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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.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Welcome to New Jersey . . .

Now I have heard a lot about what different states were going to be like on this trip. Received dire warnings about how I was going to be treated and how help would not be available and each time I just smiled and knew everything would be fine, then I arrived in New Jersey and I began to wonder if some of those warnings might be right. I entered New Jersey over the toll bridge coming out of Portland Pennsylvania and was told by the people at the diner I stopped at for lunch that they would not let me cross the toll bridge. As I rode up the to bridge, one of the toll keepers came out and motioned for me to wait where I was so he could drive around to talk to me. My heart sank a little, I figured I was going to have to retrace my steps and cross on the narrow people bridge. He pulled along side of me and rolled down his window to tell me he just wanted to make sure I crossed without incident and he would follow me. He then asked what I was doing and upon hearing it grinned from ear to ear and said it was amazing. So across the bridge I went entering New jersey smoothly. I rode along side the highway, people driving by me, passing with care, disproving the "crazy driver" notion I had be given about Jersey drivers. Eventually a man stopped on the side of the road to talk to me, and upon finding out I was crossing the country, announced he was right and his wife was wrong and brought me up to the window of his car to have me tell his wife that. He then started driving up the road searching for a place for me to stay. I met up with him at a bar called Gunners Landing and for the first time I was turned down for a place to stay. They had a park area behind the bar, near the river and off the road and were not interested in my staying there, I was surprised but then laughed when I remembered how surprised I always was when people told me yes. I continued down the road, Super Frank driving ahead stopping at every farm he passed trying to find me a safe place for the night. The Mackey's stepped up and let me camp at their farm, in their backyard, they were somewhat speechless when I talked to them, but very kind and welcoming. The next day I was off heading for Hackettown and rode there without incident. I rode through town and decided to stop at Mcdonald's before riding up the hill at Schooley's Mountain. I met several people there, all excited about my trip, amazed that I had made it this far and soon they were arguing over where I should stay and what road would be best for me to take out of town the next day. Mike Mulina, sorry about messing up your last name Mike, found me a wonderful place to stay, with his friend Bob, a judge, and his wife, a retired judge. They welcomed me to there farm and into their home for the night and the next morning I was up early to head off to Morristown. Or So I thought.
I walked the horses down to highway 46, and started east, when I spotted a county police car and waved them down to ask if there was a cafe in the direction I was heading. Big Mistake! The officer driving asked if I was planning on taking the horses up the highway and when I said yes told me I couldn't do that. Surprised I asked if it was restricted, he said no but I couldn't take horses up that road, I asked if it was against the law for me to ride on the roads there, he didn't answer my question but instead told me if I choose to there would be consequences. Getting frustrated, I was trying to remain calm and not get angry and to find out why they were not wanting me to ride down the rode and how they wanted me to get out of town. I suggested going out Schooley's Mountain road and was met with the same statement, that I couldn't ride in that road, I asked them what I was supposed to do and was told that I needed to go and get my trailer and haul them where I was going, I explained several times before it finally sank in that I was riding across the U.S. and had no trailer or truck, but still I was threatened with consequences if I chose to ride either road. So I called Ann, the woman I met the previous day and asked her for help, she called the precinct and discovered that there were planning on impounding the horses if I road up either road, which I found odd since what I was doing was not against the law. Finally the passenger officer and I talked enough for me to find out that they were concerned for the safety of the horses. They insisted on running my license, and to know where I stayed the previous night. I find the running of my license kind of insulting, even though I know that they are just doing their jobs and trying to do what they think is best for the horses. My patience almost at an end, I agreed to return to where I was staying the previous night, calling Ann to see if she could find me a trailer ride away from these police. She started searching for a ride as I walked back to the farm. I was stopped by another officer, who had shown up at the bank I was talking to the cranky officers at and he told me not to worry about things he would try to help. I got back to the farm tied the girls up, Ann called back to tell me she had found a trailer ride that would be there around 11 ish and the Officer Bryan drove into the driveway to tell me that he had contacted the Morris County Mounted Patrol and they were sending a trailer to rescue me from Washington county. I thanked him and went back into the house for breakfast and then met with a reported from the local radio station that Judge Bob contacted to interview me about this incident and my trip. Officer Bob returned with Mounted Patrolman Gabriel and the girls were loaded up in the trailer and I was whisked out of Washington Township Police jurisdiction. I met with the Sargent and he and Gabe helped me find a good path to follow and I was off again. As evening started to fall, a woman stopped to talk to me and hearing that I was looking for a place for the night, jumped on her phone and called Mare and Richard for me to stay with. They came and got us in their trailer and brought us to their farm.
So after the last few days I have to say this about New Jersey: the people are kind, considerate and helpful. Well most of them are, some are opinionated and pushy, but in all honesty, this wouldn't be New Jersey without a little of that and I would feel kind of ripped off if I didn't encounter a few Stereotypical Jerseyians.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Was it a European Swallow?

