Elkins Creek Horse Camp, Ohio, State #23
I woke up early to a beautiful pink sky, fed everyone and was sitting down drinking coffee by 6am. Sometimes I just can’t wait to get up it seems. I remember how I used to dread waking up. Not that long ago too.
I sat and spoke with Jill on the front porch of the tack shop (Jill & Rick own this place). She is a masseuse and I found her life story fascinating and inspiring. It has been a difficult road for her but she is now in a perfect place. Maybe I will be there someday too, it really feels possible now. She gave me 4 books to look at and I am getting a massage tonight, can’t wait.
One of the books is about the history here. 300 acres was owned by an extended family that had homes thru out it. They had 7 moonshine stills that can still be seen today on one of the trails. I found out that there are also some very unusual rock formations here called balancing rocks. I need to get on the trail that has these 2 features tomorrow. Today is a rest day, I updated my blog and will begin the Indiana painting. The sun is out and it is warm, gentle breeze. I walked Tommy up a trail this morning and thought about what Jill had to say. I also thought about how when I am riding it is so much easier to climb a muddy hill, lol. 2 sets of eyes works so much better than one. The horse looks at the ground to see where to put her feet and I look ahead to see where we are going. It works perfectly. A hiker has to do both or miss a turn and the scenery. And I get out of breath obviously too. Tommy being under foot at times didn’t help much either. On the way back we encountered the other campers, all heading out together. Oh well, its a rest day.
When I got back to camp I saw that the horses are caked in mud. Ugh, grooming them to ride is going to take some time tomorrow. Maybe they can roll some of it off today. Jill has a worker that comes in to help with her mom who needs 24 hour care. She is doing my laundry for me, so nice…
I wrote the post for Indiana and I painted the Indiana painting. I like the painting. After that I laid down to read one of the books Jill lent me. It really hit home right away. Its spiritual but in a logical psychological way. The line that snared me was how our guilt of not living up to our imprinted idea of perfection makes us feel unworthy and “bad” and we will tolerate a partner’s abuse as much as we feel this way about ourselves. When the abuse exceeds our own guilt for ourselves we leave the relationship. I need to go back and read it again. It was more profound than that.
I got super tired again, it was 85 degrees in the trailer so I turned on the ac and took a nap. Something I used to feel guilty about doing so I never did unless I had the flu. Don’t know why I’m so tired, I didn’t even ride today. I was really looking forward to my massage but Jill postponed it till tomorrow afternoon. I will ride in the morning. Kitty will be here too and together they will work on the horses. Back in CA they were adjusted monthly by my vet who was also a chiropractor. This should be nice for them.
Jill’s brother came to camp and he, Jill and 2 other guitarists are on the porch singing songs. They are pretty good and a bunch of campers are hanging around singing and listening. I did for a while but I can’t stop yawning so I’m going to bed. Its 10:30.
What an awesome day we had today. I took both horses out separately (with a nap in between), first WF with a large group guided by Sheryl who lives nearby and is a friend of Jill’s (but Sheryl and I lost the group after a short while and went on alone at a faster clip) and secondly on Dreamy with Sheryl again and her mounted shooting group that has arrived (about 9 of them). There was a 10 year old with us on her pony too. The trails here are beautiful (and this mornings was pretty challenging for WF at times). The new trail is pretty muddy, up to their bellies at times, but offered some cool cave sites. They said it takes 5 years for a trail to be established. I’m glad I wasn’t ponying thru it.
Its time for dinner and they invited me to come over to their fire/grill for pot luck. It was a picture perfect day weather wise. I didn’t get my massage yet, maybe tomorrow? Jill is probably pretty busy with everyone coming in, it is full now, there are so many people here, I think around 100 horses now.
And yet another awesome day today. I haven’t been writing much because I have been having such an incredible time here. I have met so many great people. It’s 9:30, I should be prepped to leave in the morning and going to bed, but I have been enjoying the band and the campfire conversations and done nothing to get ready to go. I want to stay here forever. I can’t explain it, its everything, the people, the trails, the spiritual energy here. Jill had hinted at this being like this my first day here. Its true.
I rode WF with the shooters again, 10 of us all together, some gaited, some quarterhorses, 3 young girls, one on a tiny pony. I almost lost Tommy, but he joined another group of riders and came back to camp thank God. I had a massage by Jill tonight and it was the best I’ve ever had. Something changed, something happened, I can’t explain it. I feel so different. Wonderful, happy, at peace.
I no longer worry about, where am I going to live, what am I going to DO, can I afford this or that, what’s going to happen with my parents health, my kid’s futures…I love the life I am living, the people I am meeting, I love my days from beginning to end. “Everything is gonna be alright” (from Steve Barry, Christian Family Church, Jupiter, FL sermon I heard). I feel free. I am not beating myself up for stuff. I am happy for the first time in so long. My smile comes from within now. Thanks be to God, you are a great God. I have learned so much about myself on this trip. I don’t know if I can ever go back to a “normal” life again. I would miss all this way too much.
Publishing without photos, sketchy internet connection here.