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