April 26th, 2016 Chewelah, Washington

 I think Chewelah is even prettier now than it is in the fall.  Colorful  blossoms, both tree and flowers, decorate the streets, lawns are SO green and mowed.  Streets have a fresh clean look, (they did just have a full blown “clean-up day, every one was out.) I declared Chewelah a “Blue Ribbon Community” last year the story is in the archives.

Fran Genne has been kind enough to let me and my girls camp at her barn just blocks from the edge of town. Convenient enough for me to walk to stores, post office and of-course the library. I arrived April 17th after a full day of hauling. First a short skip with Ruth Ann Mclaury from Eureka, then a longer ride with Judith Hemphill from, Libby and finally a long ride with Gary Bellinger of Chelwelah. As most of you know I had ridden as far as Chewelah last fall…..from New York I might add.  So I had no desire to re-ride the same stretch as I have ridden it several times in the past. I then rode home in late October and arrived in the Trego area mid November where I wintered over.

So here we are back out ready to finish this Odyssey, it does seem like it, two years, goodness, 8000 miles~ I leave in the morning riding Hwy 20 across the mountains to Samish Bay, Washington, south of Bellingham.
Besides resting and preparing for the finally leg of this ride the following photos will tell you what I have been up to this past week.

Rode from Theodora's Garden on April 13th, cold and wet
Rode from Theodora’s Garden on April 13th, cold,wet day.
spent my first two nights at Glacier Ridge Ranch in Trego, mostly just sleeping
Spent my first two nights at Glacier Ridge Ranch in Trego, mostly just sleeping, Thank you Indigo and Paul!
first haul Ruth Ann drops me off north of LIbby. I wanted to ride the horses some they needed some road time
First haul Ruth Ann drops me off north of Libby. I wanted to ride the horses some they needed road time.
2nd hauler Judith Hemphill at the helm, in Bonners Ferry.
2nd hauler Judith Hemphill at the helm, in Bonners Ferry.  Gary Bellinger then picked me up in Sandpoint, Idaho at the fairgrounds where Judith had dropped us off..
Chewelah Library April 20th. Sarah English the librarian even wanted the horses so Gary attended to them as I gave the slideshow presentation.
Chewelah Library April 20th. Sarah English the librarian even wanted the horses so Gary attended to them as I gave the slideshow presentation.
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The horses were kind enough NOT to make any deposits (we were prepared however)
The horses were kind enough NOT to make any deposits (we were prepared however)
Cusick Library. nice turnout and librarian Pam Thompson even had a lovely assortment of coffee, teas and snacks for us.
Cusick Library  April 23rd. nice turnout and librarian Pam Thompson even had a lovely assortment of coffee, teas and snacks for us.
Cusick library following talk this woman had relatives in the Trego area.
Cusick library following talk – this woman had relatives in the Trego area. I did not have any photos unfortunately of my slide show presentation for the Northeast Washington’s Chapter of Back Country Horseman.
Last but not least. Stan Strikske is setting on new horseshoes from that Roger Robinson sents out from the Blacksmiith Shop,(see sponsorship page). I feel having a professinal farrier do the first shoeing of the year is very important. I do my own shoeing once I am out there. But it is like having a Vet Check every year it demonstrates a sincerece desire to take good care of those precious mares of mine.
Last but not least. Stan Stritzke is setting on new horseshoes that Roger Robinson sends out from the Blacksmith Shop,(see sponsorship page). I feel having a professional farrier do the first shoeing of the year is very important. I do my own shoeing once I am out there. But it is like having a Vet Check every year it demonstrates a sincere desire to take good care of those precious mares of mine.


Standing behind Stan is Gary Bellinger who has been with-out doubt the most helpful person I could have asked for at this point of my ride. He’s helped facilitate not only my haul over from Sandpoint, Idaho but has gotten me to my talks on time, set up a small corral for the horses, taken me out on a scouting trip – scoping the route and has offered oodles of encouragement when I have most needed it. Thank you Gary! This is not a long stretch – 750 miles – from here to the west coast, but the road (hwy 20, will be challenging.) I rarely have help like this. I rarely let it be so. But this time it feels right to have so many people assisting with this final 8000 mile journey I embarked upon 2 years ago. Chewelah has assured me of a party upon my return in June. I am taking the same route over and back and will not be going up thru Canada as I had originally planned.  The Long Riders Guild Flag will have ridden with me coast to coast when I arrive at Samish Bay.  I’ll take photos of course as I did on the east coast.

