5 Interesting Montana Writers

This blog by the Montana Gift Corral features Bernice and “Lady Long Rider: Alone Across America on Horseback”. Exerpt below.

5 Interesting Montana Writers

Bernice Ende

Montana Novelist Bernice Ende, author of Lady Long Rider on 5 Wonderful Montana Writer's at the Montana Gift Corral

Photo courtesy of Olivia Harlow

    On a small dairy farm just outside of Rogers, Minnesota a young girl grew up riding the wind and chasing her dreams. Bernice Ende was born to a knarl-handed dairy farmer and his wife, a woman who encouraged taking life by the reigns. Bernice grew up riding horses around the 100+ acres of land, imagining what it would be like to be riding through the wild west alongside the Lone Ranger and Hop-a-Long Cassidy. After Bernice was inspired by the grace of the horses, she went to Portland to study dance. From there she learned the Royal Academy of Dance method and went on to teach ballet for twenty-five years. In 1992 she moved to Trego, Montana where she opened up a dance school. Ten years later, Bernice Ende retired.

    However, retirement didn’t bring inactivity, it brought a window of opportunity. It was only after retiring Bernice felt the pull of the open road, the desire for adventure, the need to go, to see, to experience. So in 2005, after an epiphany and a battle with her desires, Bernice Ende started a 2,000-mile journey on horseback. Since then, Bernice has logged more than 30,000 miles in the saddle. Her book, Lady Long Rider is a beautiful account of her journeys, her hardships, her hopes, and fears. If you want a raw and wonderful story, her’s is one I highly recommend. 

Quote by Montana Novelist Bernice Ende, author of Lady Long Rider on 5 Best Montana Writer's at the Montana Gift Corral


https://www.giftcorral.com/blogs/montana-gift-corral-blog/5-interesting-montana-writers

Edgewood, NM. January 14th, 2019

—  Run Away  —

Honor and Essie Pearl near Sedona, AZ, heading east. 2008, 3000-mile ride.

I suppose I should not admit it, but I am… running away.

I remember running away when my mother, while in the hospital to have my younger brother, had been gone just a little too long for my 5-year-old heart. I was found not far down the country gravel road with my wagon and blanket.

By now my sister must be quite tired of me, where I am staying here in Edgewood, NM. I’d planned on staying three days. Three weeks later I am preparing to leave, snow being the reason. But, three weeks well spent with my older sister and her friends–more talks and much rest.

Honor and Claire Dog. 2006-2007, 5000-mile ride.
An oasis! 2006.

I am half-way through the Lady Long Rider Book Tour. Half-way! Four months ago I looked south on my map with trepidation. I am taking THAT (eyes upon my 50-year-old ’69 Ford, a truck that has scarcely been out of Montana!) on this book tour? But here we are, Bill’s Old Blue Truck having gallantly pulled my girls up and over the mountains of Montana into the green of Washington and across the plains and rolling hills of Oregon. We followed the east side of the Sierra Nevada’s south then eastward over the flatland of the Mojave Desert and finally, my loyal Ford conquered the high town of Flagstaff before dipping south through Silver City, and arriving in Albuquerque three weeks ago.

Pecos Wilderness. 2008.
My faithful companion Claire Dog. Her first year riding, 2008.
A tar-paper shack will a million-dollar view. Caught in snowstorm after snowstorm.
PieTown, NM. 2007.

I’ve decided to forgo Texas until the documentary is completed, when there’ll be more time for the big state. We have been doing much additional filming while I’ve been here. I also look at a serious need for a break and time to ride. Thus comes, a “Run Away”.

Cowboys, end of day. Ranch north of Magdalene, NM. 2007.

I return and begin the second half of the book tour on February 15th. Sunshine, miles of open road, the absence of cell phone and computer. The horses and tent await me. A sincere heartfelt “Thank You” to all who have hosted a talk or who have responded with kind words after reading the book, Lady Long Rider. To all of those who have traveled miles to hear my words and stories. Thank you to those who have helped coordinate the presentations. And thank you, thank you, to my publisher, FarCounry Press, for the support you offer.

Long straight roads across New Mexico. 2006.

Sarah Wilson and Zach from FarCountry Press will be holding the reins while I am riding. I will continue sending book and DVD orders and will check in with Sarah once a week.

 Until then, Happy Trails, Bernice

Edgewood, New Mexico, January 5th, 2019

That is my sister, Mary Ann, working the snow blower without much luck.

I have been accused of bringing Montana with me!

No one is complaining however. The moisture is much needed. But this much at one drop, with single-digits weather is more like Montana.

No matter how fast or slow I travel, the days consistently pass by as we near the end of 2018. Bill’s Old Blue Truck gallantly pulls me on and on. I remember thinking way back in Oregon, “I’ll be halfway through my book tour when I reach Santa Fe.” Well here we are!

