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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.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to me . . .

So we are finally in Pennsylvania, the last state we cross before our final destination. Wow, I must admit that there were times I didn't think I would make it this far, but here we are, tired, worn, a little beat up and still going. Yesterday, I stopped at Buster's bar in Koppel, where the owner, Buster, let me tie the horses to the front walk of the bar while I was eating my lunch. He kept telling the many people that came by that he was offering pony rides, lol I am surprised no one tried to take him up on it. Pulling my horses away from Buster, I headed on to Elport where I found a place to stay with Arlene, a kind woman, who had apparently had previously owned a lion. I did inquire what had happened to the lion, making sure it hadn't just gotten out of its cage and was lurking in the area. The girls got to spend the night out in a large pasture, grazing, and were also fed loads of hay. Up early the next morning, my birthday, and on the road, I don't think that Delightful and Mystic got the memo about that day, or they just decided they didn't care. I had a nice days ride, found out that there was a fair grounds in Butler, so I rode down highway 488 to 422 and headed east towards Butler. I had gotten about a mile when I was stopped by Toby, a Deacon of a local church. He talked to me for several minutes and was just saying goodbye, when I woman ran across the highway from the bar across the street to ask me what I was doing. She told me that the fairgrounds was actually back the way I had came from about 1 mile west of the intersection of 488 and 422. So bidding Toby and Kimmie goodbye, I headed back the way I had come. I had ridden to almost the intersection when I was stopped by Marie, she was sent by JR, Kimmie's brother, owner of the bar. They invited me to stay with them, and after finding out it was my birthday, asked me out for dinner and drinks, so, I am here, in Prospect, on my birthday. The people that are putting us up tonight, JR, Shelby, Kimmie and Matt, treated me to dinner at the family bar, the Longhorn Corral. While I was there several of the patrons, upon hearing what I was doing, stared at me for several minutes, trying to get their minds around what I was doing and then bought me a drink. Being out on the road, I made sure to not drink too much and to consume lots of water before heading back to the house. A good birthday, good food for me, lots of food for the girls and dry stalls and a comfy bed. We are once again well taken care of. Not sure if I will head out tomorrow or take a day off, will decide in the morning, it was a good day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Heading down the home stretch. . .

I sit here tonight in Leanna and Don's home just west of Lisbon, Ohio, I realize that I am one day away from entering Pennsylvania, which means I am down to one map. Today the girls and I left David and Tracy's place just east of East Canton and headed down Highway 172. It is a narrow highway without much shoulder and a lot of traffic. Of all the roads I have travelled on this trip, this has been the most nerve racking for me. Cars were whizzing by us all day, most not giving us much room as the zoomed past us, the horses were their usual wonderful selves, not even noticing as they tried hard not to walk on the grass shoulder and stay on the pavement. I spent a major portion of the day repeating the phrase "you are horses, you are meant to travel on grass, stay off the pavement" and for some reason, they just didn't listen. We travelled down the perilous road for about 4 hrs, stopping to talk to the occasional curious individual, and to let the girls rest and graze, til I reached New Garden and a much need lunch break for me. The grocery store in town, Hulls, has the best chicken and jojos. The girls got some apples and cookies, I have kinda introduced them to all kinds of junk food, Vienna fingers today, nutter butters and chips ahoy yesterday, the occasional maple bar, though mostly they get granola bars, honey and oat is their favorite. After lunch I stopped at the golf course to use the only public bathroom in town and was given directions on the shortcut to the fairgrounds in Lisbon. The gold course manager let us ride down the fair way in order to stay off the road and we managed to use fields and yards for most of the rest of the travel today. As I approached the turn on my hand drawn map, I came upon a sheep farm, owned by Leanna and Don, and they called me over to see what I was doing. Upon hearing that I was riding across the US and staying at the fair grounds, they offered us a place to stay here, complete with a barn for the girls, all the hay they can eat and a bed, shower, dinner and wifi for me.
So here I sit, upstairs in the Kids apartment, typing away on my computer, answering email from various people I have met and reading the negative comment someone sent me regarding the horses current state and I am thinking. This trip has been long. It has been difficult and physically hard on all of us. The girls are thinner than I would like, we are all a bit beat up, but we have less than 3 weeks left and we will complete an amazing journey. No one can take that from me, no matter how much they try. The girls will gain their weight back, hopefully I won't, all our sores, bruises, etc. will heal up and we will be as good as new and we will be better and stronger than before we started. While I am excited to be finishing, I am also excited to see what the next leg of this journey brings.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Disoriented dogs and dead raccoons. . .