SO tomorrow we ride. I know Essie and Spirit are bored and ready to go. Northeast Washington is spectacular county with breathtaking vista’s in every direction. It is the grass that so captivates me. It’s just so luscious, so green and thick I want to eat it like my horses, roll in it, run my hands thru it. The horses will eat well on this stretch.

Happy  Trails, Bernice

APRIL 12th 2016 nearly ready to ride

New Riding Breeches

I am asked by many curious and interested people I meet…”where do you get those riding pants?” My reply, I make them! But I thought this story would be interesting to many of you as to how they are made or at least one way they get made.   I finally met Dee Odea in July of 2014  at the Mt Pleasant, Michigan Race Track after many years of correspondence. What follows is her story of how SHE met me. Dee gave me deer hide leather for a much needed new pair of riding pants that I sewed by hand.

Dee Dee to the rescue
Dee Odea to the rescue

This is from Dee Odea……

I read about you in my Black Canyon City, AZ newspaper the first time you rode Honor thru AZ (2007) and stayed in Crown King. I taught fourth grade and since geography was my favorite of the eight subjects I taught, a U.S. map went up on my bulletin board tracking where you came from and thus began a four year relationship with you. My class and I would anxiously await emails and pictures. We cheered for you and cried when you lost Honor. It was heartwarming reading your posts about how the people in Texas took care of you and then gave you Hart. We followed your heartbreak at loosing the puppy you picked up in New Mexico and called the Veterinary Clinic to see what money we could raise to help. Well they told my class that the bill was paid and asked if we wanted to talk to you since you were there. I had you on speaker, and you thanked my class repeatedly for concern. Then we found out that the puppy died, so we sent cards for you to a lady in Texas. But she brought you a big yellow envelope from my class while you were in Kansas. You responded with a beautiful thank you letter and postcards for my students. A few of my students still follow you. I also had a reporter the next year do an article about how my classes were still following your third or fourth long ride. You had just gotten Essie Pearl and was still with Hart I believe. I retired in 2012. I moved to Michigan to take care of my mother and had the mule skin hides from my former husband. They were just sitting in old bags waiting for the right person who was supposed to have them! I was thrilled to meet you for you are such a beautiful strong woman whom I have a lot of admiration for. My heroes are:#1. My mother . #2. Mother Teresa. #3. Bernice Ende. Lots more stories about my past parallel yours in a small way. I am a very strong, Midwest gal, who got her degree and had a dream of teaching in a little mountain school. I found it in Black Canyon City, Arizona. In 1986. Moved back home to Michigan 2013. Met you in July 2014, while my mother was still alive. I was able to share that joy with her.

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Dee Dee Carter to the rescue
Dee Dee Carter to the rescue

March 31st, 2016 nearly ready to ride again

The excitement of the ride has my blood racing this time of year. Yet as I told Nancy Haugan the other day when she was out to vet the horses, “It never fails each and every time I step back out it’s as if those 1000’s of miles behind me never existed. It’s as if I had never done any of it and I question, “can I do this again?” Three weeks into the journey I will be taken over with the exhilaration, the call of the horizon, the love of the ride.

