As Bob had a long ride of 25 miles on 18 November, he was up at 5.00a.m., brushing down the horses and getting them saddled and packed for the journey.He has now got this down to a fine art........ remember when he started this long ride, it was taking him hours to get ready in the morning. He reckons he can do it in 20 minutes now !
He left about 6.30, and the morning was very cold. In fact he said most mornings there's a frost on the ground when he gets up. It gets warmer as the day goes along, and most days the temperature is in the 70's........but very cold at night.
When he had been riding for about 15 miles, he stopped at a house and they gave him water for the horses, and they chatted about his journey.
As Bob was riding through Artesia, he had a brush with the law. A Police car stopped him and told him he was riding on the wrong side of the road. However, they got chatting and he let Bob off without a citation. Not long after that an animal Inspector stopped his van to check out the horses, but our boys were fine.
When he got to the Fairground, Joel Bell husband of Debbie Bell who had arranged for him to stay there, arrived with a bale of hay for the horses, and later Debbie arrivedwith oats for Cody and Tigers. That evening Debbie had arranged a get together at the local country club, and when she took Bob there, he reckons there were about 30 people waiting. While he was chatting to people, one guy came up to him and said "You stopped at my Bosse's house to water your horses on the way here."
They must have had a good evening, as Bob didn't get to bed until 11.30.Debbie kindly e-mailed me beforehand to tell me what she was planning, and to say Bob had got off ok.
The next morning Debbie drove him back to the Fairground, which was about 10 miles from her house. Some friends of hers live next to the Fairground, and they supplied Bob with hot coffee and took loads of photos of him.......... I hope some will come my way to put on the blog site.
My sincere thanks to Joel and Debbie for your very kind hospitality, and Debbie I hope we can get together in El Paso for breakfast.
Bob reckons this ride was the toughest he has encountered so far. He left at about 6am, and the ride was 23 miles long. The ditches are very rocky, and the riding is slow, and he needs to be on the look out for Rattlers. He can't ride on the road shoulder as the road is too narrow and busy.
There were about 5 bridges to cross that day, which were a bit hair raising at times, as the cars make a lot of noise when they drive across. The road was called the Seven River's Highway, so that tells you a lot. Several times, Bob rode down into the river beds, as they were dry, as it was safer than trying to cross the bridge with the traffic. Obviously, this made the trip a lot slower though.
About 11am Jim Ballard, who was arranging a stopover for Bob, met him on the Highway to let him know a bed had been sorted for the night. He arranged to come back with a trailer at 4.00pm, and would pick Bob up wherever he had ridden to, and trailer him back to the house, which was some miles off the road.
Bob was taken to Jim's father's house (sorry I don't yet know your name), and was made very welcome. As usual, everything had been laid on for the horses, and they were corralled and fed, as was Bob..........although he had a proper bed for the night. Thank you so much Mr Ballard senior and Jim for looking after my special boys. Bob said quote "they're great people".