Heading Back to Montana – or, Back to the “Montana End(e)” of the Book Tour
Stopping to take a deep sigh, stopping to take time for Thank You’s. This is the first of two thank you letters I will be posting.
I remember thinking when I left Montana in September of 2018 with Bill’s Old Blue Truck, bravely pulling my two girls in a horse trailer nearly as old as the truck itself, facing a daunting book tour and thinking, “You are out of your mind. NOW, this IS nuts.” To which you might think, after the number of solo equestrian trips I have made, it would be a piece of cake for me.
But driving a truck! Pulling a horse-trailer! I had to learn how to drive again. A fifty-year-old truck no less!! It just seemed far more complicated with the vehicles and committed dates I had to fulfill.
I think the most remarkable thing about the entire 8000-mile book tour has been Bill’s Old Blue Truck. Noble steed. Not one problem, not one problem! At least not one thing serious enough to stop or which hampered my progress forward. I think I could write a story called, “Bill’s Old Blue Truck’s Great Adventure.”
I often tell this story at my talks…. An older gentleman wearing a baseball cap drove up to me in a brand new white Ford pickup truck, a truck with all the bells and whistles, a big thing!, somewhere in Arizona, in a parking lot. I turned mid-step into my truck when he stopped, rolled down his window, leaned on his elbow and called out, “Well gall-darn that’s the best truck Ford ever made” to which I replied, “Yeah well, ya wanna trade straight across?”
It is, I must admit, testimony to a truck well built to be capable of driving/pulling as far and as much as this truck has after 50 years of use. My hat however goes off to the mechanics that restored the truck to its current running condition. Roy Kern who rebuilt the engine. Then Kelly Mee, owner of The Trego Shop–he had his hands on it. But Tim and Wayne Bosworth, owners of Eureka Auto, really did a great deal of final work on the entire engine and running gear. Thank you, gentleman.
However, let’s not fool ourselves. I am a reminder of where we don’t want to go. You want to go back to these old trucks, back to horse travel? Believe me, the new Ford trucks ARE better. The level of comfort and ease and safety of driving–not to mention how much better the newer vehicles are on the environment. Yes, I have “recycled” an older vehicle for my use but it probably pollutes more than a newer vehicle. Trade offs.
Anyway, thank you, Bill Griffin, who left me the old blue truck many years ago. I pat the dashboard many, many times affectionately saying, “You are a champion, you are a champion.”
End-of-Book-Tour “Thank You’s”
Thank you’s, thank you’s, the list is long-spaced with deep appreciation and gratitude. 90 talks, 18 states, 33 interviews.
The horses lie next to me as I write, and I breathe contentment into my lungs. It’s the one thing about Fjords–traveling with them is a pleasure–there’s little nonsense, they adapt to new environments with calm and ask only, “Where is the food?” We stopped often, did short rides anywhere safe enough to do so, ears forward, alert, welcoming the road ahead of them with curiosity and interest. Little Liska Pearl, now with us 2 years (and who I continue to call Essie Pearl) has settled into her new life like a little puppy in a new home. She has blossomed from the adventure and matured with experience. The two horses have bonded–probably more so than Essie and Spirit ever did. They have mastered the art of travel.
Spirit lays back and stretches out completely flat on the green grass, covered with a thin sheet to keep the flies off her. Shes dreaming and makes running feet, as dogs do. Liska’s lower lip hangs and twitches as she stands nearby.
I am going to begin by thanking Sarah Wilson who orchestrated the show from behind the curtain as administrator. This was the very first time I had a professional working for me attending to details, calling ahead, securing dates, times, locations, editing, arranging interviews, or simply encouraging me with, “You’ll be fine, you’ll make it, take a deep breath.” So to Sarah Wilson, a most sincere thank you. I will miss her, and if the website does not look as tidy it’s because she’s no longer behind the scene.
Linda Vigil is a computer geek/artist/adventurer and more. Linda has been working for me for years supporting me with website troubleshooting and updating. She orders DVD’s, hand-out cards, and is there quick as a wink when I need help–never lets me down. Thank you, Linda.
Zac Basinger, marketing with FarCountry Press, was instrumental answering questions like “How does one do a book tour?” (smiles) I must have driven him and the staff at FarCountry Press nuts. FarCountry sent out books as I needed and were supportive throughout the entire book tour.
I may be the only author they have published who’s done a book tour with horses! Well, I am sure of it!!
Thank you, sincerely, thank you.
The next posting will be the long list of thank you’s to those I met for the first time on this book tour, and to those with whom I reconnected from earlier visits. I just wanted to get something out now, while I stop here in Minnesota, recovering from exhaustion!
………. ………. ………..