Theodora Brennen looking over my cleaning; She had guests from Australia this weekend at her Hideaway, which by the way is the place to stay if any of you EVER come to visit me.
Theodora Brennan looking over my cleaning; She had guests from Australia this weekend staying at Theodora’s Hideaway Guest House, which by the way is the place to stay if any of you EVER come to visit me.
All my tack and saddle gear come from Tuckers Saddle and OutFitters Supply and have been for 11 years. Twice a year the gear is completely taken apart, cleaned and oiled. This is a Tuckers Endurance Trail that I will finish the ride with, Tuckers  has my Black-Mountain saddle in for repairs after what 16,000 miles arduous miles,I might add.
All my tack and saddle gear come from Tuckers Saddle and Out Fitters Supply and have been for 11 years. Twice a year the gear is completely taken apart, cleaned and oiled. This is a Tuckers Endurance Trail that I will finish the ride with, Tuckers has my Black-Mountain saddle in for repairs after what 16,000 miles arduous miles,I might add. New hobbles and more saddle oil from OFS.
This is veterinarian  , Nancy Haugan's .....Her 9th year of vaccinating the horses for my rides. She keeps Pride the big Tennessee Walking Horse at her farm. She has promised a ride with him after wrapping up this 8000 mile jaunt.
 Nancy Haugan’s DVM …..Her 9th year of vaccinating the horses for my rides. She keeps Pride the big Tennessee Walking Horse at her Ranch in the Yaak.(north of Eureka, Mt.) She has promised a ride with him after wrapping up this 8000 mile jaunt. The little black pony curious as ever. Spirit however was going to have nothing to do with Nancy. Look how hairy Essie still is.
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And yet another SUNBODY HAT!!  This is not the complete collection some have not returned. Stories etched out in each hat keeps me from tossing them out.
And yet another SUNBODY HAT!! This is not the complete collection some have not returned. Stories etched out in each hat keeps me from tossing them out. I told Jimmy Pryor owner of Sunbody Hats that I would not feel like the lady long rider with this hat!! An essential part of my riding attire.
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each one embellished with little gifts
Each one embellished with little gifts.
I feel the same way about the Ariat boots,  Like a good friend that rode with me I simply can not let them go.
I feel the same way about the Ariat boots, Like a good friend that rode with me I simply can not let them go.
I must tell you this is a beautiful sight to me. Horseshoes from Roger Robinson's The Blacksmith Shop, (see sponsorship page) I would not even consider riding with out these shoes on my horses. These horseshoes have literally saved our lives  more than once. SIMPY THE BEST
I must tell you, this is a beautiful sight to me. Horseshoes from Roger Robinson’s The Blacksmith Shop, (see sponsorship page) I would not even consider riding the paved roads without these shoes on my horses hoofs. They have literally saved our lives more than once.
Comfort for my girls.BEST! I ride bareback all winter nearly everyday. I am only now getting the horses ready for saddles and cinches
Comfort for my girls.
I ride bareback all winter- nearly everyday. I am only now getting the horses ready for saddles and cinches. I stepped back into the Tuckers Endurance Trail the other day for the first time in months and said,” Oh my gosh this is why I use a Tucker!” Comfort!!!
STAN STRITSKE, FARRIER OF OVER 45 YEARS (from last year) Once Roger sends out from the Blacksmith Shop, the shoes  must then be shaped and fitted to the horses hoofs. Stan will look the feet over and do the first setting,I always feel a professional should look over the horese feet before I begin each ride. I then ship ahead the extra shoes and my shoeing equipment.
STAN STRITSKE, FARRIER OF OVER 45 YEARS ( photo from last year) Once Roger sends out the horseshoes from the Blacksmith Shop in VA., the shoes must  be shaped and fitted to the horses hoofs. Stan will look the feet over and do the first setting, I always feel a professional should look over the horses feet before I begin each ride. I then ship ahead the extra shoes and my shoeing equipment.
STAN STRITSKE  on left,  SHELLY WALDEN GARY BELLINGER  from Chewelah, Washington are helping with details in Chewelah, Washington where I resume my ride. Gary is really my main contact and is going above and beyond the call of duty. I do not think they realize just how much their assistance means to me. It's not always like this!
STAN STRITSKE on left,
SHELLY WALDEN
GARY BELLINGER from Chewelah, Washington are helping with details in Chewelah, Washington where I resume my ride. Gary is really my main contact and is going above and beyond the call of duty. I do not think they realize just how much their assistance means to me. It’s not always like this!(last years photo)

The Canadian Geese are calling, and I reply to them…”I am coming, I am coming.

” I plan to ride out on the 13th of April.

March 13th, 2016 – day light savings time begins today.

Rain again today, can not complain we need it. Perhaps we’ll not have another fire season like we had last year.

I leave in less than 5 weeks- And until I leave I am making the most of my time with friends and Community.

