Trego, Montana September 7th, 2017

Notice the smoke in the background. They seem to know…stay close, stay close…at my Montana Cabin.

Both the moon and the sun are red balls rising and setting through thick forest-fire smoke, choking out sunshine and stars to wish upon. Breathlessly still long days, waiting, we all seem too be waiting.

The small Amish community of West Kootenai has lost 11 homes. Glacier National Park has lost a historic chalet. The town of Seeley Lake, has been on evacuation notice for weeks, the air hazardous. I spoke with a woman in Plains, Montana south of here whose home, yard, and barn were surrounded by fire. The Gilbraltor fire east of Eureka although no threat to humans continues burning on an eastward trek. For more info look at

The air is thick with smoke, making it difficult to breath or work out of doors–how do the brave firefighters do it? Every one of us in Montana are deeply grateful for the momentous effort they are making to save lives, homes, and forests. (And if they aren’t I will punch them.)

Besides the 600 miles Liska Pearl, Montana Spirit, and I traveled earlier this Spring, it is impossible to even think of riding out in any direction. I’ve used the time for work around the cabin, repairing my large pole barn with new support beams, fixing fences, and finishing up last minute details on the book before FarCountry Press takes it. Carol Guthrie from Huson, Montana guides me along with the expertise of having published 8 books.

Leaving the cabin and hauling to Helena next week has me a bit nervous, but must be done. The Harvard talk on the 20th of September seems like a great adventure. I am honored and thrilled to share my Aunt Linda’s early life with them. While I’m in Boston the horses will be stabled with Karen and Steve Davidson southeast of Helena–friends I met on my way home in 2011 with safe corrals for each girl!

Montana Spirit and I have been together 8 years and have never been apart for one whole day. Goodness, how will I manage? She’ll do fine, it’s me that will miss her. I like to think she’ll miss me, I’ll entertain myself with the thought she will.

Pray for snow!

Spirit looking over the new shipment of Source Micronutrients. THe horses love this product and it has made an enormous difference in their health.
Spirit looking over the new shipment of Source Micro-nutrients. The horses love this product and it has made an enormous difference in their health.
My beloved Claire Dog looking at our magnificant Rocky Mountains. (taken in 2010 on a very, very clear day)
My beloved Claire Dog looking at our magnificent Rocky Mountains. (taken in 2010 on a very, very clear day)

Libby, Montana – August 23rd, 2017


I went to visit an old friend last week. Pride.

Here I am with Pride. The first horse that so courageously carried me on the 2005 ride.

Nancy herding cattle that just happened to be out.
Nancy herding cattle on Pride that just happened to be out, he seemed to be enjoying himself.
2005 1
Here is Pride in 2003 when I first began working with him from the McCurry Tennessee Walking Ranch in Trego.
This is the 2005 route
This is the 2005 route

He’s been living a great life for many years with Nancy Haugan’s on her family ranch in the West Kootanai – west of Eureka, Montana. Nancy is our beloved Veterinarian and owns Mountain Vista Veterinary Services.  He must be around 23 by now I wasn’t quite sure. He looked great, still as flashy as ever.

It’s hard to believe we ever survived  that first ride. What I marveled at was his perseverance in the face of my inexperience!



The Eclipse happened at 11:15 here at Libby, Montana. The regional fire-fighting headquarters were set up in the J. Neil Park where I camp when I come thru Libby..

one of the workers set up this paper and we were dazzled by the half moons coming thru the leaves
One of the workers set up this paper and we were dazzled by the half moons coming thru the leaves.

The fires have made it impossible to consider riding across the Bob Marshall to Helena as I had orginally planned. I will haul next month to Helena visiting FarCountry Press, finishing up the last details for the book coming out soon. Then Boston, Harvard talk from the 18th to the 21st of September.

