After a far too long rest and recovery period, here is the long promised blog to update you on the rest of the adventure in El Paso.
Bob and I were treated like royalty the whole time we were there, and something seemed to have been planned for us every day. Bernie and Melissa acted as our unpaid chauffeurs ......bless them....I should think they were quite relieved when we eventually boarded the plane for England. Thank you to Candy for coming to see us off, and driving us to the Airport ........ I think she wanted to make sure we left !!!!!!!!!!
As well as all the events I have mentioned previously, Bob was guest of honour at several presentations.On 8 December 2008, he was presented with a Resolution from the El Paso County Commissioner's Court acknowledging and praising his ride, and a certificate was presented to him. The press and Television were there to interview him again. Also, he was given a document to certify that the Star on the Mountain was lit in honour of him on 2 December, when he rode into El Paso. This Star is situated on the South side of the Franklin Mountains which surround El Paso, and is 459 feet in length, and is lit by 459 light bulbs. It can be seen all over the city, and was first built in 1940. It is visible from the air for 100 miles. El Paso is proud of its image as the "Star City" in the Lone Star State, and quite rightly so.
On December 9 , Bob was presented with a signed proclamation from the Mayor of El Paso, stating that December 9, 2008 will be known in El Paso as "Long Rider Bob Jones Day". He was also presented with an authenticated Texas Flag, and a certificate to confirm that the flag had originally flown over the Capitol Building in Austin, Texas. What an honour ......... I know Bob felt quite overwhelmed by all the recognition and acknowledgement of his achievement, and all the above certificates will be on display on our walls at home once we have got them framed.
We later visited the Railroad and Transportation Museum of El Paso, who also awarded Bob a Certificate of Achievement.
I cannot speak highly enough about the hospitality we received whilst in El Paso and the wonderful friends we have made there. Special thanks to the management and staff at the Holiday Inn for all the gifts and the attention you gave us....... and particularly for giving us a courtesy room for the duration of our stay. We were forced to go out and buy some more suitcases before we left for England, as we were given so many gifts by everyone.
Now to the most important part of the saga ......... our boys, Cody and Tigers. As you know from my previous blog, it had been arranged for them to be stabled at the Sheriff's Posse Arena. We went to visit with them most days, and I think they were quite enjoying the rest, as the latter part of the ride, for about the last 100 or so miles, had been tough going. I'm sure you will all be happy to know that they are going to be homed together, and we have been assured that they will live out their retirement together, which is what we wanted all along. These two horses have served Bob so well , and gave him their all .........never letting him down. Because he owed them so much, and had developed such a deep and unique bond with them, we wanted only the best for them. They are going the the ranch of Tom Moates, a well known author of horse books, who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia ........... and you will be thrilled to know, as we were, that they will be doing another Long Ride from Virginia to the Quarter Horse Museum in Texas next year. Tom has told us that ,once the ride is completed, they will all three retire to his ranch back in Virgina. We spoke with him the other day, and he anticipates the Boys being trailered to him within the next day or so. Melissa and Bernie have been visiting the horses at the Arena, and Melissa has been bringing them home made "horse Biscuits", which she said Cody loves, but Tigers prefers carrots. They will be supervising the move for us, and I hope we can keep in contact with Tom, so we can find out how they are getting on.
I cannot tell you how emotional Bob and I felt when we had to leave them. We were so concerned that they go to the best home possible, after all they had done for Bob, and we were very happy to let Tom have them, as this is the sort of life that they enjoy, and something we could never have given them in England ........although I never gave up trying to persuade Bob to bring them back ........ he was right though, and we had to think of the Boys' welfare first , and be practical about it all. So watch the Long Rider's Guild Website, and you will no doubt see mention of Cody and Tigers again, next year, when they set off on their next adventure. As for Bob..........I think at the moment he is trying to come back down to Earth, and is struggling with that, as am I..........which explains the delay in updating the blog site.
My next task is to go through the thousands of pictures that we both took, and put some of the more interesting ones on the blog site, just to finish it off. So be patient, dear viewers, and I will be back with you as soon as possible with the photos. Thank you to everyone who sent messages of support and encouragement to us both over the last six months ......... this has been the experience of a lifetime. Roll on the next adventure !!!!!!!