Journal - Pennsylvania


2002 April I left my home in MI to ride in 6 states PA, MD, VA, WV, OH, and IL. Mary Ellen decided to stay home, so it was just Eli and I.

When Mary Ellen and I graduated from high school in 1956 one of the places we visited on our senior trip was Gettysburg, PA. So when we did PA, that's where I wanted to ride. It was in Gettysburg that I had a strange and baffling experience with Eli. PA was our 34th state. By this time I had ridden Eli several 100 miles, so I thought I knew him pretty well, however, I was not prepared for his behavior that day.

We stayed at Artillery Ridge Camping Resort. From there you can ride your horse to the Battlefield. The trail was rolling and wooded along the way. Along the trail were monuments to the different regiments or statues of soldiers or generals, some very large. Everything was fine until Eli and I got to the north end of the main battlefield, suddenly when I wanted to cross the battlefield Eli wouldn't move. We were in the area of the famous Pickett's charge where thousands of soldiers died and thousands of horses were killed. After a lot of coaxing on my part I finally got Eli to go, however he would stop every once in awhile not wanting to go. The battlefield is a large open area about 1 mile square sometimes referred to as a cow pasture, completely open and yet Eli as we say was huntin' boogers like a horse might when they are looking for something to shy at, but there was nothing there. The whole experience was weird. Eli was obviously seeing or sensing something I couldn't see.

After we finally crossed the battlefield, we came upon a wooded trail, like the first trail we were on. Now Eli took off like the devil himself, was after him. I could hardly hold him back, all the way, about one-mile to camp. After we got back to camp, he settled right down like nothing happened. Of all my rides that certainly was the strangest