July 27, 2017 Trego, Montana


update – time change – talk will begin at 3pm


Join us for an evening discussion on the life and career of Linda Francis James Benitt, the first female graduate of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The presentation will begin by briefly exploring the context of women at Harvard at the turn of century, as well as Linda James’ life in Boston as a young student. Next, Bernice Ende, Linda’s great niece, will share her personal insights on Linda’s life, as well how she inspired her toward ultimately becoming a “lady long rider”.

Linda Frances James (pictured above in 1915) was the first woman to graduate from the Harvard-M.I.T. School for Health Officers (predecessor of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), receiving her C.P.H. in 1917. As a young public health professional in Boston, Linda worked as a Medical Social Worker at Massachusetts General Hospital, and and the Director of After-Care Division at the Harvard Infantile Paralysis Commission. Her professional life shifted in 1922 when she married William A. Benitt, a young attorney from Goodhue, Minnesota. The couple decided to leave their careers and become farmers on Apple Acres—a 200-acre farm in South Washington County, Minnesota.In addition to life on the farm, James remained an active advocate for education, public health, and community. A two-part blog series on Linda is available here.

Bernice Ende was raised on a Minnesota dairy farm where riding was always an integral part of her life. After pursuing a career teaching classical ballet on the west coast, Ende moved to Trego, Montana, a remote part of North West Montana where she continued teaching ballet. Her retirement in 2003 brought not a lack of activity, but rather a change in focus. Drawn back to riding, Bernice felt the pull of the open road and adventure inherent in serious riding. Her first ride in 2005 has continued into the present. Now thirteen years later, having acquired nearly 30,000 equestrian miles, she inspires and encourages female leadership with her travels. For more information Ende, visit her website:

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Minot Room, 5th Floor
Countwy Library
Harvard Medical School

10 Shattuck Street, Boston MA 02115

Free and open to the public.

Registration is required. Questions? Email us at .

Trego, Montana July13th, 2017


Our jaunt to and from Carol Guthrie’s home, about 300 miles was as pleasant as could be, more like a little vacation ride. I have shaved Little Liska’s mane as she needed a VERY good cleaning and the Fjord mane and tail are beyond thick, impossible to get to the skin. She looks like a mule.

I forgot to mention some time ago. I’d been sitting on my front porch at the cabin when a new red pickup truck drove in and out hopped a small spry woman. Turns out it was 76 year old Rosie Rollins with a copy of her book in her hand.

She’d driven from Tennessee with one of her beloved horses destined for retirement in Nebraska. Well she thought, “Might as run up and see if I can find that Lady Long Rider,” and well she did.

In her Author’s note she says, “In search for a motto that fits me, I settled on one by an anonymous writer. “She flung herself upon her horse and rode madly off in all directions.” She began her rides in 1960, and refers to herself as a “short lady long rider,” as most of the hundreds of miles were 200 mile rides. But still she’s packed a great deal of miles in all over the United States. On the back of her self published book she writes, ” Any ride on a horse is an adventure, and most folks can only dream about the places she seen from the back of her horse.” Needless to say, I was honored by her short visit.

I hope to see Rosie again this year as she may chauffeur me and my girls on the upcoming book tour.

Libby, Montana – July 9th, 2017

The Bear Grass is outrageous this year.
The Bear Grass is outrageous this year.

Website update July 2017

When the temperatures reach 100 degrees its far to hot for riding. We must be in the saddle by 5am and done by 11am. After leaving Carol Guthrie’s lovely home feeling encouraged and satisfied with our work on my book, I rode north back to Paradise for a return visit at Paradise Fjord’s – and new friend Nancy Beech, (see story in previous posting) Nancy not only owns Paradise Fjords but is an organic farmer and owns Mountain Spring Farms. She raises garlic, blueberries, cherries and potatoes, I know I am forgetting some of her produce. Here she is resting after a very hot day!

Nancy at the end of a grueling hot day of farming.
Nancy at the end of a grueling hot day of farming.

Riding through Plains became an event when I stopped for supplies and a host of women miraculously appeared from seemly nowhere. ONE OF WHICH was a long rider, well 150miles short of a long rider. She came walking over, long stride, cowboy boots and reached out for a hand shake and said, “I’ve been looking forward to meeting you.”

