Discover what it’s like to travel more than 29,000 miles alone on horseback when author Bernice Ende, the “Lady Long Rider,” visits the downtown Klamath County Library at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9.
Ende will share selections from her memoir, Lady Long Rider: Alone Across America on Horseback, according to a news release. Since setting out at age 50, Ende has logged more than 29,000 miles in the saddle across North America – more than any other living female rider – with only her horses, Montana Spirit and Liska Pearl, to keep her company.
Travel fans and horse lovers alike will thrill to Ende’s tales of her adventures. Copies of Ende’s book will be available for purchase and signing.
Despite the fact that this is an after-hours library event, there is no pre-registration required and the event is absolutely free.
For more information, call 541-882-8894 or visit the Information & Reference desk. For more about Ende and her travels, visit her website at endeofthetrail.com.
November 17 2013. A warm glistening crystal morning, the ground covered with 5 inches of fresh wet snow that last night silently dropped off… greeted me and the horses into Trego, Montana. Home from a quick 750 mile ride from Fortine, Montana to Boulder Montana and back.
Trego, Mt. Was the first stop, then south to the small community of Happy Inn. Rode into Hot Springs from the due east. Crossed the Mission Valley, to St. Ignatius over to Seeley Lake, Ovando, Helmville, Gold Creek, Deer Lodge, Champion Pass, Basin, and Finally 6 weeks and 300 plus miles, October 3rd, 2013 we arrived in Boulder, Montana. It snowed 7 inches the day after we got in.
The Davidson’s, Karen and Steve went above and beyond the call of duty hosting my 4 day stay at their ranch home in ….the town of Bernice, 12 miles or so west of Boulder. We returned the same route, due to weather I was weeks late and the visit was cut short, the return ride could not be delayed.
I won’t go into why I had gone over to Boulder, Mt. as that is all posted on the website earlier, except to say that I’d ridden over to visit a childhood friend of nearly 50 years. We rode our ponies together from the ages of 6 and 9. Running a muck on our parents Minnesota dairy farms. Paulette Smith, she was then Paulette Axt, and I had a very serendipitous meeting in 2011, crazy story how we met one another after 48 years, but as I said you’ll have to review the website for those stories.
I left august 17th,2013, with the whole family, Claire, Essie Pearl, Montana Spirit and Hart. Claire returned home after 2 weeks she did well enough but at 14 years old, well she needs to stay home now and she’s in good hands at Theodora’s Garden as guard dog extraordinaire or “doggie greeter” to the friendly people who come to see the gardens. Claire is happy, healthy and not missing me in the least. (I do however miss her). Essie and Spirit were all pop corn and trot, they breezed the 750 miles. Hart did well enough but coming home had a serious puncture wound that ended up for us having to be hauled the last 60 miles into Trego. He was gallantly defending his two mares from an annoying jack ass that was showing a bit to much interest in his two mares. He lunged for the fence and drove a stick or something into his leg. So we did not, unfortunately “ride in to town”. We were hauled the last 25 miles by cowboy Jerome Yoder and his friend Myron. Fish game and wildlife officer Frank Bowen hauled me from just south of Marion, to the cow-camp north east of Libby. The “Cow Camp Story” is on the website….Then 3 days of snow set in, some places had 12/14 inches. Both Jerome and Myron felt hauling was the wisest choice considering the situation I had with Hart. Who by the way is nearly healed.
I must say that riding a route you have already ridden is infinitely easier than the daily surprise and chance of not knowing where you will camp, where the food will come from or where the water will be. It was an easy ride home and retracing my steps let me say hello once again to folks that I had met on the trip over. Weather settled down, turned cold and I felt like the snow tip mountains of the Anaconda, Flint Creek and Garnet Ranges were laughing at me. “you’re running out of time” I heard them laughing at my silliness of riding into October and November. But you know it truly is some of the best time to ride, much easier on the horses and until you have single digit temperatures and the snow is deep, its pretty good travel. The days are short- I rarely got into the saddle before 11am and broke off by 4 or 5 pm. But still I was able to cover 15 or so miles and it was not difficult riding.
