DAY 10 Alma to Oxford
Today was a good day. I woke up & Dave Wolf took me out to breakfast & then took me out to see Harlan County Lake & the Peckerneck trailhead. When I got back to camp I put the animals out to graze & broke camp. I rode on gravel to the town of Orleans & then rode the highway to Oxford.
Along the way I talked to several people who told me that is was Turkey Days in Oxford & there would be a free turkey dinner when I arrived. The ride was fairly uneventful. I rode most of the highway in the ditch letting the animals graze. Spring & Eva were driving up to camp with me in Oxford & I was really looking forward to that.
I arrived at the park & was graciously accepted by the locals. I unloaded & ran picket lines for the animals & went to explore the Turkey Days festivities. It was fun – they had youth vendors selling jewelry, baked goods, sunflower seeds, & root-beer floats. I opted for a root-beer float. While I was enjoying my root-beer float I chatted with a local who used to pack for sheep camps in Colorado & Utah. He had a lot of interesting stories to tell. It was soon time for dinner & I enjoyed a big turkey sandwich, potato salad, & iced tea. While I was sitting there relaxing at a picnic table a man came up, looked at me and said “Hey, where’s your horse?” I didn’t say a word or look up I just pointed towards my mule and horse on the picket line. When I did look up I wish I could have captured what I witnessed in picture for everyone. I witnessed the most perfect change of expression that only happens when a person just realizes the went from “smart ass” to “dumb ass” in a split second. His smug expression went to a funny face and he looked down and walked away. That was the only person so far that has shown me anything but complete kindness. Later the man I had chatted with before, about Colorado, brought over a tub to water the animals with.
As I awaited my wife & daughters arrival I took in the FFA auction where people bid for the right to have FFA members do a days work for them. There was also live music & donkey bingo. For those who have not witnessed donkey bingo, I will explain. They sell squares in the donkey pen & if the donkey relieves itself in your square you win. I think it was the strangest fundraiser I have ever witnessed.
After the festivities died down a few people remained and sang karaoke on stage & I sang some Merle Haggard for my new friends in Oxford, NE. Shortly after Spring & Eva arrived, the karaoke singers left & we set up tents & then went downtown to let Eva enjoy the carnival. That was a good time, but I was exhausted when we left & was ready for bed.