Last night we were near some dogs and they took turns barking the whole night. At 2:43 in the morning I said to Walter, "we've got to go somewhere else".
So we packed up the whole tent and shoved it into our way too packed truck and went searching on county roads for a place to set up the tent again. We found a field that was pretty overgrown with an open gate and a knocked down fence so we didn't think it would bother anyone if we camped there for the night. It was a good choice and I was able to get a good 3 and a half hours or so of sleep which isn't a lot, but I feel pretty good today.
I have taken you already to the cute goats and kittens in Davidson, OK. That was our first Oklahoma stop. That was the day we slept in the ditch which I still can't believe we did. We walked Soj 27 miles that day. The next morning we were up at 4:15 and finished our 13 mile walk to Frederick early and enjoyed our stay at the Scottish Inns Motel.
It wasn't so bad because the sun was behind clouds most of the day. There were points where it was far too hot and we had to wait the heat out a bit, but for the most part it was pretty tolerable.
I have been talking about how Walter and I have been giving each other little pep talks and how we are trying to focus on appreciating where we are now. On the day we spent in Frederick, we saw on the map that there was a wildlife refuge in the Wichita Mountains not too far from us. We almost didn't go because we were thinking about added miles on the truck and gas, but we decided we needed it and it was the best decision ever!
So we got back from a nice day at the wildlife refuge and set up our blanket next to Soj to leave early the next morning. Walter walked until the sun rose and I was in and out of sleep for most of it, but was able to catch little glimpses of the beauty.
"I feel great. Go ahead 2 more miles and sleep some more." (Walter)
"Really? Okay, I think I have to. Thank you. I feel bad." (Linny)
"Don't! I feel great, really."
This happened 4 times.
Every 2 miles, though, I would open my eyes to incredible beauty. It was a somewhat cool morning (considering) and the land was starting to change. It was getting greener and the little rivers actually had water in them. I wish I had been more awake to enjoy more of it, but the bits I saw made me oooh and aahhh.
We were greeted by Megan at the end of her driveway. She had her camera out and was talking to it as she made a video blog while we walked toward her. That night we had a shower and talked over dinner.
Megan and her husband live in a converted cow barn that was later a bar and then later a general store. It's a very cool, old place that she has beautifully decorated.
Soj and I were a bit on the other's nerve that evening. I was talking with Megan, Walter, and Mark about how he tests my patience at times, but it is rarely because he's being "bad", he's just kind of being aloof and clumsy with his big body and bangs into me which annoys me a bit...things like that.
But this night he was more on edge than usual and wasn't at all his affectionate self. I was talking with Walter about it the next day and I think he was just totally feeding off of my energy. I hadn't slept and then Walter and Soj and I walked so far and I think my anxiety to sleep was coming out of me and going into him. He stepped squarely on my flip flopped foot and stayed there until Megan and I were able to push him off.
He just wasn't very aware of me or anything else, really. It was different for him, but after I thought about it, that was the most anxious I have felt yet as well. I just was so concerned about our miles and the sleep I needed to get one of these nights soon. It's interesting how in tune they are with other us...much like dogs, I suppose. Although, usually a dog will come lay it's head on you to comfort you, not step on your foot. :)
The next day we walked 18.5 miles to where we are now. I was able to get a bit of sleep, but not much and so today we are taking a rest day. Last night the dogs made sleeping a tough, but I think we have it figured out for tonight. We will probably camp up in the Wildlife Refuge (which we are close to now) and leave around 3:30 tomorrow morning. We have 25 miles to walk tomorrow.
The swelling in Soj's leg has gone way down. It is nearly gone as he's walking during the day and then when we get in at night I put the sweat wrap back on to keep it from stocking up. This seems to be working and he is totally sound. The cuts on his back have hair on them now and are healing nicely as well, but I think I am going to give it another solid week before we put the saddle back on. I just want to make sure those cuts are completely healed to avoid infection from the saddle pad.
Soj was pretty sweet again yesterday as we walked. We had a little heart to heart. Just kidding, we didn't, but he was loving and responsive. I suppose we all have our days, even him.
I have been walking in my flip flops because I have good sneakers at home so I didn't want to have to buy another pair here. My mom and Stephen mailed the sneakers along with some oranges from their orange tree, a sheet for inside the tent on these warm nights, and some other little goodies.
Megan and Mark kindly brought the boxes out to us here in Lawton, we said our goodbyes once again, and I ripped open the boxes. Now I've got some sneaks!
This heat and lack of trees and water had worn me out a bit, but I feel a new excitement and energy again now. It's great. Walter and I are really enjoying walking with Soj and might even take a week or so a month where we keep the saddle and shoes off Soj and just walk with him for the rest of the trip. I think it's good for all of us.
We are 1,471 miles into this ride with only 28 of them trailered. I don't plan to ever trailer again, but if it comes down to our or Soj's safety or health then, of course, we will do whatever we can to get ourselves and him to safety. We thought about going back and riding the 28 miles but then I thought that was just silly on a 3,200 mile ride and after 1,325 miles of solid riding. It really makes no difference to me and I'm sure Soj would rather we didn't go back. So 10 miles took us away from the tornado to Larry Hannon's house in Paducah and 18 of them were when we decided to not walk Soj anymore on his swollen leg until we knew it wasn't serious. That was to Preacher David Fox's in Vernon (or Lockett more accurately).
At the picnic table in the woods we looked for scenic routes and plan to head over to the lakes on the Eastern side of Oklahoma. We will go North through the lakes and eventually make it over to St. Louis to cross the Mississippi on a foot bridge.
Today we are going to totally clean out the truck, give Sojer a bath, meet with a reporter, and mail out some leather orders.
All is well, we all feel healthy and ready to ride.