THIS is why I come home
THIS is why I come home. Taken in Theodora’s Hideaway.
Most of these students are beginner level Ballet students. However a couple,now  teachers themselves had instructions with  me as young girls.
Most of these students are beginner level Ballet students. However a couple, now teachers themselves had instructions with me as young girls. I have so enjoyed teaching once again after nearly 15 years absence from the studio. The Creative Arts Center in Eureka, Montana is a remarkable facility that offers dance, music, art and theater. For such a small town it is a sure sign of a “Blue Ribbon Community.”


More visitors from the east side of Montana.
Bob and Naomi Rushdal took the train from Forsyth, Montana to Libby to visit their son. He brought them up for a visit. It was a fast and furious visit full of smiles and laughter. She brought news of my dear friend Berniece Higgenbotham from Forsyth now a young 94 year old. I met Berniece and her Uncle Bill Straw (now deceased) when I wintered in Bill’s little red barn north of town. I have many years and experiences traveling to reflect back on but THIS, living out in that wild landscape 4 miles from town, alone for 5 months was a highlight I will never forget, I just loved the time there.

Bob and Naomi in Theodora's Hideaway
Bob and Naomi in Theodora’s Hideaway
Bob and those WILD FJORDS
Bob and those WILD FJORDS
they are so fat and so furry I may never get them ready for travel
They are so fat and so furry I may never get them ready for travel. The girls  have had a little black pony named Raven in with them, my oh my!

From the past

2010- Berniece and Bill in Forsyth, MT. I have the horses and beloved Claire Dog dressed for our Xmas Tour.
2010- Berniece and Bill in Forsyth, MT. I have the horses and beloved Claire Dog dressed for our Xmas Tour.
I spent two winters in this little shed and part of a summer I loved it.
I spent two winters in this little shed and part of a summer I loved it.
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ALL for now….
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

March 7th, 2016 An overcast cool Montana spring day.

“I leave next month,”
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…..that is music to my ears!   I’m so glad I rode as far as I did last year because I met a host of folks that are now offering to help with the last stretch of the ride. I will get off to a good start. I know it’s only about 1000 miles but it may be one of the most difficult stretches I’ll ride on this 8000 mile adventure. Last week I spoke with Gary Bellinger from Chewelah, he’ll be helping facilitate my staging point – talks, horseshoes and boxes that must be shipped from Chewelah. He’s an avid horseman himself and a member of Back Country Horseman a group I will be speaking for on the 21st of April.(more info later).

I have two library talks scheduled when I arrive in Chewelah next month.

Last week:

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I had guests from Canada! David and Hania  Nahachewsky came down to pick my long riding brain.  David and his two daughters,(one is a Vet and the other a Vet-tech.) have been following my rides for years. I have been visited by several individuals over the years seeking “how to do a long ride” advice. Sometimes they leave and I think, “I hope they never do the ride because the horses will be the ones that suffer.” But after spending two days with David I felt confident their ride will be successful and the ride done with care. They are attempting to ride with 5 horses from Manitoba to Vancouver, B.C. next year.                                                                                                                                

While the Nahachewsky’s were here they stayed at THEODORA”S HIDEAWAY a lovely vacation rental literally next door.

Response from David and Hania: received March 9th

Good morning,
I just wanted to write a note to all who follow Bernice Ende and her 
amazing horses.

My wife and I were fortunate enough to spend time with Bernice while 
she was preparing for her next season of riding. We spoke for many 
hours about equipment, techniques, safety and philosophies of Long 
Riding.

My two daughters and I have been planning our first long ride for some 
time now. The two sessions with Bernice will help my daughters, myself 
and our horses stay safer and enjoy the trek even more. I couldn’t 
help but feel Bernice’s energy, strength and passion for the lifestyle 
that she has fallen in love with. More importantly, I felt that she 
was blunt and honest towards my idealistic thoughts of a long ride. 
Bernice brought experience and reality to many aspects of what we are 
going to attempt, but did not discouraged us in anyway. Thank you!!

