Newberry, Michigan – the Rathjes’s residence – May 24th, 2015 and I might add Moose Capital of Michigan

From Canada across the Sault Saint Marie Bridge into the States, Kathy Lemieux at the helm.
ality show called MANTRACKER of which Phil Lemeiux has appeared in 11 episodes. It was really quite an honor to have met the Lemiuex’s. My last night in Ontario at there beautiful Texas style home.
Kathy Lemeiux last goodbyes after hauling us across the bridge

There is, with a ride of this length and breath, a certain amount of forward impetus that must be maintained. Keep moving. Keep moving, prepare for the next step, focus, stay alive.  And of-course one must find withing that frame of mind – time to enjoy, appreciated and learn from the journey.
I am often asked the… “Why” question. “Why do this?” My response changes from time to time but from my mouth came, “to learn, to grow, to discover.” I’d never heard myself say that but I thought, “Umm, now that kind of covers it.”

One of the hard parts of what I do is this, riding away from folks you have spent enough time with to become friends. People who have helped in one way or another. They have provided shelter or food or necessities or a hot shower or a haul or the list goes on. And they become imbedded in your journey, in your heart and the next day you rise, saddle up and ride out never to see one another again. They must be left behind as soon as I ride out, my mind must clear for the immediate events that surround me. The traffic, the horses, the weather, the direction I am headed must fill my mind with a clear purpose and destination. I must cast those friendships into the sky and hope they land on the stars where I can recall and reflect upon them in the stillness of a star studded night.

Already I refer to last winter as “the New York Winter”  it feels as if it where impossible, simply a dream. How could I have imagined it would be as full as exciting as rich with yes smiles and handshakes but with more importantly with interest. I did 30 slideshow presentations thru out the Glens Falls, Fort Edward, Saratoga area. Each and every day people stopped by Darleen Lundgren’s home to visit the unique travelers with her camp set up in the historical feed store behind Darleen’s house.  Most days I exercised the horses who wore heavy winter coats, riding bareback, thru the streets of Fort Edward clip clop past snow covered homes and sidewalks. Or I walked to the Fort Edward Library where librarian Vicki Plude greeted me and I would spend the afternoon on the computer. Everywhere I went people had heard of me. They said hello, stopped to visit and I must say I did feel a bit like a celebrity. (don’t let it go to your head Bernice)

Picked up a rails to trails Michigan has successfully established many of these….wonderful!!

But as soon as I ride out it ALL must be put behind me. It just has to be or I’d get myself killed. I must be present. I must not be thinking of what happened back there. But do not think I forget, do not think I go riding off and LEAVE YOU ALL BEHIND, no it’s not like that. My heart is bursting with gratitude and I know, I truly know that I could not possibly do these rides with out the help of people like you.

There are to many emails to answer them all. There are to many people to email and thank each time I ride out but please, please know that my rides, my saddle, my panniers are packed with memories and gratitude. That each night when I stop for the night you are up there shinning from a star reminding me I am not alone, reminding me that I could not do these rides with-out a lot of help from people like you. I realized long ago that it’s not about me, it’s about all of us and how we share our stories as friends, families and communities.

Each ride is different of course. The first 3 years were brutal and to be perfectly honest I’m not sure how I did it. Last years ride measured out as the best ever. I so enjoyed the East Coast, the New England states, the rich history and its “curious enough to stop and ask what the heck I was all a bout” inhabitants. I like that. When a car stops and there is a young father or mother driving with children in the back seat. And they want to know “hey what are you all about?” I say, “you have just given your children one of the most important lesson of life. If you are interested, stop and find out what caught your attention. Ask questions, discover something you never knew before.

As I travel further west, further and further from your east coast door steps. Please, Please remember you will remain forever a part of my rides, the collective memory, as so many others are. The little gifts and momentum’s have been mailed back to Montana. I must travel light and I do. Light hearted with the delightful memories of my “winter in New York.” Looking forward the upcoming additions.I am here now with Christine and Greg Rathjes, both teachers who have offered a quiet respite for both horses and rider. Next stretch…Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota then back into Canada. The sun warms my back most mornings and now resides on my left shoulder thru out the afternoon before settling down before us like a red flaring ball of light guiding us home. We still have a fair amount of miles to go.

