From what Bob has told me, he had a wonderful time in Holyoke, so I decided to devote one blog to this, as there's quite a bit to tell.
Bob started off on 1 October, and the ride there was very short, only 12 miles, as David's place was further on than Bob had anticipated stopping. He has had a bit of a problem with sand burrs that stick to the horses, and I guess are quite a problem to remove. He arrived after an uneventful journey at 3p.m. En route, he stopped near the entrance to a ranch, to let his horses graze, and three people came out of the ranch to talk to him and take photos. The lady also kindly gave him some cookies to eat. I'm really sorry that I don't know the names of the people, as it's nice to mention names and to be able to thank people personally. One of the gentlemen said he was the owner of the Burge Hotel in Holyoke, and told Bob to call in there the next day for a shower. Thank you everyone for your kindness.
As Bob was riding along, Dana Warren, who was organising his stopover at Holyoke, drove out to meet him, and gave him a copy of the local paper, which had an article on him. She had also organised a "pot luck" supper for the following evening, next to the Rodeo ground he was staying at, as there were quite a few people wanted to meet him. I think some of the people he had stayed with previously were going to attend, and there was going to be a singer. Again, when he was 2 miles away from Holyoke, she returned with water for the horses. Dana, you're marvellous. He's also had a lot of people stopping to chat with him on the roadside, as they've read about him in the papers.
Anyway, our hero arrived at the fairground, and the caretaker showed him around, and opened a building for him to sleep in. He even had a toilet, and the horses were corralled, which means he's got peace of mind. The local vet (sorry, don't know his name again), kindly provided the horses with hay and grain, and would not take payment for them. Thank you very much for your generosity. Whilst Bob was settling in and brewing up a long needed coffee, Dana arrived and took his washing away to do. As Bob was still having trouble with his back, she had also arranged for the local chiropractor to open up for Bob the following morning (it was his day off) to see if there was anything he could do to alleviate the discomfort. The vet came along for a chat, and also checked the horses over for Bob. He said they were in great shape. They are really toned up now, and are not losing any more weight, so must be really fit. Bob is really fond of his "boys" now and spends a lot of time chatting to them, especially on the road. People were very kind and left him alone for the rest of the day so he could rest and write up his journal ( book in the making?).
The following day , 2 October, Dana arrived at 8.30 to take Bob to the chiropractor. He had come into town especially to see Bob and treat him and would not take any payment. What kindness! I hope I've got this right, but apparently he's got two vertebrae & ribs seized up and needs to wear a support belt, as he can't cure it.
After that Bob went over to the Burge Hotel for his shower. The Hotel is quite historical as it was built in 1878, and in 1929 the then owners built a fireplace. As the Hotel is next to the railway station it's used a lot by sales reps, and over the fireplace there is a plaque with 200 names of the people who have all contributed unusual items to build it with. There are things from all over the world......Civil War cannonballs, a Ist World War German helmet, a stone from the grave of Calamity Jane, prehistoric bones, to name but a few. Quite amazing ,eh ?
Later that day, Bob had an interview with the local radio station, who ran off a CD of the interview and gave it to him.
At 6 pm, the horses were corralled on a park area close to the Fairground so people could see them, and people started arriving to chat with Bob. Everyone brought food, and it was a good social event, which went on till about 9pm. Bob gave a talk on his long ride, and Dana has kindly sent me some photos of the evening, which I will put on the blog site once I've finished this write up. I think somewhere between 40 and 60 people turned up, which was great. Also the local paper, the Holyoke Enterprise, turned up for an interview.
I've really got to say a big thank you to Dana, as she has been marvellous with all the help she has given Bob over the last few days. Words aren't really enough to express our appreciation.
I would also say that Bob really loved Holyoke and its people. He said it's a great town, they really organized everything well , as well as giving him space to relax, and the people are wonderful. Thank you kindly, folks, for giving him such a good welcome.
His next stop was at Wauneta, at the home of Dean Jarrett.