Monday, 17 August 2015

We get a soaking

Sunday June 14th started wet and gloomy..
 ..and it was not long after I took this photo that the heavens opened in earnest and the rest of the day essentially consisted of rain, heavy rain or torrential rain, with a few short breathers in between.  My waterproofs held out fairly well, but my feet were soaked and squelching within an hour of setting out - distinctly miserable to endure over a long day.  In one downpour I dashed in to shelter under someone's porch and hoped they didn't open the door to come face to face with a horse!  It was impossible to really enjoy the lovely countryside and too wet to take photos.
It was with a huge sense of relief that I arrived in the evening at Nelson's Ranch as the rain died out, and in the circumstances was particularly delighted to find a wonderful welcome awaiting me.  The ranch is a boarding stables with a lovely community spirit, owned and run by Dee and Rod Nelson.  Lady was turned into a paddock in front of their ranch house on a hill, which has a glorious views out over their fields and down to a lake (photo by Kristina LedesmaJurkowski).....
....while I was ushered into the house to tuck into a fabulous feast brought along by a friendly crowd of boarders/trail riders who had come to meet me, before watching the herd of sixty horses coming down for their evening feed, an experience in itself.  Dee and Rob were the perfect hosts, and not only was I able to have a hot shower and a good sleep in a cosy bedroom, but I was able to wash and dry my clothes - Dee had an amazing boot dryer to blow dry my soggy boots. Bliss.
I set out the following morning Monday June 15th considerably revived.  Here are Dee (in the green top) and Rod with boarders ready to see me off ...
 
All the land in the background belongs to them.
I was now skirting past the western suburbs of Detroit, and for the next couple of days not only had to cross the occasional expressway and tackle busier roads, but also surreptitiously negotiate sanitised gated housing estates with expansive manicured lawns bordering spotless winding roads.
 
  I scooted through hoping I made the other side before Lady left an unsolicited pile of 'roadapples' - the townies who inhabit these enclaves may regard the rural surroundings as desirable, but not the realities of rural life!
 Lady and I made sure we did......... 
 Garden birds can be of a distinctly larger variety than in the UK....a family of sandhill cranes strut across a lawn...
Riding through Highland Charter Township I fortuitously met up with Kathy O'Brien who was passing in her pick-up and stopped to see what I was up to. In no time at all she had sorted out a place for me to stay that night near Hartland with perfect hostesses Michelle Goik and sister in law Marjorie Suhre. The irrepressible Michelle is on the right......

 Thank you both for your help and great hospitality!
 

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