wanted to eat, and then this bird flew up near me and I got an idea . . .

I spooked sideways really fast and when she shifted off to one side I bucked as hard as I could, and I got really high, it was sooo cool, I even reared up and twisted a bit, I looked like one of those rodeo horses we saw in Cokeville, it was awesome! My saddle twisted sideways and she was off! She hit the ground pretty hard but I thought I should step on her a few times to make sure she didn't get up right away and then I started eating. That grass was soooo sweet! I was gonna get to eat for a long time, I showed her who was boss! Then it all went so wrong. She didn't stay down, she was back on her feet immediately, and she was mad. Very Mad. I thought I should run, but she moved so fast, like some blurry creature. She caught hold of my reins and all I could think was "Oh Crap!! Run!" but I couldn't get away. How can something so small be so strong?

You know the worst part about this whole thing? Mom got to eat the entire time, she just put her head down and grazed while I was working and then kept grazing while I was getting in trouble and I think I heard her laughing at me . . .

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Echos of the sounds of silence . . .

We are about 8 days from crossing into Iowa now and its time for the reflection on our trek through this state.

I entered Nebraska disgruntled and promptly was reminded why I was on this trip and to quit trying to ride it on a schedule. I have found the people of Nebraska to be kind, generous and friendly. The state has been good to the horses, terrain easy, grass plentiful and weather fairly mild. We reached the half way mark on the trip at Ogallala and I breathed a sigh of relief, starting to feel that I can reach the other side of the country. I have found many reasons to laugh and smile here, and am really starting to feel like my old self again, that strong decisive woman I used to be. I am sure we will run into difficulty again, but Nebraska has let me catch my breath and for that I will always have fond memories of this state. Well most of this state, they do have these nasty sand burrs. They are awful, get everywhere and jab your fingers like barbed needles when you go to remove them, but it is really the only bad thing I have encountered here so I will just bandaid my fingers and keep smiling.

Here's looking forward to Iowa, I wonder if they will try and find me a husband also? Oooh I doubt it, I am sure it was just a welcome to Nebraska thing.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Corn Huskers, Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express. . .

So a lot has happened and it would take many posts to cover it all, so this will be a summation of the last few days.

Personally I never really knew that much about Nebraska and didn't think that they were famous for anything else but Huskers football. We have discovered differently. First and to some most important, they invented the Parlor's Tin Roof Sundae. Potter Nebraska is the home to that honor and I ordered and consumed the entire massive concoction at the Sundrie. Second, and I did not even hear about this til I stopped for lunch at Buster's in Hershey Nebraska, home of the new best bacon cheese burger on this trip, and that is that Buffalo Bill Cody's ranch is located here. It is in North Platt Nebraska. The girls and I stayed a night there and took the tour the next morning. It is a beautiful place, Victorian style home, sprawling grounds, creek running through the middle of it all, quite lovely. The care takers were very kind, welcoming us to stay at the camp grounds and not even caring that the girls left presents all over the place for them to pick up. Now I did know about the Corn Huskers, I just didn't think I would have anything to do with them on this trip, however indirectly. After I left the ranch I headed through North Platt and was waved down by the employees of a car dealership, who, after many pictures, asked me to draw the winner of a seasons Huskers pass. I did so and congratulations Louis Jacobson, you are a winner. Now the Pony Express has stations all through out Nebraska and I came across an intact on in the town of Gothenburg. It sits in the city park in the midst of a pretty neighborhood full of old homes that date back to when the town was founded.

So here I sit, in the library at Gothenburg, reflecting on my last few days and I can only say, I am Tired. Nebraska has been wonderful so far, but while the girls are recovering from Wyoming, I am still exhausted. I guess there will be time to sleep when I am done.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Time for breakfast . . . STEP AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE, er horses . .

Now I am sure that everyone has those days. You know the kind I mean, where everything is just out of sync and doesn't quite go right. My day started around 3pm in the afternoon and went around to 11 am the next day. I arrived in Sidney, at the fairgrounds, and went to go and put my horses up in the rodeo pens, which were lock up. OK well this does happen so we went on a search of the grounds for the horse stables and after a nice tour finally found them. Luckily the grassy areas between the barns were fenced to I put the horses in one of these, filled a water trough set my tent and headed to town to find hay for the girls to munch on. I stopped at a local restaurant and bar to enquire about hay, and for the first time in Nebraska, no one had any bales of hay. So I asked about a feed store, was rewarded with the information that yes there was one but no it doesn't carry feed for horses, oh boy.
So slightly disappointed, but not worried, I headed further into town, stopping to ask anyone I could find about hay and receiving no after no, on my trip to the library. I reached the local library, excited to make a blog entry only to find that I had 20 minutes before they closed,oooh boy. So I checked my email and facebook and headed back out. I decided that I would just go get dinner then graze the girls around the fair grounds for 3 hours before I went to bed. I arrived back at the first restaurant, which I had been told was fabulous, and was seated and informed that my waitress would be right with me. Over 15 minutes and no waitress later, I left the restaurant and headed back to the fair grounds to take care of the girls food needs, skipping a meal won't do me much harm, but they need what they can get. Upon reaching the fairgrounds, I was stopped by Cory, the deputy Sheriff, who was checking to see who and what I was and was doing. After a few minutes of talking, he told me he had a bail of hay and I was welcome to it for the girls, thanks Cory. The day seemed to be improving, or was it.
Upon feeding the girls, I set my phone to charge and headed for bed and some much needed rest. The nice loud storm that night, kept me up most of the time so that when morning came I just wanted to get up and get going so I could stop at the place recommended by Deputy Cory, Grandma Joes. I got everything packed and the girls saddled and headed down the road. The restaurant is in the middle of town, in the same building as the paper, so I tied the girls to the railing of the fire escape and went inside and as usual asked the woman who came out to seat me if it was ok. BIG MISTAKE!!! She first laughed and then upon realizing that I was serious, went off on me. She started ranting about how I couldn't do that, it was illegal, who did I think I was, blah blah blah. Now, I hadn't eaten in 24 hours, I was cranky, so I got a little abrupt and responded "O.K. if you don't want my business I will leave" at which time she snatched up her phone and called the police on me. Really, she did.
She started in to them about how I was breaking the law and they needed to come down there immediately and take care of me. It was at this point I lost my temper a bit, turned on my heal, kinda called her a bitch and informed her that I was going next door to the paper for my scheduled interview.
I untied the girls and opened the door to the paper office to let them know that I wouldn't be eating next door as she had called the police on me, they all came outside to see if I was kidding and were talking to me when the police arrived. I asked the officer if she was there to write me a ticket or arrest me and she just laughed and said that as she informed Roxanne the owner of the restaurant, it was illegal. She then said I should go down and eat at Our Place, where the food was better and they would be happy to have my horses. And that's what I did. The food was great, service terrific and after I calmed down and got some food in me, we all laughed at the ridiculous woman.
So my blog followers, I have no idea what the food is like at GrandmaJoes, the service sucks and if you are going to Sidney NE, I say, eat at Our Place, they are horse friendly.