This is the cute little dog outside of the cafe we ate at. As we were eating the cook came over and gave me a rose for Mother's Day. It's now drying on the dashboard of the truck. He said "you might not be a mother, but here's a rose for you anyway". So sweet.
So, my video blog attempts were unsuccessful. The first one didn’t have sound and then Walter and I took up a huge part of yesterday trying to figure out why, and then how to recover the original (because I had deleted it, something I never do). Then we decided to just try and edit the videos again and the sound was all crackly.
So I’m taking it as a sign. I’m sticking to writing. Walter and I talked last night before we fell asleep about how we have to make sure we take time to walk around the towns and meet people and what not. A lot of times it’s ride, ride, ride, and then internet all day to try and catch up. We need to work that all out a little better.
We both agreed it can be really relaxing to sit in a café all day, sip on a hot drink, and work, but we have to balance it a little better.
Anyway, it’s 6:45am now and it was painful to get up. I had the alarm set for 5:30. We have a 35 mile ride today.
“I need help”, I said to Walter about a half hour after the alarm went off.
Walter said he would help me stay in bed because it’s too cold out there.
This is not exactly what I needed, but what I wanted.
“No, I need help getting out of bed this morning”.
“I’ll go feed Soj”, he said “stay here”.
So that went on for a minute and then he shot up and got dressed and passed me sweaters and socks and a hat so I could dress in my sleeping bag (hard to do in a one person bag) and made us some tea.
Now he’s out feeding Soj and I am writing this on Word so he can post it later.
I wanted to be riding by 7 or so… it looks like I will be riding by 8, but that’s okay. We should still be able to get in to Lemitar around 7pm and we are going to spend the day there tomorrow. It sounds like it’s going to be a great stop.
Athena, Maykean, and Catherine really helped us get through one of our hardest nights.
The night before last was so windy. The tent wouldn’t’even stay on the ground unless both of us were in it. Sojourner was pacing and sometimes whinnying out in the night so I didn’t sleep a second. It was cold and the wind was incredibly loud.
We were at the rodeo grounds so things were blowing and clanging all around. I got out in the morning to feed Soj and my side of the tent flew up in the wind. I got the camera to film it, walked backwards, fell over Soj’s water bucket, and my head stopped my fall by landing on the metal fence. I have a huge egg now.
So we went to the only little restaurant/motel in town. I had a bag of ice on my head and was concerned about the wind and poor Soj. There is no cover at the rodeo grounds. Stephen and my mom were calling people from home and we were talking to the locals but we weren’t having a lot of luck. Everyone tried to find us some shelter, but not a lot of people have barns here and really, there just aren’t a lot of people!
Walter just walked back in to the trailer with frozen hands. Soj’s water was ice! Now he’s making some eggs and toast.
So we left the little café and headed back to the rodeo grounds. We first stopped at the feed store right by the rodeo grounds and ran into Catherine again (we had met her when we were riding in the first night). She offered us their trailer. I really needed to lie down. I took a nap for a few hours.
Before that we went out to Soj and made a barrier out of blankets against the fence to block the wind. It actually worked really well. This way Soj had some relief from the wind and his hay would stay on the ground and not blow away.
We went to the trailer and napped a few hours and I felt so much better when I got up. The three women made us dinner with fresh greens.
When you walk into their house you are greeted by colors and art. It’s a lovely place. Catherine and Athena joke that they have already lived a few different lives in their one lifetime and I soon learned why.
They both lived in NYC before coming to this tiny little town. Catherine was (and still is) a photographer. She has been a war photographer and worked on photography assignments that took her to places she wouldn’t have been otherwise, like out to sea with an old fisherman who had been exiled and was worried she was there to arrest him. There is more to that story, but I think I would mess up the facts if I tried to write it. I was so interested, but also so tired when we were talking.
Athena is a drug addiction therapist. She has started her own practice in Socorro and has land between here and there with an old motel on it. They hope to maybe make it into a café one day. Athena said it’s 12 miles East of here and if the winds picked up while we were riding we could always crash there. She said we could even put Sojourner in a room! That would have been a scene!
Athena and Catherine adopted their lovely daughter, Maykean, when she was 16. Maykean came from Northern California and actually, Athena and her family are from the Bay Area. Maykean is about to head to college in Santa Fe and she’s really excited. I was taken back by Maykean’s communication skills. She really looks at you when you talk and she listens well. It’s a rare quality that jumps out at you.
The three women had fantastic stories of their rich lives. Athena’s mother now lives in London. Both of Athena’s Grandparents were killed in a plane explosion when Athena’s mom was in her 20’s. Athena’s mom met her father at Berkeley in CA and they decided to go to Greece to “make babies”. When the marriage started to fail, Athena’s mom handed her dad Athena and said she was going to take a voyage to Africa while he thought about if he wanted to be married or not. In the end it didn’t work out and Athena would go back and forth between her parents either to New York or Africa or wherever the parents were.
Athena is a free spirit who isn’t afraid to leave the life of the village in NY for a town that has basically nothing. She has a sister who was affected differently. She prefers to have her life planned out and know what the next day holds.
“And thank God for it!” Athena says.
The women were all a joy and I wish I had been more alert to catch a few more stories. They had plenty to tell and all three of them were full of light and life.
I have more tales of this little town, but it will have to be continued later because I’ve got to go tack Soj now and get on the road.