I also have to mention that we stayed at the amazing “Hideaway” which 
is part of Theodora’s Garden operated by another great lady. Theodora 
Brennan, better known as Teddy, has her Masters Degree in herbalism, 
and is truly magical in her field. My wife spent much of her time 
walking, taking photographs of the area and learning about Teddy’s 
remarkable skills.

Thank you both for everything, 
David and Hania

I am pleased to welcome Theodora’s Hideaway to my Sponsorship list. IF EVER you come to Montana and would like to visit and or wish to pick my brain for long riding tips, you now have an affordable, lovely place to nestle into.

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Theodora Hideaway RC-2

February 22nd, 2016

I do believe winter has given up. Snow recedes beneath trees, lawns are once again reappearing even song birds and daffodil buds have arrived. I suppose being sick made this winter seem particularly long. How quickly we forget once the sun’s warmth hits our faces. I am riding ever day now. The horses look like dirty woolly mammoths at this time of the year/ I look like one after I slide down from their backs in the afternoon.  I give them a break from packs and cinches and ride bareback all winter, besides it’s warmer.

This Monday I have a couple coming from Canada to pick my brains about long riding. David and Hania Nahachewsky will be staying over night at  THEODORA’S HIDEAWAY, Theodora’s Hideaway literally next door. We will cover as much as we can with the time that we have. Saddling and packing, how I use the equipment and preventative measures are of great interest to them as is feeding, shoeing, maintenance of equipment and safety. I will take photos and let you know how it goes. As I am asked  by many, “How do you do a long ride,” I am considering offering workshops and even taking out a rider or two for a week long training ride. We shall see how it goes. I do enjoy sharing the information and God knows I have enough experience! smiles

I am also, much to my surprise, delighted to be teaching a few ballet classes each week at Eureka’s Creative Arts Center. When I ended my career in 2003 I said,”I’ll never go back.” Now here I am and its simply a joy to be back in a dance studio again. I feel like I never left.  I will post a few BALLET photo’s next week. A contrast to all these horsey photos!!

Other than that I am still on my “health regime overhaul” and will be until I leave in April.  I’ll make a short trip (via airplane)the first week of April to New Mexico and visit sisters. When I return…it is pack up, shoe the horses and head out. Lets complete this 8000 mile odyssey I began 2 years ago!!

AND….

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Dolly and John Foss sent this lovely collage last week. As the story goes….I rode by their home heading east, it was a late fall evening. I had “campsite” on my mind.  A large yard in back, a friendly dog and the look of a place that might just welcome a lady long rider with her two horses. I actually rode by but turned around, I am so glad I did. “Of course,” came the reply. I had dinner with Dolly and John, washed my clothes and took a shower. After breakfast the next day I said, “Well I might be coming back this way on my return, should I stop?” I did. It was colder, I needed a coat, John found one in his closet – they even made me wear a reflector vest as hunting season had begun. I had another set of parents when I rode out. We have stayed in touch. More friends, goodness my saddle bags are full of wonderful memories!!!

there is more….

I had not talked with Angela Bates in years so our phone call last week reached into the late hours. We have over the years always managed to stay in touch. Angela is Nicodemus’s local historian and responsible for putting this once thriving town on the the National Historic Registrar. She also has her hands full managing a restaurant in the town of now 25 I think she said. THIS is definitely worth a stop if you are in Kansas. Such a remarkable story of a people’s tenacious desire for freedom and the will to make it happen! Angela sent the video yesterday. I had to share it with all of you. The photos are from my visits to Nicodemus, one in 2008 and the other in 2010. Bravo Angela, Bravo.

The newest Nicodemus film
2006 - These are the Buffalo Soldiers Barry is center, he is a farrier extraordinaire and did Honors shoes
2008 – These are the Buffalo Soldiers of Nicodemus. Barry, Angela’s good friend is center, a farrier extraordinaire who did Honors shoes in 2006 when I passed thur Kansas but east of Nicodemus.
Angela and I in 2006
Angela and I in 2008
Angela and I saying goodbye in 2008
Angela and I saying goodbye in 2010
what can I say Cowgirls and Hats! Angela with her cousin and Lisa Eades who came up from Texas to rendezvous with me
2010 What can I say Cowgirls and Hats!
Angela with her cousin and Lisa Eades who came up from Texas to rendezvous with me.