9/14, 9/15/08 - To Saratoga Springs, then to E. Galway, NY
The morning of the 14th was rainy, but started clearing about the time I left Win A Maker farm. Jessie, a trainer there rode with me for the first few miles. She arranged for me to stay at a friends place - Chuck just a few miles out of town - Thanks Chuck
That evening, I went to dinner at Bob and Michele Giordano house in Saratoga. We had a great time - they are the perfect hosts. Michele accepted my invitation to ride on the wagon on the 15th.
9/15 - At six in the morning, Bob Giordano picked me up for a tour of the Saratoga racing facilities. Bob works for the Racing association and had a pass to get in. We started off at the Oklahoma track and watched the exercise riders work their horses. Bob goes down there nearly every morning and new quite a few of the riders and trainers. I was impressed by the quality of the horseflesh, but also thought of the striking differences these horses have from my own.
Then we went over to the main Saratoga track. It was deserted now that the short 6 week Saratoga racing seasons is over. Built in 1864, this is a very historic and beautiful track.
About 10 am Michele showed up to jump aboard the wagon, just as I was hitching up. A couple miles down the road a photographer for the local paper showed up and periodically took pictures of us until lunch time.
Our route was past the race tracks and through the city streets lined with beautifully restored homes.
For lunch we pulled into Congress park, in the middle of the city. Before we stopped for lunch, I turned the team at the end of the dead-end road. The 50 foot turn around was just big enough to turn the team and wagon. The horse are getting pretty good at using all the available space and side stepping on command.
Lunch was hot dogs, beer and potato salad in the park by the museum. A lot of kids came up to see the horses, to include a large group of disabled and special needs adults. This was the second time that Iíve seen blind people interact with the horses on this trip. With a lot of warm, soft surface area to touch, horses give the blind a very good opportunity to see. The look on their face has a way of making the whole trip worthwhile.
After lunch it was back in the city streets to make our way out of town on Rte 29. The team is absolutely fantastic moving through congested streets, to include construction zones. The workers are always amazed we can move through a line of orange cones without knocking any over.
Iím now about 8 or 9 miles to the west of Saratoga, in East Galway, NY. Iím camped at Normís house. Norm and his family have shown the horses and I tremendous hospitality. For dinner I cooked up chicken and asparagus in a spicy cream sauce with Jamblaya rice.
As soon as I publish this blog, Iím off to bed - Good night!