Arriving back in Crown Point on Friday 4th September, Pat had arranged for me to stay over the weekend with the exuberant Debbie Osborn while I sorted myself out. I planned to set out on Monday September 7th, but the sweltering weather was repressively humid, and with temperatures continually over 90 degrees Fahrenheit I decided to delay until after the thunderstorms which were forecast for Tuesday.
That gave me the opportunity to join Debbie and her grandchildren on an outing to my first Labor Day Parade at the small town of Lowell. We bagged a front row spot near the commentator and enjoyed the procession of firetrucks, police cars, business floats, bikers, cheerleaders, horse-riders, and to my surprise even politicians going past while candies for the children rained down endlessly.
Publicising a local Mexican restaurant....
With Debbie and friend Carol Davis..
Debbie not only took me into her home and looked after me splendidly but also spent a lot of trouble to sort me out with an iphone which has made it possible to download photos to facebook from virtually any location I am in!The rain poured down on Tuesday afternoon as predicted, but it cooled the temperatures somewhat, and a small goodbye committee of Debbie, Pat and Carol were there to see me off when I eventually managed to get away, covered in waterproofs to keep off the last of the rain.
It was only a short ride to my first stop at Hannaberry Riding Centre, but dusk soon descended and it was an unsuccessful race to beat the dark - many thanks to good Samaritan Pam Simon who took it upon herself to escort me in her car the last few miles.
I had only sorted out three definite places to stay over the 500 miles to St Joseph that faced us, and had only contacted Denise and Dave at the last minute when I realised I would only be able to cover a limited distance the first day. So it was tremendous to find a hot shower and comfortable bedroom awaiting me, and I was sat down to a fabulous supper with wine and good company. What a moral booster to set me off into the unknown!