Happy Trails, your lady long rider Bernice Ende.

on the road again
Post office in Strong, Michigan this ones for Kathy Lewis back home in Trego, MT.
off hwy 28 state trooper Nathan Grenfell stopped to say hello make sure everything was ok

Sault Saint Marie, Ontario Canada – May18th, 2015

I can see the horses standing in the shade, fly masks on, standing head to tail with wind enough to keep them free of bugs. Resting comfortably.
New York, the New England states, winter, snow and cold all seems like a dream, it all seems impossible that I truly rode all the way to the Atlantic Ocean last year from my home in Northwest Montana with these two remarkable horses!
Copy of IMG_1449
IMG_1424 IMG_1463
IMG_1462IMG_1423
IMG_1411 IMG_1409
IMG_1348 IMG_1305
IMG_1387
IMG_1343

 

Recount of ride through Ontario April 25th to May 19th, 2015
Judy Boyer and her sister Joan Carlisle trailered me and my girls across the St.Lawrence River and dropped us off in Domesville, Ontario.
First night out we camped in Nico and Maki Hiferink’s pasture in “Land O’ Nod Farm.” Both retired dancers still working with the National Ballet of Canada. Nico shared stories, many stories as he encountered the great dancers of the world, Baryshnikov, Fontaine, Nureyev. Such stories, when would I ever meet someone – who to me,had enthralling recounts of a world I had only read about.
There are to many night s to recall each and every one.What follows is a list with a heartfelt thank you to ALL of you who so kindly hosted a night or two.
Kathy Porter
Dianne and Mark Czerwinski
David Trumbel
Karen and Darren Gillingham
Glen Burkholder
Steve and Barb Barker
Shirley and Bruce Davidson
Jack and Peggy Hurely
Marjory and Glen Goodwin
Kimberley Cousin and Jeff Hastings
Dan and Danika Gravelle
Debbie and Curtis Kirby
Jason Kolvisto and Kit Purnis
last but not least the least the Lemieux’s, Kathy and Phil (of Mantracker) who hauled me across the Sault Saint Marie Bridge..
and then there was…
Pat Wolf from the Canadian Fjord Association who drove out from Ottawa to haul the horses and I around Sudbury because it was in my opinion and others….un-rideable.
And the folks that delivered food on the road or maple syrup fresh from their trees or the town of Bancroft that set the streets with smiles and waves as the short parade of 2 horses rode thru town. And although I did feel rushed trying to beat the black fly season. Still there was plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful Province of Ontario. Thank you so much ….to each and everyone whose path I crossed thank you for the support, encouragement and interest I could not have done it without you. You just can’t go wrong, the world loves the Canadians. I came back into the states once again thinking..”I am so glad these Canadians are our northern neighbors.”
Sincerely, Bernice Ende your lady long rider

 

Commanda, Ontario May 11th, 2015

One never knows, its just that simple, one never knows what is ahead, the people, the smells the sounds that make up a community. You can look at a picture of course but now until you’re actually there – actually clip clopping down the hard pavement in-front of homes and business building, the yards, tidy and groomed, shaking hands, receiving smiles, explaining yourself, do you actually get to know what you have ridden into.
IMG_1348
You can go anywhere in the world and people will love the Canadians. They have a casual, easy way about them, generous, hospitable, welcoming.  Commanda is yet another village on the list of my Ontario stop overs. The community has been kind enough to let me camp in their fenced in area next to their community owned, Commanda Community Center. I attended a wonderful Yoga class this morning. I must admit it reminds me of home!!!! Wood stoves, home cooked meals, a community of earthy, warm, loving people sharing lives together. It’s nice to be here, nice to feel welcomed and at home. thank you
IMG_1371

Hard rains have us stopped for a couple of days. Pat Wolf, member of the Canadian Fjord Association is coming on Wednesday to haul me up the expressway to Sudbury AND to do an interview for the Fjord Magazine.

IMG_1376

IMG_1352
IMG_1325
Ontario has been tricky in some areas as the roads are limited, but for the most part I have made my way zig zagging a path thru Ontario’s back country roads, its been lovely.
I know it must seem I am forever riding off into the sunset well now I truly am doing just that.
When I reach Michigan and have access to my computer I will fill in my Ontario stretch, there’s simply to much to post while I am stopped at a private home. I feel it a bit inconsiderate to be on the computer when I should be visiting. 
IMG_1303
Until later, thank you so much Ontario, “I could not have done it with-out your help.” Sincerely,  Bernice – Thank you