Now the girls and I had a long rest in Upper Sandusky, well they rested more than I did, since I had to walk out to the fair grounds to feed them at least twice a day, well it would have been twice a day if it weren't for the wonderful people of Upper Sandusky. The 2 Bonnies, Senior and Junior, secretaries at the fair grounds, ferried me back to the hotel on Wednesday and Friday morning and again Friday evening. I was picked up by several kind people on there way to or from work and even got my first proposition of the trip, a very nice young man, who apparently liked my backside, hah hah hah. The Lions Club orchestrated 2 kidnappings and my dear friend Steve came down several times to visit, keeping me up til after 1 a.m. each evening, soo much rest for me, but thank you to Joel for putting me up for the week, what sleep I was able to get was good and I appreciate it.
Now when we headed out for Bucyrus I figured on an uneventful easy ride for our first one back on the move. I was sort of right. The ride was lovely, following the Lincoln Highway through the countryside, we were stopped several times by people that wanted to know what the heck I was doing. Stopped for lunch at a little cafe. All normal occurrences of a daily ride, with a few exceptions.
I had been riding for about 3 hours when I came upon a house with many dogs chained all around it. As we approached the closest dogs started barking excitedly, running circles on the ends of their chains. As usual, the girls didn't even notice the barking leaping dogs and I, as usual, was talking to the dogs, commenting on their barks and leaping abilities. As I passed the house, I noticed one large black dog frantically barking and leaping at the end of his leash, he was facing the wrong way. He ran back and forth, leaping high into the air, barking happily, at I have no idea what. I watched him for a few minutes before I cleared my throat, causing him to look around. He paused, looked back at what ever invisible object he had been barking at, spun around and gave us his attention. I rode on feeling that I had prevented him from looking silly to the rest of his doggy family.
Now the other none normal occurrence is a bit gross, so if you have a weak stomach don't read this. We had ridden on about another hour and were riding into town, coming up on the school, when I noticed a large, dead raccoon in the road. It was hard to miss as it was really big, the size of a medium sized dog, well I thought it was hard to miss, but apparently not. A green mini van went speeding by us as we pulled almost parallel to the raccoon, and ran over it. Gross right, I mean how could you have not scene that, it was huge. This is not the grossest part, its wheels spun the body up underneath the car, and flung it out towards us. It flew about 6 feet, causing Delightful to spook and dive away. I was never so glad to have her spook since not only did the body get tossed at us, it was ripped apart a bit and the entrails sprayed the side of the road where we had just been. Needless to say, there was much screaming of the word "Eeew" and also "bleck" and praising of Pei Pei for her quick reactions, saving us from a gross shower. I don't believe that the driver meant to hit it, they were probably looking at us and hit it by accident, but still it is the grossest thing to have happened to us on this trip. could have been worse, so thank you Pei Pei, truly a princess maneuver.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Help I have been kidnapped by the Lions . . .

