Thursday, 19 November 2015

Biscuits and Gravy

From Memphis it took three days to reach the next town of Green City through some glorious Missouri countryside, the riding made all the more enjoyable by the cooler temperatures.
Saturday October 3rd.   Memphis reservoir from the proudly named Show Me road ..
 ...not sure what the weathercock of a whale by this inland body of water signifies... 
 ...unless they know something I don't..
 Coon Run Rd, a typical quiet backcountry Missouri county road...
..didn't see any racoons running, but did surprise a couple of white-tailed deer... can see how their white tails are such prominent features.

I had planning to stop somewhere near Rigdon road, and ended up staying at the ranch of the Rigdon boys themselves, thanks to Toni whose friend LJ farmed cattle nearby.  LJ and Toni came to guide me cross-country over the last part - a real treat to scramble up and down hill through woods and pastures, sometimes pushing through prairie grass ....
This was real Missouri cowboy country, as quite a number of cattle are kept and often worked with horses.   The good-hearted Brian Rigdon and his engaging young sons Ethan and Ryan are all keen rodeo riders, and the boys have already won several belt buckles for their successes.  The downside is the high risk of injury, Brian's sling advertising the fact that he had recently broken his arm in several places...

... this is at a Mexican restaurant that evening, where Brian and Ryan are about to be beaten by the king burritos they ordered.   Thank you all (including Laurie) for the great hospitality!
Brian told me proudly that he had recently moved house to his current location with superb views over a small lake to the hills beyond.  What I did not immediately appreciate was that he had had the whole house physically moved from its previous site a few hundred yards away!

Over the next couple of days there were more secluded tracks
and captivating countryside...
Brian passed me along to daughter Megan and future son-in-law Zach Anderson, and on Sunday October 4th Lady and I overnighted on their little farm tucked away among the hills.  Not only do they both work impressively long hours, but were focused on their upcoming wedding the following weekend, so it was amazing that they still found time to host me.  By now they will have been hitched for a while,  so wishing all the best for a continued happy marriage!
Zach and Megan with friends - Zach is in the cap, and Megan on his right with their son Rylan, who forfeited his bedroom to me.

A solitary cow plays chicken (I won)..
Before my arrival in Green City on Monday October 5th, the horsey grapevine had produced an invite to stay from Tanna Hamar.  Thanks also to Lacey and Diane (please correct me if I have the names wrong)who looked after me when I turned up in town.  Lady had a stall in a boarding barn, while I was whisked home for hot shower and a fantastic steak dinner -  the meat was sourced from the large cattle concern managed by Tanna and husband Marty so was of the melt-in-your-mouth variety!
Production of a camera at breakfast the following morning almost resulted in a stampede from the table, but I prevailed upon the family to grin and bear it..
L to R, Marty, Cathy (Tanna's aunt), son Ketch and Tanna herself.  We are tucking in to a breakfast speciality of the American South, biscuits and gravy.  The biscuits are what we would call scones in Britain, the gravy is essentially bits of sausage in a white sauce - unbelievably filling and I had to call it a day!

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