Day 61 – Monday, May 12, 2014
Happy Birthday to my godson Kingston Fink who turns 6 today!! I love you so much and miss you!! Hope you have a great day! Your birthday card had a snow delay but will be there soon!
We woke up this morning to 4-6 inches of snow!!! We felt like it was Christmas but it is the middle of May! Go figure! Anyway, we decided to take advantage of the day of rest so we visited with the Sheely’s and Winston watched a couple of movies with Mike and Winston played guitar for them and we sang some songs. We played in the snow and made two little snowmen at my cousin Addie’s request. She is three and sent me a video message asking me to make a snowman and send her a photo. It was a lot of fun! I took Durango out for a little while in the afternoon after the snow started melting to get some fresh air and graze. When we went into the barn last night to feed him he was shaking so we put his coat on him. He hasn’t had a chance to get a winter coat built up since he came from warmer temperatures. But, he was toasty warm this morning when we went in to feed him.
Kathy made us an amazing meal and we enjoyed visiting with these nice people! Winston and Mike like all of the same movies! We are really going to miss them. They have arranged a place for us to stay tomorrow night and they introduced us to Jennifer Tucker who boards a horse at their stables and they are working on a place for us in Fort Lupton. We are so fortunate that we found Mike and Kathy and we know that we were meant to be here and be safe from the storm with them. We will not forget how they came and rescued us from the road to shelter us from the snow storm. Then they let us stay in their house for three nights and fed us and let us wash clothes and take hot showers and welcomed us into their hearts and their home. We will miss them so much! Mike plotted out a course for us on the computer for the place we will stay on Tuesday night if we get to leave tomorrow. Winston will have no trouble with the horse but we are worried about the RV getting stuck in the mud created from the melted snow tomorrow. We will see how it goes in the morning. We are ready to get moving again but we will be sad to leave Kathy and Mike.
Day 62 – Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Well, the snow is melted and so we are going to try and move out today. And we see MOUNTAINS!!!! It was so exciting to wake up and see them in the distance. There are graters out on the road and the wind is blowing so we are hoping that it will be dry enough for me to get out in the RV. We told Mike and Kathy goodbye and that we could not thank them enough for their help and their love. We decided to not say goodbye but that would see each other again. Mike decided to drive me in his truck on a little expedition to check out the roads before I went out on them and got stuck. Winston was getting Durango ready to set out on the road and he had him tied to fence looking towards the mountains. They were in the distance but they were definitely there. Durango kept looking out that way and was probably thinking, don’t think for one second that I am climbing those things! When Winston finally got going, Durango decided to go at a pretty good pace until he was ready to go back to the barn. But, eventually Winston got him going forward again. Mike and I figured I couldn’t go all the way down this road so we found an alternate route that looked okay. He brought me back and I hugged them both again and Hart and I set out to catch up with Winston and Durango. We were making pretty good time and there were a few times that the mud was kind of thick but I was able to make it through. I was stopped on the side of the road and a man came and asked me if I needed help. He lived in the house just ahead. I told him I was okay and then a few hundred yards ahead his brother came out and asked me if I needed help. I gave him two brochures for him and his brother. I went two miles up and then Winston came up with a donation and I asked him where it came from. He said that a lady named Jody Woodham had just read the pamphlet that the man brought back to their work and wanted to come donate to us. Then we went about four more miles and a lady named Marnee and her daughter Maggie were waiting for us at the next corner with a bag of snacks. They said that Jody had called them because they knew Maggie loved horses and she would want to see Winston and Durango. So they took a photo and I found out that Maggie shows horses and really loves them. They thought it was awesome what Winston was doing. We were so happy to meet them and appreciated them thinking of us.
Shortly after that a dog started following Winston and Durango and Winston would try and get him to go back but he wouldn’t. He kept following him. He followed him for almost 6 miles. It was really frustrating because Winston felt responsible for the dog. He had no collar or tags. I have to say one thing that has constantly plagued us on this trip is that people don’t tie their dogs up or put them behind fences. It makes it really difficult when you are on a horse or in an RV for that matter and they are under your feet or wheels and won’t go home. Finally, I had to ride behind Winston and eventually the dog lost sight of him and went back. We wasted a lot of time on him circling back a bunch of times to get the dog to go home. We tried to make up for lost time but we had three more encounters with dogs. We are trying to go 24.7 miles today to get to Cliff and Toni Harvey’s place which Mike set up for us. Durango is moving really well today and we are making good time despite the dogs. We can still see mountains to the west of us from time to time and it is awesome!!! We can’t believe it! We are so close to the finish line. A friend of mine, Dave McCarty, said of the snow days it is God’s way of slowing you down to the finish line because one day we will look back and wish we were back here. I believe that is so true. We made it to Toni and Cliff’s in record time! We ended up doing 25 miles in 7 ½ hours! Even with the dog delays! Toni was outside and when I told her who I was she held open her arms to hug me!! How sweet is that?!! She was so nice and got us set up with Durango in a pen and told me where to park so I wouldn’t get stuck in the mud. Then we went in to meet her husband Cliff and their daughter-in-law Lynn who is married to their son Steve. Everyone was so sweet!! When I met Cliff I thanked him for letting us stay here and he said, “oh, we are just tickled to death to have you.” Oh my gosh, how cute is he??! Toni and Cliff have been married for 66 years and are 86 and 84 and are so cute together! Their son Mark came home and we all had chili that they had cooked and it was delicious! They did not know a lot about the journey so we got to tell them about it and about Jonathan and they loved hearing all of the stories. Toni shared with me that one of her daughters had cancer when she was two years old and was considered a miracle baby because she overcame it and then unfortunately got breast cancer last year but is successfully going through treatments. Please send prayers up for her daughter and Toni’s husband Cliff who is also battling prostate cancer. They are both doing well and are both surrounded by love and prayers so I also pray for a complete recovery for both of them. We all shared a lot of stories and we loved visiting with this faith-filled lovely family. We have been blessed beyond measure with the families that God has put in our paths and we are forever grateful. We were so happy that Lynn's husband Steve came home and we got to meet him too. We can't say enough nice things about this family.
Winston went out and fed Durango and then we came back in and visited with them until 9pm! We shared stories with them and they told us stories and at some points we were laughing so hard we were crying relating journey stories. Then we told them we were going to bed and Toni told me that she wakes up at 5am without an alarm clock!! Wow!! I can’t compete with that!
They want to cook us breakfast before we leave and we are so appreciative, especially Winston! He burns a lot of calories in the day so he eats a lot!!
Tomorrow we set out for Fort Lupton and then Thursday we will be somewhere between there and Lyons. On Friday we will be in Lyons and meet up with Don and Nick at the Sleepy Teepee! Winston has always dreamed of living in a teepee so I am sure this will be a highlight of this trip. If the teepee was in a treehouse then his life would be complete! Then Don and Nick have a route planned that will take us to a ranch where we will spend Saturday night and believe it or not our journey will be complete on Sunday, May 18th at around noon or 12:30!!!!! As I said, we have mixed emotions about the end of the journey. We will be so proud that we made it the whole way all together and we will be sad for it to be over. But, then Winston will start writing the book about his friendship with Jonathan and this journey and we will all get to relive this amazing journey one more time. And we hope to one day do a reunion tour of this journey but in a car!! Please keep us in your prayers as we complete the last five days of this journey!! ON TO GLORY!!!!!
Love, Donna (Winston, Hart and Durango too!)