Debbie York, Associate member of the Long Riders Guild. She's moving to Plains from New York!
Debbie York, Associate member of the Long Riders Guild. She’s moving to Plains from New York!

Sandy Spineler came walking over to the horses pushing her bicycle I am not sure how old she was but she said, “I’m in heaven,” when she gave Spirit a hug. She brought out photos of her as a 16yr old riding a big palomino horse in 1959.


Libby, Montana was dancing on its toes with summer tourist activities when I rode into town and settled down at J. Neils Park. I’d completely eaten all of my food before coming in so I swung down main street for Rosauers Grocery Store. While there 3 women came out with big smiles on their faces from the near by campground, “Are you Bernice Ende?” For 3 years they’d been traveling the United States. They were from Colorado and had been following my rides since 2007, I think they said. They held the horses while I dashed in for food, buying way too much, everything looked good!. THEN standing in the check out line a woman touches my are and said, “Do you remember me?” “YES.” I’d met them a few years earlier on a ride into Libby. She and her husband insisted on paying for my groceries.Here’s the carry out boy, Nate with a surprise on his face. “Have you ever packed a pannier?” I asked him. “AHHH No.” lots of fun.

Nate looking bewildered
Nate looking bewildered

The day before I rode into Libby I got a view of this. The LDS – Latter Day Saints were doing a reenactment. I asked one of the outriders on a mule what was going on and he said, “They were commemorating the 100 year date when they were run out of Missouri.” I would imagine if was for the polygamy practice.

Then, as I rode into Libby I rode past this…A group of workers from Habitat for Humanity, putting a house back together.
And I thought, goodness this is truly America and I feel encouraged and hopeful. But then I read in Libby’s local “Montanian” newspaper that huge budget cuts will be made to our libraries, NO. NO. I say.

I ride with Susan B. Anthony and Sacajawea dollar coins. Seems appropriate.
I ride with Susan B. Anthony and Sacajawea dollar coins. Seems appropriate.

When I rode thru Plains, Mt. (the first time this year) I spoke for a group of 6th graders on a field trip to the Bend Guard Station north of Plains about 30 miles. One of the projects they did was to make beaded necklaces. after they were done a young gal named Issy Crabb placed her newly made necklace around my neck. I added the coins. Sacajawea came from Burton Robson and Susan B. Anthony came from I don’t know where but I do like having the women around my neck.

Heading back north to the cabin, getting ready for the next jaunt east, Helena and back. Will visit FarCountry Press, the publishers handling my book.

Hot but all are well.

Huson, Montana – June 23rd, 2017

New Tent from Burton Robson
New Tent from Burton Robson

Here’s a cute story. Last year when I spoke at the International Fjord Show in Sandpoint, Idaho I walked past a woman and turned and said, “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” Something familiar caught my eye. “No,” she said, “I don’t think so.” Then again later visiting with the folks attending the show I said, “Are you SURE we have never met, you look SO familiar.” And again she replied, “No, don’t think so.”  Well she went home looked up my website, looked at where I had gone to school and well turns out Nancy Beech then Nancy Olsen and I had gone to all 12 years of Elk River Elementary and High School together. There is even a photo in our year books of us on the basketball and volley ball teams together. Good Golly Miss Molly!! And now here I am visiting Nancy in Paradise, Montana!!


How’s that for a cute story?

Rode over Siegel Pass 6300 feet, nice ride on my way to Huson, Montana where I have met up with Carol Guthrie author of  Glacier National Park: The First 100 years and other books on Glacier Park. Carol is putting the finishing touches on my book, “In My Own Skin” to be published by FarCountry Press released this winter.

Nice ride across Siegel Pass
Nice ride across Siegel Pass
Weather was quiet enough to camp on top.
Weather was quiet enough to camp on top.
Carol and I at her lovely home in Huson taking a break from editing.

Horses are fat and content. This is vacation riding, I’d never consider this “long riding.”