On the return home I had a surprise visit and 3 day stop over with long time acquaintances Don and Julie Flech friends from my years as a Ballet Teacher in Trego. Patty and Willi Stevens, tribal members of the Confederated Kootenai and Salish Nation invited me to stay at there home just out side of St. Ignatius. Patty is running for a Tribal Council seat and they were off to meetings and dinners but were still gracious enough to welcome me into their home. Gave the horses feed, hay and corrals and me a hot shower and a nice spot to camp. I had met Patty and Willi in 2011 at the end of my 6000 mile ride when I came thru their Tribal lands. I stayed one whole week in Hot Springs, camping at Leroy’s Big Medicine mineral Baths. Leroy has corrals and a lean-to shed and water that he let me rent for a small fee. I like that town, Hot Springs, gave a talk at the library and then it was just a few days north of Hot Springs that Hart had his accident.
I think the horses must love this time of year, it’s not terribly cold yet, no bugs, still plenty of grass to paw for, sun is warm, snow is soft to lie on. Windless nights for the most part here in the mountains. I always feel like this time of year takes a short breather, a moment of repose before sending in the serious winter.
I had several riding and camping changes I’d set out to try this year. The first half of the year from May to July I rode 600 or so miles with only Essie and Spirit. Trying a faster, lighter ride. Campsites were a quick in and out. I came to a number of conclusions that I won’t go into about riding that way but the horses liked it, so did I. But the rubbing increases greatly and you end up with about the same time as it would have taken you if you’d ridden slow.
I also wanted to improve my tent situation. I needed to come up with a tent that would keep me warm, that I could cook in with out condensation and would be sturdy enough for snow and winds. I came up with a tent cozy, (like a tea cozy) and vent system that I could not be happier with. This winter I will improve on it, fit it better etc.
I think my horseshoeing improved this year. I had two occasions to use my doctoring skills and I like to think that our local Veterinarian and friend Nancy Haugan would have been proud of me. I expanded my wild food knowledge and use. Next year I will take a fishing license and work on fishing skills. I also think I come home with a more serious attitude for these long rides than I have ridden with in the past.
Why? Well you know maybe its just because I want to learn to be a better long rider that’s all. This is the end of my 9th consecutive year of Long Riding- 20,000 miles. Who would have thought.
Next year? Well lets see….
I have to write this month and next. January and February, talks, begin training out a new horse, read, study routes, learn french, work on a new DVD. March and April- practice rides, more writing, and get out by April… get going again.
Where?…. Well I still have this Canadian ride tugging at my sleeve and it’s not going away so I had better get it done before I can’t do it. Coast to coast, east to west, a 2 year ride. Easy to talk about another thing to actually do.
I will post a schedule of my up coming talks if you are interested in attending one of my slide-show presentations. The DVD, ADVENTURES OF A LADY LONG RIDER, THE FIRST 10,000 MILES is still available as are other products click on THE STORE at the top of the page. Or if you are so inclined to make a donation for the up coming 2014 ride click on the DONATION button also at the top of the page.
And so…Please… to all of you who have helped me in one way or another this year, for your smiles and your encouragement, for your interest, food, shower, clean clothes or for just putting up with a woman that thinks she must ride 1000’s of mile’s around the country with horses. I sincerely, from the very depth of my heart that is filled with appreciation… I truly mean it when I say “I could not have done it with out you.”
A sincere thank you to each and every one of you for helping to make this another successful year of long riding.