Re-cap:

Lone Pine, California. I said goodbye to Claiborne Mitchell who helped facilitate the California stretch as snow-covered Sierra Nevada’s reminded me, winter is coming, winter is coming.

A strong westerly wind pushed us quickly across the Mohave Desert. I’d intended on traveling across Death Valley following the route I’d taken in 2007. But weather, time, and the fact I was pulling a horse trailer (plus nearly everyone said, don’t go across Death Valley with a trailer) had me reconsider.

Triple Farms” has been a repeat stop since 2007, on the 5000-mile ride with Honor. The owner, Suzanne Evans, and her partner Jake have had their hands in a dozen different adventures. This time it’s a produce stand! Incredibly successful and how pretty with an enormous selection. I wished I’d taken more of their produce with me when I left after a two-day stop over.

Her daughter, Brittany Pennington, is a partner in this adventure.

Next stop – Flagstaff, Arizona. Snow greeted me as I drove into Mary Williamson’s home who kindly hosted my stay. Like I said earlier, this has become a reunion book tour. I stayed with Mary and her partner Chris Mcintosh in 2008 on my 3000-mile ride with Honor, Essie Pearl, and Claire Dog. Mary made all the arrangements for the Flagstaff talk which was standing room only, by the way.

Mary & Chris in Flagstaff, AZ.

Ran down to Prescott, Arizona for a talk, where Sharon Christopherson and Gary Hammond surprised me. I stayed with them back in 2007 and 2008!

With Gary & Sharon in Prescott, AZ.

St. Johns, Arizona. I met Kay McDevitt in 2008. She has been caretaker of the fairgrounds in St. Johns for I think she said, 27 years. From St. Johns I ran over to Holbrook for an evening talk before moving on to Silver City, New Mexico.

Kay still moving from here to there with her dog and golf cart!

Silver City, New Mexico was non-stop talks thanks to Pat Wolph who made all the arrangements AND hosted my stay in her pretty casita. We may have been busy but we had a great time and good turn-outs for the talks.

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Grapes Gallery hosted my talk and Grace Bryan provided one of the loveliest settings in her colorful gallery that I have spoken at.

More photos – Between Lone Pine, CA. to Truth or Consequences, NM.

This young gal, her name was Jessie. She so reminded me of myself at her age. She took my tires off and replaced the valve stems. Not many gals could do this.
Abandoned gas station.

Lone Pine, California – November 26th, 2018

Lone Pine Rodeo Grounds

Dawn rises from behind the Inyo Mountains still dark and shaded as the Sierra Nevada’s scream, “Good morning! Good morning!” with early morning sunshine.

What a view! Hwy 395 is busy with holiday traffic. McDonald’s parking lot is full, dogs bark, ravens caw, and the day begins.

Nights are cold, good for sleeping. Days warm, and warm, and warm until I am suddenly surprised by the coolness when the ball of heat dips below the lightly dusted snow-covered Sierra Nevadas.

California Recap

I do not have one single photo of my Taylorville stop. I arrived at 3 pm, November 1oth, spoke at 6 pm, and left early in the morning. It was, however, a very important stop for me because once again I had met someone in 2007 on my 5000-mile ride that simply became an overnight best friend, Georgette Bauchman, who passed away some years ago. Her daughter was there when I spoke, evoking tears from the crowd, recalling how much this woman helped me, encouraged me, and fed me hope when I so needed it.

Taylorville in 2007. New owners have made it into a store that makes the likes of me drool with indecision…. what to buy? The selection is unbelievable.
Georgette sending me and my beloveds Honor and Claire Dog off in 2007.

Thank You, Bill and Denise Battagin who reached out, pulled me in. They knew Georgette (she delivered mail, everyone knew Georgette) In 2007 their children were still young, now grown, off to university. They took me this time, for a drive in a NEW Tesla. Like riding the future, simply unbelievable. The speed, the silence, the agility. Recharging for the Battagin’s is done by solar. Way cool!

AND THEN…there is a 69′ Ford still running around using a Benchmark Map, one of my valued sponsors, leading the way.
Bridgeport, CA. I stayed at the very same place I did when I rode through in 2007. Dipped down to 3 degrees (colder in 2007). Friends of the Library kindly insisted I stay one night at a guest house. The Simensen’s own the Historic Cottage! it’s on Airbnb under Bridgeport, CA. (Horses were right out the window.) I extended it for another night, LOVELY. Big turnout at the library! Thank you, Abbey! (Bridgeport Librarian).
Curator, Samantha Szesciorka, invited me to speak at the Wilbur D. May Museum. Samantha did a long ride (influenced by yours truly, smiles) around Nevada a few years ago. One of only a few long riders I have ever met. Had a big turn out and such a lovely stop in Reno. Thank you Samantha! the photo below is called, “3 women”

Further south…. Next stop, Millpond Equestrian Center.