I have reached Ohio, it has taken 5 months to get here and we are in the home stretch. I am exhausted, the girls are exhausted, we are all a bit beat up so we are taking a rest in Upper Sandusky Ohio. We arrived on a Tuesday, dropped here by a wonderful woman, Star Eiseman, who hauled us nearly to Michigan to have her shoer put shoes with borium on the girls. As Wayne, an Amish farrier, nailed the last shoe on, I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that our chances of repeating the dive to the pavement had been greatly reduced, my knee gave a twinge of pain, or maybe it was sighing, one never knows with knees. Since we were so far north, Star hauled us to Upper Sandusky so the girls could have an entire week off, they need to gain weight and Mystic's saddle sores need to heal up. This trip has been a constant worry about the horses, and with about one month left, I decided to take some time and let them recoup some energy before we pushed to the coast.
So we arrived at the fairgrounds, right behind my dear friend Steve. We stopped and talked with Dennis, a Pacer race trainer, and he gave me the number for the fair secretary and offered to provide the mares with all the hay they could eat. That coupled with the 2 bags of grain Star provided would be enough to get them up and running again. I decided to put them in the round pen, clearing it with the secretary in the morning, filled the 10 gallon kitty litter buckets with water(Steve has many cats) bid Star farewell and a hearty thank you and Steve and I headed to the hotel to drop off my gear at the room my protector and provider, Joel, had arranged. After a good meal, Steve dropped me back at the hotel, we would see each other on Thursday to run to Findley to purchase a laptop with the gift card my anonymous donor provided and I headed to a shower and bed . . . ooooh a bed, for a week, ooooh my.
I was up at 7:30 the next morning and out the door to walk the 3.5 miles to the fairgrounds, the only drawback of the hotel. While we might be resting and recouping the girls still need to be taken care of so I would have to make this trek 2 or 3 times a day for the week we were to be here. After I fed the girls, cleaned and medicated Mystic's sores, I headed for the office to see the secretary. Well, the secretaries, the two Bonnies to be exact. These lovely women have been so kind, obtaining permission for the girls to stay, wrangling the paper to write an article and providing me with a lift back from the grounds on any day they were working, my feet thank you. After being dropped off by Bonnie Jr., I went back to my room and crashed for 3 more hours sleep. Getting up in time to walk back out to the grounds to feed for the night. I had reached the park when it happened. A truck pulled over and a sweet looking gentleman asked if I needed a ride. I said sure and hopped in . . . ooooh what had I done? He asked where I was going, I told him, he asked if I was living out there and I told him I was going to feed my horses. He asked if I was boarding them out there and I said I was riding across the U.S. on horse back. He turned sideways in his seat, the birds stopped chirping, the wind died, I could have sworn I heard someone scream, and said "Well, I am taking you to the Lions Club for dinner. You can give a talk and tell them what you're doing."
I was Kidnapped. Taken to the Lions Club dinner, introduced to them, Earl, my kidnapper, Francis, the treasurer, even John, the tailtwister, and yes that sounded kinda dirty to me too. We had dinner, pork chops, said the pledge, and I was asked to speak, I did. Told them what I was doing, told a few stories, answered a few question and sat back down, it was an odd kind of kidnapping. They actually voted to give me some cash for my trip, if this is what your normal napping was, I Like It!
After dinner, Earl took me to the fairgrounds to feed the mares and then back to my hotel room. He wished me luck on my trip and drove off, I knew I had survived a Lions napping, barely.
The next day Francis picked me up walking back to the hotel in the morning and kidnapped me to take me to lunch and then show me the sights around the area, apparently it is normal for Lions to pick you up, kidnap you to feed you, show you some cool stuff and then give you money. An interesting organization if I do say so myself.
We head back on our journey tomorrow, the girls have both put on weight and healed up. Delightful, fully and Mystic mostly. This might be the home stretch, but I am still exhausted, didn't get much rest this week, with the walking and visits from my Friend Steve, but I now have a laptop and have started writing the book. I can feel the end coming, I really miss my bed.

Friday, October 8, 2010

OJ Simpson has nothing on me . . .

Talk about your slow speed police chase. Our trip through Peoria Illinois was eventful to say the least, we got to talk to so many kind people, all supportive and friendly, we got to interview with the paper and had 2 news interviews, my first and second, ugh. The most interesting thing for me was the police escort I was given all through town. The Peoria police department and dispatcher Donna took very good care of me. I feel very sorry for the officers that had to follow the 3 of us through town. Driving behind us the entire way at 2.5 to 3 miles per hour. My officer said he didn't mind, with a staight face, and remarked on how he was catching up on his report writing lol. We even rode through the drive thru at McDonald's, and sat on the lawn of the fire station next door to eat, while the girls grazed.

Illinois was fun, hilarious, painful and heartwarming. I started the state with Steve and Barb and finished up with Marvin. Wally and Joan who kept an eye on me throughout the state, bringing me food, for me and the girls and Wally keeping me safe alerting the police to keep an eye on me as I crossed the state. Thank you all.

Indiana has been all of the above. Meeting Cindy, Shonn, Russ and Linda I have felt welcome, Cindy's son telling his mom I could be an ax murderer led to hours of jokes at his expense, such fun and my knee has been hurting a lot. I am almost through the state, near Peru, I have found something very difficult about being in the midwest. I can't seem to lose anymore weight. Everyone keeps feeding me. Oh well, maybe Ohio will be meaner . . .