12/5/08 - St. Paris, OH - The crew and I took a day off to relax and catch up on some extra feed. The horses managed to work their way through a few bales of hay and frolic around in their paddock.
I spent most of the day relaxing, reading and writing. In the evening I was invited over to Rachel Brubakerís house for a nice home cooked meal (and I mean really nice). Besides the Brubakers, there were two other familys over for dinner. Rachel and the other guests are of the German Baptist faith. This is an order similar in many respects to the Mennonite faith. Most German Baptist churches allow the use of cars and electricity, but some do not. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. The food was excellent, the wood fire and oil lamps created a nice ambiance and the company and conversations were really enjoyable. And amazingly enough, the kids were able to entertain themselves without TV - imagine that?
Rachel sent me back to the wagon with some really good baked goods and a copy of a book about a couple who drove a wagon on a 2700 mile trip in the early 80ís - Thank you.
12/6/08, Fletcher, OH - Dawn broke to a morning with wind driven light snow. The horses were kind enough to not rub themselves on the side of the wagon until about 6 am, when Dollie decided to mix a good butt rub with an opportunity to get me moving towards the oats bin.
Dolile broke her halter during the night and I broke the latch on Deedeeís collar. Fortunately, I spares for both. Three of Rachelís children wanted to ride with me on the three mile ride into St. Paris. It was pretty cold (15 deg. F) on the front of the wagon and the wind was blowing pretty good. They did a good job of toughing it out and seemed to enjoy the ride.
When I stopped to drop the kids off at a gas station in town, we drew quite a crowd of well wishers. There were several people there with gifts for me; to include, Marty, who dropped of 6 eighty pound bales of 2nd cutting alfalfa the night before, the mayor of St. Paris, who brought me coffee and a couple of pounds of fudge, and a nice lady (whoís name I never knew) who gave me $50.
The mayor, his two kids and Rachel hopped on for about a one mile ride to the outskirts of town. St. Paris is one really nice place!
I stopped for lunch in Lena, OH. While stopped I met up wtih Marybeth Norton and her husband. Marybeth has been following my blog since the start of the trip and was excited to meet the team when they came to Ohio. She and her husband drove up from Willmington, OH and brought me soup for lunch and gifts for the horse and I. Also at lunch, Jason stopped by with 3 bags of oats for the horses. With the 2 bags that the Nortons brought, the boot was full and I had to store a couple of bags in the cabin. Thank you Nortons and Jason.
A few miles farther down the road I stopped at a drive-thru convenience store to exchange a bottle of propane. While their, my hostess from the previous two nights - Elisha, dropped of a package of medicine that was mailed to me from my pal Bob Burnor, back in New Hampshire.
Iím spending the night at the Dawsonís place, a couple of miles west of Fletcher, OH. They are great people that really know where to pick up some good pizza. The horses and I are comfortably bedded down. They have their blankets on and a couple of big bales of hay to work on. Iím nice and toasty in the wagon. The wind is blowing about 25 miles an hour and rocks the wagon, but itís kind of pleasant.
A guy Eric stopped by and arranged for me to stay at a horse farm tomorrow night on the other side of Covington.
This was a really great day. Even with wind driven snow and temperatures in the teens, you can stay pretty warm with the goodness of a lot of people around you. Of course, it doesnít hurt to have five layers of clothing and chemical hand warmers. An interesting note - if you get shocked by an electric fence and you have a chemical hand warmer in your glove - it gets real hot - donít ask me why.