I realized a few days ago, that I had been on the road for exactly 6 months. We were travelling along a lovely country road when it hit me. I pulled Delightful up for a few minutes in amazement. I really never thought that it would take me this long to get across the country, but I didn't take into account the time I would spend sitting. The first pit stop, Ali's to regroup and figure out a new path. The second was in Antelope waiting for Solo's booties. Third time was with Cindy Bachman, in Idaho when Mystic first got a sore back. Fourth was not much later in Buhl with Penny Hodges waiting for a girth for Joel's endurance saddle. Number five was in Malad City to let the girls rest up a day, then we stopped for number six in the next town for a week to make sure Mystic was back to 100% before taking on the German Dugway Pony express road and immediately had to sit again in Montpelier and then Cokeville to let her heal after the endurance saddle gave her a whither sore. We didn't sit again til we cleared the desert in Rawlins to let the girls gain weight and recover from the desert, continued the wait in Cheyene til I was happy with them and the vet was too. I took a day with Jackie in Waverly Nebraska and then we rode almost continuously until we got to Upper Sandusky and took a week off. Since being in Pennsylvania we have taken a day with Kimmie and the rest in Butler, A week with Tom Brown and Mary Lou, and then 3 days at the Jonas hotel, of course that was after the six month mark. There have been some days here and there I missed but all in all I think we sat for about 8 weeks this trip. So I guess six months isn't that bad considering. As I put Delightful back into a walk I glanced down at the ditch and was surprised to find a coconut. Riding away I wondered if it was brought by African or European swallows. It wasn't very big, I am guessing it was European.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I sense someone is trying win Delightful over. . .

We had a long day to ride to Punxsutawny. As we rode through town I smiled at the people driving by and waving at us, returning the waves and hoping the girls wouldn't poop in someones driveway. I was looking for the post office, I had a package from Glenn to pick up, so I stopped a few people and got direction. I pulled into the parking lot and was approached by several people that had seen me riding through town and wanted to know what I was doing. One of which was one Mary Lou Brown, wife to Tom Brown. Apparently he had seen me riding earlier and had called his wife, who told him he should have stopped me to offer me a place to stay. Which is what Mary Lou did, me at their home and the girls at their barn just outside of town. So I picked up my package, went over to the Brown's home for a few minutes and then headed out to their barn. Upon arriving their, Tom Brown (who is always referred to by his full name) bedded the stalls and brought hay down. I pulled the tack and gear and after Tom Brown made sure they had water, we went back to the house. Mary Lou told me that I could stay as long as I wanted a day, or two or six . . . little did she know I would be staying for several. A weather front moved into the area so I decided to stay over til it passed, and the Browns were wonderful hosts, feeding me, making sure I got to see Gobbler's Knob, keeping me entertained and well rested, though I did notice something odd after the first day.
Tom Brown got up early every morning and went out to feed the girls, he would also stop by a lunch to feed them again and then go over to give them dinner, it was no trouble at all . . . hmmmm. I mentioned that the girls were going to like him better than they did me and he simply smiled, I had discovered his master plan! I made sure that the next time I went out to the barn, I groomed them, let them graze, informing them that Tom Brown didn't want to do these things for them. I think I was successful in convincing Mystic, but that Delightful seemed skeptical.
I stayed there for 4 days, and left on Sunday when the weather cleared, Tom Brown brought me out and I think I almost saw a tear in his eye as we rode out the driveway, and I should mention that I had to drag Delightful down the road for several miles. She didn't want to leave her new sugar daddy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The cold wind blows the hangover right out of your head . . .

So I woke up the morning after my birthday, about 2 hours too late to leave for the day, with a slight hangover, apparently I hadn't drank enough water the night before. So the girls and I got to stay an extra day with JR, Shelby, Kimmy, Matt, Marie, Page and Cody. We made good use of our day off, them eating constantly and me running to the store with Shelby, then to Page and Cody's school to drop off vampire teeth and talk to the kids classes about my trip. The second graders in Page's class were impressive, asking lots of questions, most of them valid, all trying on the hat and coat and looking at pictures of the girls and some from the trip. The kindergardeners mostly wanted to see if I could guess their costumes, which I could, they were impressed. After the big school speeches it was back to the Longhorn for lunch and a visit with Aunt Kathy, then home to feed the girls more hay and hang out for a few hours, finishing up the day with a hilarious go at wi dance challenge, Kimmy is the reigning champ, though I did beat her at Cotton Eyed Joe once, go me.
When I headed out the next day, it was into a cold snap, the wind has picked up and the days are decidedly colder, we rode down the rails to trails for a while, beautiful, even riding through a train tunnel, which was pitch black, and I only could keep track of where we were in the tunnel by the echo of the horses steps off the walls and rocks. The mornings have been very cold, in the twenties and snow is forecast for the weekend. I am in Punxsutawney tonight, maybe I can convince Phil to change the weather for me . . . I should have Delightful bite him till he caves.