Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Near Disaster at Lake Minnatare

Well, believe it or not, I've been trying all evening to get this blog done, as, yet again, I've got three days blog to catch up on. I'm starting to feel like a full time secretary! It's now 1.26 am, so I'd better get started.

Anyway, Bob has been resting the horses at Lake Minnatare since 20 September. We had pre-arranged for him to climb his hill near the campsite to get reception, and he was telling me there had just been a massive rainstorm, and his tent was surrounded by rivers of water running both sides. But just as quickly as it started, so it stopped, and the sun was shining again. Arden Wohlers came to the campsite to meet with Bob, and that evening Bob went to David's ( the superintendent of the campsite) home for a meal. He had a wonderful time, as they had a family gathering, with guitar playing and singing Country & Western songs round the fire after the meal. Thanks to David and his family for a great evening. Wish I could have been there. I must also mention that David had got feed in for the horses, and refused to take any payment for it. What great people there are around.

Whilst I was talking to Bob on the hillside, he looked down, and the horses had broken out of their temporary corral. So our conversation was cut short, as he had to go and rescue them.

The following day (22 Sep) Bob was on the hillside again to tell me about the disasterous day. He was in his tent doing some jobs and heard a commotion outside. When he looked out, the horses had been spooked by something, and Cody had pulled his post out and was galloping for the horizon, with the post still attached to his rope. As Bob looked, Tigers thought "blow this, I'm going as well," and pulled his post out and took after Cody. Bob legged after them,but luckily there was someone nearby in his pickup truck who gave Bob a lift and they chased after the horses. They were about two miles down the road by the time they caught up with them, and Bob managed to lead them back to the camp behind the truck. Cody had lost two shoes,and he came off the worse as his legs were cut and grazed from the posts. Luckily, Bob had arranged for a farrier to come out that day to re-shoe both horses, and even more luckily Arden Wohlers (who's a retired vet) arrived at about the same time as the farrier. The shoes were sorted and Arden gave Cody an antibiotic injection as a precaution against infection, and after checking both horses over, pronounced them fit for riding. In fact, he said it was better to ride them, albeit gently, or they would stiffen up. Bob had been prepared to stay put to give them a chance to recover, but Arden said there was no need for that and they would be as right as rain within a few days. He put a poultice on Cody's leg, which Bob was to remove the next morning, to reduce the swelling. Thanks for administrating the first aid, Arden.

The name of the person who gave chase in his pickup was Scott, and we would both like to thank him for his quick actions which averted what could have been a total disaster. I believe that he and his wife, Barbara, had come down to do some fishing at the lake, and when he left the next day, he gave Bob a load of lighweight food for his journey the next day.

Later that day Rick Myers from the local paper, the Star Herald arrived and took a load of photos of Bob and the horses as well as doing a write up for the paper. He kindly sent me some photos and a copy of the article today.

That evening Arden came to collect Bob and took him back to his house for the biggest steak he has ever had in his life. He said it was absolutely delicious, was cooked by Arden's fair hands on the Barbeque and totally covered his plate!

The following morning Bob was up at 5am, as he had a 22 mile ride to McGrew/Bayard, and he had to give Cody another antibiotic injection in his neck before they set off. He also wanted to do a gentle ride today, because of yesterday's events. He phoned me this evening when he was about 6 miles away from Chimney Rock, on the Oregon Trail. This is a local landmark, which is quite famous, as the first settlers going out West went along the Oregon Trail, and used the Chimney Rock as a guiding landmark. The Trail also runs alongside the North Platt river. Apparently, you can see the Rock from up to 40 miles away. He was riding Cody, who seemed unscathed from yesterday's adventure and was raring to go! I'm beginning to wonder if the horses get bored after one day's rest and start looking for trouble. The weather was quite windy and pleasantly warm, so good riding weather.Bob is heading for the home of Judy Durnal on whose land the Chimney Rock stands, so I'll find out more tomorrow when we speak again.

I've got more photos to put on the blog site, but sorry, folks, you'll have to wait till tomorrow for them, as I'm ready for bed.

Happy riding, Bob.Jess (our dog) wants to know when you're coming home.

p.s. When I was talking to Bob I mentioned he had about another 2.5 month's riding to do, and he turned around and said"I might carry on through Mexico and head for Argentina. My response was "I'll take a crash course in Western riding , and join you then!!!"

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