Denisen, Iowa – Steve Slater Home, March 18, 2019

The landscape tenderly wakes from a long Midwest winter. The news is of course about historical flooding and thankfully I made it further north when I did from the Horse Trail Riding Expo in Elkhorn, Nebraska. Thanks to social media Steve Slater reached out and said, “I have a place for you and your horses.” Had I waited another two days I would have had a hard time getting to my talks in Denison, Cherokee, and Peterson, Iowa. Steve taught school for over 30 years and has such a pretty little farm just west of Denison. I can’t thank him enough for putting us up for this extended period while giving three talks in the area and waiting for the weather to settle.

Steve and his dog Daisy. When I first arrived last week the rain and wind forced us to put the trailer in Steve’s machine shed.
Steve leading Little Liska Pearl to the pasture.
Getting ready for a ride.
Daisy says, “Who goes there?”
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Before arriving in Denison, Iowa, I came from the Horse Trail Riding Expo in Elkhorn, Nebraska, just west of Omaha (now flooding).

Trail riders stopping by for a book.
Colleen Hammer contacted me back in 2010 wanting tips for her long ride which she eventually did, circumnavigating Nebraska with her horse and dog. ALL SMILES both of us!!

Despite the weather, the Horse Trail Riding Expo was well attended. I believe this competitive trail sport is a wonderful way to see horse and rider in unity. Training of horse and rider for the showings produce a quiet horse with high maneuverability and trust. Most were young women, not all, but I felt the training and skill went far beyond simply horse and rider. Pleasant and interesting to watch, nice to see how well the animals were handled. The horse and rider face several obstacles–must walk in water, over and under any number of different things like balloons and hanging tarp all set up cleverly, like an obstacle course. I met two Rodeo Queens and one Ms. Junior Queen from North Carolina, and commented to all three how well they carried themselves–they reflected confidence.

The event seemed well organized. I certainly enjoyed the three well-attended talks I gave. Thank you Nebraska Horse Trails Committee.
— Lady Long Rider, Bernice Ende

This guy, Kent Wassenberg, bought a book and told me his story of how he toured the U.S. with his dog and motorcycle.

Map of my rides, with Robert Eversole, “The TrailMeister”
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I visited Nicodemus, Kansas, and Historian Angela Bates at the Nicodemus Visitor Center. Although Angela and I have remained in touch since first meeting in 2006, we have not seen one another since 2008. I tell you two women never scream as much as we do when we get together! Then it’s non-stop philosophical conversation and questions. She is a remarkable woman who saved Nicodemus from extinction and placed it on the National Historic Register, the only remaining town settled by emancipated African Americans.

Look at more photos on the Nicodemus Visitor Center website, at http://www.kansastravel.org/nicodemus.htm

Angela Bates, Historian, and Bernice Ende in the Nicodemus Visitor Center, National Historic Site

Written by Angela Bates:
Lady Long Rider, Bernice Ende, was in the area on Wednesday, March 6, visiting Angela Bates and Nicodemus.  Bernice has logged over 29,000 miles across the country and Canada on horseback.  Angela first met Bernice in 2006 when someone called saying she needed a farrier (horse shoe-er), and Angela referred her to Barrie Tompkins who was living south of Plainville.  Angela traveled to meet her at Barrie’s place and they spent the evening talking.  Two years later Bernice came to Nicodemus while on another long ride.  She met Rose Stokes, Esther Clark, Juan Alexander, and a host of others.  She, her dog Claire, and two horses camped out in Juan’s garage during a tornado warning.  Juan, being the horse lover he was, cherished his visit with Bernice and her horses.  Although she has two new horses on this trip across the nation, she is not riding them, but hauling them by trailer as she visits various towns and cities on her book tour.  In her book, “Lady Long Rider”, she dedicated Chapter 11 to her visit to Nicodemus.  Chapter 8, Night of the Black Stallion, is my favorite, where she tells of hours fighting off a wild stallion who was trying to steal her mare for his wild herd.  It unfolds like an action movie.  To her life journey as a Long Rider — I praise her for her courage to ride for all women.  And for her safe travels, I pray.  — Angela

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Okay, here we are, Montana Spirit, Little Liska Pearl, and I, with only two more months of the Lady Long Rider Book Tour. This old truck is such a champion. It likes the flat land we can travel at 60 mph! Cruising. I realize now that a ride following this book tour will be impossible. The horses will simply not be ready for such an excursion and I have other obligations with the documentary film coming out. I will return to Montana for a couple of months to take care of the cabin and head back south. Maybe then I will get a ride in this year.

Folks at FarCountry Press keeping me in books and encouragement! Thank you, FarCounty, thank you!