Just a quick posting from Seeley Lake library where the Library is at the High School which I think is a brilliant idea. Rode into town 2 days ago looking for a place that I could do horseshoes, I needed a anvil and large hammer to do the job. Found “Woodie”, who owns a machine shop, repair shop for boats and he does welding and does just about anything. He let me tie up behind the shop and away I went. Then I need a place to camp and the Seeley Lake Motel let me camp out back behind the Motel. This is a tourist town AND the logging industry is still in business and the mill is still open. But this time of year is slower and the business people are having a bit of a rest before the next winter season starts. I rode thru Seeley Lake in 2008 and several people have come up to say hello
I have picked up supplies and sent out emails and will post more photos when I get to Boulder, Montana, where I will take a 5/6 day break. Should be there before the end of the month. Horses are doing real well. The ride across the Mission Valley nearly did me in, so hot!!, But here the weather has taken a change and Fall has snapped into place. I have picked up a “winter box” of woolens and and OutFitters Supply has sent out a much needed box for repairs and accessories. So I am off in the morning and Happy Trails to all of you. Sincerely Bernice
Here is a story I must share with you, (with permission)Hello Ms Ende A mystery has been solved! A few years ago I was crossing over the old Custer Ave overpass in Helena when I saw the most amazing sight – a cowgirl and her dogs crossing over the bridge right smack dab in the middle of town. I shouldn’t admit this but since no one was near me on the road I pulled out my camera phone and snapped a fast picture as I drove by. I wondered who you were, where you were going, and how did you have such absolute courage to travel with horses and dogs thru town when I’m petrified to ride my bike down a similar road. I could tell that you were about my age and I had a moment of envy of your life as a free woman doing your own thing. Imagine my surprise, while flipping thru the AARP magazine tonight while in a hotel room in Tulsa, OK (where I’m traveling for work) to see a familiar picture! Finally, a name and a story to go with my picture! And what a great story you have. Your mother was an amazing woman to raise such an independent and adventurous daughter. On a side note, I also owned a Norwegian Fjord, tho I had to keep him with friends up at Ft. Belknap. He was the most amazing horse, tho I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him. We recently lost him to old age and I always have hope that another Fjord will come into my life. Well, with that long winded email from a stranger, I’d like to send you the picture I took that day in Helena. I’m sure you have many similar ones, but it’s an honor to send this to you to keep as part of your travels thru Montana and the west. Safe travels, Kathy D. Helena, MT
UPCOMING SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT; The Back Country Horseman’s National Convention is being held in Kalispell, Montana this year. BERNICE have spoken at many of the BCH meetings thru out her travels and is delighted to have been asked to speak at their event which is taking place ARPIL5,6,7. I will post more information as the date draws near. There will be a host of speakers and events scheduled thru out the weekend.
Here is the last part, the “rest of the story” were I left off in Fernie.
MY heart pounded out a missing beat when I heard the words from the border patrol ” I’m sorry mam but you can not come in at this border crossing”.
Before leaving on the Canadian ride I had checked with the Roosville border Officers and was told what I needed in the way of papers and passport to make my return crossing into the United States but what they did not clearly understand was the fact that I was RIDING across the country and would be in Canada for 6 months. I was given the wrong information. I needed a USDA veterinary to check the horses into the country. That gave me two border crossing to choose from. Sweet Grass border crossing( eastern Montana) or the Kingsgate border crossing south of Cranbrook in Idaho. I had 6 days before all of my veterinary papers would expire, the choice was clear I had to haul over to Cranbrook. Between Dr. Hart and Jon Levesque and their quick thinking they managed to get me safely across the U.S. , Canadian border before my veterinary papers expired. Dr. Hart called the Sheerness Veterinary Clinic in Cranbrook made arrangements for me to have the horses vet checked by the Canadian officials . Tom Linfield, Montana’s USDA border vet knew of my rides and was also helpful by calling the USDA vet at the Kingsgate crossing to let him know what was happening. Everything was set. Jon Levesque came over early on September 21st to hook up to Dr. Harts horse trailer. I was up all night getting myself prepared to haul the horses, preparing for “just in case scenario” when I walked out to the barn and there it was …a skunk sitting casually on my packs had tore open the pannier, food was every where, my sleeping bag ripped, stuff hanging out of the saddlebags, what a mess and Claire and I got sprayed!! oh my goodness. I made the terrible mistake of going back into the house and left a smell there Oh dear, it was awful. Poor Jon had his pickup window open all of the way over to Cranbrook and I would not doubt it if he told me his truck still smells because I still smell the odor on some of my gear. I felt so awful, here these men and their families had been helping and what a mess I had made… I don’t know that I will ever be able to thank Jon Levesque and Martin Hart enough they really came to my rescue when I needed it most. Besides the skunk everything went off smoothly. Jon dropped me off at the border and I waited about 3 hours before the USDA vet could see me, after he checked the horses to see that yes indeed they belonged to me and were not diseased in any way. I got into the long line of cars, what a sight that must have been. By this time all of the border patrol officers knew that I was coming back into the U.S. Claire ofcourse being the star of the show, photos and smiles flashing. “Check her license plate”, “hey maybe we should take her into secondary and check for noxious weeds” lots of jokes.
