Greetings to all of you that follow the ride. I rode into Trego, Montana on Monday July 8th. We, Essie Pearl, Montana Spirit and I were welcomed by cool sky’s and an afternoon shower that left hot pavement steaming and the air smelling fresh and clean. We were out approximately 2 months out and covered over 600 miles. We rode the mountains of Montana, thru the towns of Libby, St.Regis, Thompson Falls, Happy Inn and Hot Springs Montana… Easy riding. Grass, water and campsites everywhere, pop in and out of towns for supplies then head back out on National Forest Service roads that zig-zag up, over and thru the Bitterroot Mountain Range, LoLo National Forest– spectacular country. Two snowstorms, lots and lots of rain, roaring creeks and spring flowers thru out the entire ride. I accomplished what I had set out to do and that was to ride a faster, lighter ride. Claire dog stayed home as did the big paint gelding Hart.
The horses seemed to enjoy the pace, they were snappy and lively each morning that we set out. Please do not get me wrong I did not out to do a endurance ride. I get off and walk up and down the steep inclines and on flat stretches we just pick up the pace. I made every effort to strip down any excess weight. Essie Pearl packed not more than 80 pds and Montana Spirit had me to deal with. It was a change that I had wanted to make for sometime now. There were of course several issues that I encountered such as rubbing and change in horse shoe wear. I kept the breast-collars and rear packsaddle harness up to reduce any rubbing. The pads had to be perfectly set and I also had to take the packs and saddles off often to smooth out the horses hair. But all in all it was a good change and interesting to try. I will add more stories later but here are a few photos that serve to fill in the ride, until later..
Happy Trails Bernice Ende