Thursday, 19 November 2015

From Funeral home to Shed

Tuesday 6th October  The rolling road to my next stop - I say Milan, they say Mylan......
...but although I led Lady almost the whole way there, I certainly did not intend to call the whole thing off.  The problem was a slight concern that Lady's saddle was not fitting well enough and causing her a bit of discomfort.  However on arrival in Milan I managed to buy some foam in a Dollar Store to pad up the numnahs and improve the fit, that being the huge advantage of my Free and Easy saddle.
Coming into town a car stopped and a voice asked "Are you the lady from Wales who is riding across America?"  Paul Ruschmeier was the local funeral director, and gave me some suggestions of places to stay.  In the circumstances I was not inclined to go much further, so when I was offered a place for Lady at a local auction yard, I jumped at the chance. Thanks to Paul Eitel (yet another Paul!), Lady had a large pen and loads of hay and was like a pig in shit.....
while I had the use of a meeting room and wash room.  But I had just hitched a ride down the road in a cattle truck for a bite to eat when Paul's wife Terri turned up.  Would I like to go back to their home to shower and sleep?   Not a contest, and as they 'live above the shop' I spent the night in a funeral home.  Interestingly for me, their son-in-law is a Welshman from St Asaph, and we were even able to exchange a few words in Welsh on the phone!
Irritatingly I forgot to take photos at the relevant time again, but here the next best thing -  Paul Ruschmeier with Paul Eitel's wife Deanna down at the yard in the morning.  Sorry to miss you out, Terri and the other Paul!  
Wednesday 7th October  I try to keep off major roads as far as possible, but for the first couple of hours I opted for a shorter,quicker route on Highway 6 out of Milan. The fast traffic can be unnerving and here we have taken a safer path outside the crash barrier.
 It was a relief to be back on the back roads with its more leisurely traffic... this case a harmless orange band snake.

Not representative of the warm Missouri welcome I have received everywhere!..
 As the sun set in the west..
 ..I had still not found anywhere to stay, but eventually through the gloom I saw an old ruined barn set back from the road, with a little adjoining shed.  
 There was plenty of grass for Lady, so hoping I would not be the victim of an 'accident' vented on me by an angry Smith and Wesson toting landowner, I settled in..
But in between the coyotes howling all night, Lady bolting to the end of her tether several times, and something persistently scratching the bags by my head, I did not get much sleep.

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