May 16th, 2014 – 2o miles west of Medora, North Dakota
This country, the eastern half of Montana is all about American Indian Tribes, Dinosaurs, Lewis & Clark, Custer and Sitting Bull. When I read Clarke’s reporting in 1806 that 1000’s of Buffalo were crossing the river (Yellowstone) ahead of the canoes “as thick as they could swim” – the herd was a 1/4 mile wide and took 1 hour and 15 min. to cross the river, after which two more herds as big as the first crossed….What must it have been like? I can not help but wonder, paradise? Such abundance the Crow, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Sioux, Ogalalas, Miniconjous Tribes must have enjoyed before European peoples “settled” the land. With years of wars and broken treatise, “Indian removal” and slaughter of wildlife, “how the west was won” was not a noble story by any means.
Crickets and loons serenade the evenings. We crossed into North Dakota which is not flat nor boring and is experiencing an oil and gas boom on May 16th, it’s one of my favorite states to ride. This is my 3rd time crossing and already I’ve encountered several people I’d met on those previous rides. Lots of smiles and as I have said earlier, an opportunity to thank, once again, the many who’ve helped me on my journey.
I must mention new products which I’m using this year. First the horseshoes which Roger Robinson from the BLACKSMITH SHOP is sponsoring this year. I do my own horseshoeing on the road. I am not great at it, but I do a fair job. Roger sent me enough horseshoes with the patented DuraSafe Borium. Don Tucker from Fortine, Montana shaped them for me and now they are shipped out as I need them. This is one incredibly big improvement for me. The shoes are giving me twice as much mileage from a set of shoes – that is important, there is no slippage on wet pavement or ice, none. I am thrilled with the horseshoes! Thank you Roger, many thanks.
Next, OUTFITTERS SUPPLY’S new panniers, please check out the photos. Totally new look, I am no. different than the woman who picks up a new set of luggage. I had a very handsome cowboy tell me they looked very nice on my horses! The Panniers are somewhere between a hard and soft set of Panniers. I’d been quite satisfied with the canvas bags but Lynn Foster at OFS suggested I try these…A bit roomier, sturdier, have side flaps and I think… are very attractive.
Also I am using a double woven cinch from Sylvan Walden owner of TANGLEO’S CUSTOM which I really like. I make modification on just about every single thing I use I have added a small piece of wool to the center but the Cinch is fantastic, softer feel to it, Spirit stays cool under it and its got a double weave, very nice.
I must take time to thank my sponsors. I have the best equipment and such a difference it makes. The earlier rides were difficult, my equipment often times make shift. How much easier it is this year and much of that is because of sponsorship support.