A Manitoba teen says she was just doing the right thing when she rode her horse on a nearly 10-kilometre round trip through a snowstorm — twice — on Tuesday to help out a stranded truck driver.
Eileen Eagle Bears, 18, and her horse, Mr. Smudge, made the hour-long round-trip journey Tuesday morning, and again Tuesday evening, to bring coffee and supper from her home outside Minto, Man. to the trucker.
"I just did it because I wanted to help, so I just feel like I did the right thing," Eagle Bears said Wednesday.
She said she was keeping an eye on traffic cams showing Manitoba highways with her mom Monday night when they spotted a trucker stopped on Highway 10 about five kilometres away from her home near the town of Minto, which is approximately 215 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.
She decided if the truck was still there in the morning she'd bring the driver some coffee.
Sure enough, it was still stopped on the highway Tuesday morning, so Eagle Bears filled a Thermos with coffee and hit the road with Mr. Smudge.
"There was a lot of ice on the road from the rain that we had got and drifts were bad in a few places. But the morning wasn't too bad to get there and come back," she said.
"But I had gotten to the truck and I had to wake him up because he was sleeping, and he was pretty surprised to see me there with the coffee."
Eagle Bears said the driver was grateful for the coffee, and she promised him she'd bring him some dinner if he was still there at suppertime. When dinner time rolled around and he was still stranded, she and Mr. Smudge brought him more coffee and a hot meal.
"He was just really glad that someone knew that he was there and that someone cared," Eagle Bears said.
The trucker was finally able to move on later Tuesday night, she said. In total, Eagle Bears said he was stuck for around 28 hours.
Since her mom posted about her act of kindness on Facebook, Eagle Bears said she's been surprised by the response and media attention.
"It is overwhelming," she said. "I had gotten back and my mom had posted just a post on Facebook. And there was a few likes at the beginning, but we went back and there was just more and more, and it just totally blew up."