Millpond Equestrian Center, near Bishop, CA, for two nights. Well run, clean, and one of the biggest places I have stayed at. The best part was all the children and the youth programs running throughout the year. The owner, Hilke Ungersma–how many years Hilke? 25 plus–you have done well!! Thank-you Hilke!
The magnificent Sierra Nevadas.

They are so in your face like right there, reach out and touch them.

Over-nighted at 8 Mile Ranch where third-generation packers Jennifer and Lee Roeser own and run the 8 Mile Ranch & McGee Creek Pack Station. Legendary Packers! They knew Bill Workman (who is also a legendary packer–there are not many of them) from my area in Montana. Saddlemaker Lee made ALL, I mean ALL of the saddles and packs they use on the mule strings. I did not have an opportunity to see the line of handcrafted equipment, but oh my, I wish I had. Thank you, Lee and Jennifer! (and Trevor and Lilly).
Bills Old Blue Truck is on the adventure of a lifetime!!
Source Micro-nutrients arrived this week. My horses nearly open the box for me. I add this seaweed supplement to loose bits of alfalfa with molasses, vinegar, oil, water and apples or carrots. Slop they love! A nutritious Colic prevention!

Spellbinder Books in Bishop pulled in a full house for the talk there. They also gave me a surprise Birthday cake complete with song and flowers!!

Spellbinder Books
124 S Main St (56.50 mi)
Bishop, California 93514
facebook.com/spellbinderbook/

Thank you, Lynn, owner of Spellbinder Books for many years. It’s one of those bookstores which offers space for lingering, talking, and a cafe in the back–very nice.

Burton Robson from Portland, Michigan (I’ll be stopping there in the spring on the tour) sent a most precious birthday gift, a handmade Stampede Braid made from the hair of my old draft mare, Sarah. He got the hair I’d been saving all these years thinking I must do something with it, this year while visiting me in Montana. Oh my, the story is long. I put Sarah down (her stifle had completely given out) the same day I began long riding. Very hard. Waited until the very last minute, then rode out……. Look at Donna Murray’s work. It is delicate, precise, and for those of us that love our horses as we do, this is a priceless gift. Thank you, Burton and Donna, Thank you ever so much!

Donna Murray -3440 23rd Ave. S -Lethbridge, AB Canada TlK KA 403-329-8660
Cheers

Friends I met in 2007. I was so poor back then and they all–each one of them–helped me SOOO MUCH. This time I took them out to dinner. Cheers to Kathy Forrester Bancroft, Claiborne Mitchel, and Kathy Noland. An evening meal at the Still Life Cafe. This French cafe in Independence, after this year’s tiny experience with France, sent my heart racing back over the ocean. Sweet. This touched my heart!! In 2007 Kathy Forrester knew medicinal herbs and helped me when Honor’s hoof needed attention. Kathy Noland–she just was there back in 2007 and did something because I remember her and her husband, Tom. I smile now. They really all did so much more. I can not begin to tell it here. This entire stretch was prearranged by Claiborne Mitchell. THANK YOU CLAIBORNE!! Claiborne in 2007 with her Loren Bacall British accent, had directorship of the Museum in Lone Pine. She took me under her wing, fed me, introduced me to people, and kept me going. This time around? From Mammoth Lakes to Lone Pine, Claiborne had all the arrangements taken care of–lodging, publicity, interviews, and more. You can hear her every Wednesday afternoon on KIBS, Bishop FM Radio.

Thank You, DARLING.

Honor and Claire Dog in front of the Museum of Western Film History – March 2007.
“Spirit Look! What’s that horse eating? Follow me, let’s check it out.” says fearless leader Little Liska Pearl. November 26th, 2018 – Proceeding in earnest toward the plastic horse.
Shawn Lum director of Lone Pine Western Film Museum with my two fidgety Fjords who would not stand still because there was another horse over there eating something!

Good Bye California until next time! Many, many thanks.
Fond memories, old and new, ride with me once again.

Bridgeport, California – November 13th 2018

From Fjord to Ford

My old 69′ Ford crept up the steep long incline like a steady chug a chug train, 30 mph. An exquisite Ahhh came oozing from my lips expressing both the gallant work my little blue truck made but also at the view presented as I crested the top.

Eastern Oregon from Pendleton to Prineville is big and windy and open. It pitches up and over giant rolling hills now brown from a dry summer. The roller-coaster road, newly paved, dark, smooth, shoulder less. “Keep to the middle if you can,” I say to myself with reservation at the drop off.