Brancroft, Ontario Canada May 2nd, 2015

We have been in Canada one week, crossing at Ogdensburg, New York and thru customs with papers all in order all went easy.
The weather has been perfect and as usual the Canadians are so very friendly. The last time I rode in Canada in 2012 I went home and said, ” I am so glad that these Canadians are our northern neighbors.”
This is a short posting as I am at the private home of the Glen Burkholder family.  Glen stopped in his car when he saw me and the horses resting by an empty building in Hartwood Lake. He invited me but he and his family lived 30 miles down the road.
Well as I pressed on two ladies from the town council of Bancroft stopped as Mark Williamson has called them to let them know I was riding into town.They took my heavy saddle packs which let us pick up the speed, we rode into the Burkholder home just past 7pm, Mark came out from his home as I rode by earlier in the day. He brought out fresh maple syrup, carrots, and apples.
THEN stopped again to make sure I was doing ok and  brought water more carrots and apples. Oh my… this is Canadian hospitably!!!
I am having a wonderful ride. The horses are in good health, moving well and this is just a shout out…Hello and thank you so much all of you that are helping me to make my way across Ontario, Canada.
Happy Trails Bernice
 

April 23rd, 2015 The Boyer Residence – Lisbon, New York

Laura Foster Director and Curator of the Remington Museum
Laura Foster Director and Curator of the Remington Museum

1-photo 1(1)  It has been a very busy stop in Ogdensburg but to leave with out visiting the Frederick Remington Museum  would have been a shame.
Both Judy Boyer and her Sister Joan Carlisle (Mr.&Mrs. Preston Carlisle are benefactors)joined me on a tour given by Laura Foster director and curator of the museum….a very informative tour of the historic home. Frederick Remington was one of the most famous artists of his time. The museum which to me felt like a sanctuary for his spectacular bronze figures, alive with action. It also shares Remingtons look at Northern New York with oils and sketches depicting  his beloved northern wilderness which I had never seen. An almost impressionist quality to them.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
from L to R: Judy Boyer, me, Laura Foster and Judy's sister Joan Carlisle
from L to R:
Judy Boyer, me, Laura Foster and Judy’s sister Joan Carlisle

 
Last night I gave a talk at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Service. We had a great turn out for such short notice which Judy had quickly organized. Judy Boyer is an active 4-H leader and the entire week I have spent at her home,children have been coming in to practice their public presentation, Part of the 4-h curriculum. The competition ends at Cornell University in Ithaca,  N.Y.next month!

4-H played an important role in my childhood.  It was really ALL we did once school was out for the summer months. As farm children each of us took an animal to the fair but we also learned to sew, cook and do public presentations that would be exhibited at the county fair.  I learned for the first time the application of knowledge, the importance of presentation  and how to prepare for an event.  I’ve done many slide-show presentations for 4-H groups and have been an advocate for the organization for years.  It’s good to see after 100  years that 4-H is still alive and well!
Riley having a hard time with Montana Spirit
Riley- and Judy’s “right hand gal” member of Raindrop Roundup Club…no easy task moving Montana Spirit

                          Town and Country Veterinary Clinic
                           904 country route 4, Ogdensburg, NY.  315-393-7338

Town and Country Vets came out to take care of Vaccinations and health certificates
Town and Country Vets came out to take care of vaccinations and health certificates

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Raindrop Roundup 4-H members hard at work….

5-IMG_4840     4-IMG_4835                                                       6-IMG_4853

Well I guess this is where I must say…”GOODBYE NEW YORK”.  On Saturday, Judy will haul (in a horse trailer) Essie, Spirit and I across the St. Lawrence River into Ontario, Canada.  With all of our necessary paper work in order, tack clean, horses rested we shall continue on with the adventure, the journey home.

I could say thank you a 1000 times and it would not be enough. My ride thur the Northeast has been heartwarming, educational, surprising and diverse. As compared to other rides it has been an easy go of it. Plenty of grass and water, plenty of places to camp. Roads were a bit tricky at times, had to haul a couple of time because of the risk some roads offered, simply not worth riding, to dangerous.  BUT TO have made it ALL THE WAY TO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN! goodness it brings me to tears when I think about it. TO turn around and look behind at the 1000 of miles my two girls and I walked, traveled, endured together.

I’ll be packed light when we leave Saturday and will travel quickly across Ontario to avoid the bugs which are bound to appear anytime soon, presenting miserable riding conditions. The horses are fit, still plenty of steel on their shoes. My new heel cleats that Dick Manel made for me look like tiny horse shoes on my heels…for walking. Its good to be back out. Its good to leave feeling  hundreds of smiles, handshakes and encouragement shining on my back.

Happy Trails  Bernice

1-IMG_4745