The question I asked Le Anne and Rick Kroll was, is it to dangerous to risk riding it?
After taking a drive across the Cochrane area that included a river bridge and a major highway, the trans Canadian hwy, it was indeed the best to haul. So Le Anne and Rick Kroll kindly hooked up their trailer and hauled my tribe safely to the south side of ther Cochrane complex.
I am now heading south thru the Kananaskis Country, via equestrian trails and back roads.
Meeting up with the folks from the NBC’s The Today Show from New York who are coming out to spend two days filming and interviewing late august north of Pincher Creek.
Many thanks to all of those who have help I say it once again. I could not do these rides without a great deal of help from so many people, many many thanks.
Happy Trails Bernice Ende
I am emailing from the private home of June and Darby Roy who have been gracious enough to invite all of us into their lovely home west of town. Laundry is drying behind me in the clothes dryer and my belly is so full of delicious food that June has been cooking. The rains have been hard and steady all week and it has given me time to visit and visit I have. On the way into town I met Donna Waldner and her father on the gravel road 15 miles east of town, Actually I flagged them down to ask for directions. Well Donna was out of that old truck and at my side in a second and we just made a connection right away, she came out later that evening with her mother and her two teenage children when I was camped down the road a few miles. Her and June are good friends and it has been a treat to spend time with these women. They are horse healers using healing touch to make incredible changes on injured or sick horses. They worked on Hart and then they worked on my old body. Both Hart and I agree, we are feeling pretty darn good. Now June has made us a Canadian treat called Puffed Wheat Cake and it is made of Puffed Wheat and peanut butter and more butter and sugar and it is to die for. I am gaining to much weight and Hart will complain when I get back on in the morning. The first week in town was spent at the Kinetic Park the fair/rodeo grounds ,event center and agricultural center. I had to go into the city hall and tell the powers that be what a fine facility they had. A blue ribbon facility is what I said. It offered me and my horses a safe clean sheltered place when we rode into town. I stay at many of these centers in the states but this one was exceptionally nice. It offered camping and horse arenas a dog friendly park and a clean new shower facility. Plus a Mennonite historical town and park, a large indoor event building and so much more. It was quite busy the whole time I was there. Thank you to all of the maintenance men and the girls in the office that made my stay at Kinetic Park so enjoyable. I was warm safe and dry as the week of rain and storms set in. I must also say thank you to Ed and Barb Luchenski who helped Emily when when caught a ride via an automobile- into town and had to wait for me to ride in 2 days later. Ed and Barb are what I call “Trail Angels” and they helped Emily by putting her up a couple of nights and then making sure she arrived at the bus depot on time and were so very helpful and kind in every way.
Swift Current is a town full of parks and luscious greenery, very pretty. Emily and I ate at Cafe Central, downtown on main street. Speciality crepes with out of this world flavors kept appearing at our table colorful and decoratively served. Flavors from around the world. Wonderful place to eat. The post office had mail waiting for me and the library had several computers available where Emily and I caught up on our emails. I am of course going to miss Emily but I also understand her decision to not continue with the ride. We really did have many good laughs and long talks but like she said it takes more than curiosity to long ride. But don’t think that Emily is gone. She will continue to assist with the website and she will also continue to work with a group of women from California on a documentary that tells the story of these long rides that I continue to do, continue to love continue to grow and learn from. So I head back out in the morning. Donna is coming over so I will have her and June waving me on with our noses faces north. I will tell you one thing Saskatchewan is premier long riding country. Wide ditches, excuse me, CLEAN wide ditches, green grass and lots of small ponds and creeks, the frosting is the friendly folks that dot the country side.
Until later Happy Trails your lady long rider Bernice Ende