Yet, beautiful as it is, it simply does not compare to the long slow climb on horseback or most often on foot as I lead the horses up giving them a much needed break. A hill like that I thought would have taken us at least 45 min to complete on horseback. With a truck and trailer 10 min. max.

Time, lots of time that’s what equestrian travel takes and in that time the smallest details can be acquired. Smells are shoved up your nose – nearby cattle, exhaust fumes from cars and trucks, the horses sweat, road kill. I hear the steady sound of hoof beats or a red tail hawk shriek over head at the intruder down below. Maybe I am startled and jump because a rattlesnake shakes out a warning or a darting rabbit rushes by, both coming out of no where. The wind steals my hat, I tighten my stampede braid. The horses breath on my arm, my heart beats heavy in my chest and I lean a bit forward plodding one foot after another. All of this is lost in truck travel, even at the speed of 30 mph. All passes by much to quickly. So much can happen as I slowly but steadily climb to the top of yet another momentous hill on horseback.

But it’s not a huge jump from Fjord to Ford they have many similarities when I think about it. Both or legendary, tough and built for the long haul. But so much will be missed as I roll along on smooth, paved surface – however necessary if I am to make my appointed times for slide-show presentations and book-signings. So it goes.

Horse travel…20/30 miles a day, truck travel…200 miles a day.

If you take the “j” out of Fjord you get Ford. My 1969 baby blue Ford has a rebuilt engine, front end, new brakes, bearings, seals, battery, tires, there’s more I just can’t remember what all the mechanics back home did to the truck. Thank you Wayne Bozarth, his son Tim and apprentice Jamie, from Eureka Auto for bringing the truck up to traveling speed. Like a champ, running like a champ gentlemen!

Never without my Benchmark Maps giving me a clear route.

My old Ford (which I refer to as “Bills Old Blue Truck,” was given to me by Bill Griffins widow. Bill and I were good friends for many years. The blue Ford spent its entire life,until now, running Bill and his old dog Whiskey, around the tiny community of Trego, Montana. Bill bought it new in 1969 in Kalispell, Montana.

A fifty year old Ford is I am learning, a head turner. Not by the young so much, but by those fifty and older. “This was when they really made trucks.” said a man helping me at the Heppner Fairgrounds. “My Dad had one just like that, same color.” Came another remark at a gas station stop. An elderly man came over with his new Ford while I parked one afternoon, leaned out his window and said “Best damn truck Ford ever made,” I suggested we trade straight across for the 2017 white super duper Ford truck he was driving.

It’s easy to romanticize, like equestrian long riding. But really, truth be told – the new trucks are quieter, faster, have more power, get better gas mileage, pollute less and are far, far easier to drive. The only thing not better is the price of a new truck. I think Bill paid something like $7000.00 for the 69′ Ford, new.

And don’t think for one minute that I would not also be driving a new truck if I had such money, but I don’t. And so, here comes “The Lady Long Rider Book Tour Mobile,” just smile and wave.

Weather is warmer here as I leave Pendleton, Oregon behind. Sunsets linger in shades of orange, pink and reds something I miss deeply at my Montana cabin where the sun sets behind mountains hiding the colors of sunrise and sunset. I feel like I’m climbing up and over the backs of giant brown dinosaurs. I forget how big this part of our country is, how “cowboy” it is.

Steve & Audrey Ullakko long time friends from Naselle came to visit in Pendleton. Steve is a Ford Man and likes the sound of the old truck.

Now two weeks into my book tour I’m beginning to realize like other long rides, that this will take more than I’d bargained for. I must pull tenacity and single-minded determination from my saddlebags. I must call to my will power, all the while reminding myself “don’t forget about the love and longing of the ride.” Remember it is not in getting there but rather all those singular steps required in making the journey.

Our stop in Pendleton, Oregon included a visit with Rebecca Adams. Rebecca donated Liska Pearl to my rides last year and approved of Liska’s new life.

I had once thought “Oh this is really just another long ride, a little different, true. My horses travel in a horse-trailer pulled by a 69 baby blue Ford pickup. But its not, its not at all like long riding. I am pulled in a dozen different directions at once, distracted by truck, by traffic and speed! Long riding is methodical, slow, deliberate. My hands are on horses, not machinery.

Hat, blue sweater, wrist socks and feet socks by Jeanne Grace,. White tin cup by Rosie Rollin. thank you ladies.

Before each of my rides I have said, “Its all a lot of talk until we actually do it.” That includes me and the truck. Happy Trails.

The Lady Long Rider’s Book Tour schedule and full story about the truck is on her website (truck story, is under current page, scroll down you’ll find it) http://www.endeofthetrail.com & http://www.farcountrypress.com