The Turner residence, Plymouth, Vermont – October, 1st 2014


Backdrop of the Turner Home Kelly laughing at my temporary fly mask
Backdrop of the Turner Home Kelly laughing at my temporary fly mask


A thick layer of dew greets us each morning. Fog rises slowly to reveal a display of color that I have a hard time describing. I have never seen the Northeast in its glorious fall attire. Rusty reds, gentle golds, pale pinks billow out like fluff. It’s as if a head of broccoli had been painted by a Picasso. I have joined the stream of “leaf peepers”. In two weeks, Columbus Day weekend will be the height of this brilliant season. I’ll be heading back from the Atlantic coast by then.
The Turner home in Plymouth, Vermont is one of those bubbly, lively revolving door households where you can not help but be devoured by “family.”  Its sisters and husbands and neighbors, brothers and children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and….food, dogs and talk and everything that reminds us of how fortunate we are. Its been one of those stops.

campsite at the Turners
campsite at the Turners

Kelly Siemans has been my east coast connection – helping to facilitate boxes of supplies, suggestions on routes and this much needed 5 day “get myself together” stop. Her aunt Mina Turner and her husband Dick live here. I’m camped under giant Maple trees with the horses in a portable fence next to me. I met Kelly years ago when she ventured to Montana for work at the Glacier Institute.

The Historical Coolidge Estate in only a mile away. Kelly and I rode over.
The Historical Coolidge Estate in only a mile away. Kelly and I rode over.

The weather has been cool at night but hot all afternoon, intense short lived heat like a shot of hot exhaust from a passing car. Fall just may linger on, but the heat will not last much longer. Horses are in good shape, they’ll be a handful when I head out this week.02-IMG_0828

My last stretch for this year, about 300 miles left – from here to Wells, Maine then back here to Plymouth, then over to Fort Edward, New York where I’ll plant my camp for 5 months. Wait for spring to set me free once again.
I have chosen with the help of Kelly to make Wells, Maine my furthest point eastward. It is the home of Rachel Carson’s National Wildlife Refuge. Like Susan B. Anthony, Stanton and Gage this courageous woman …. Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement.

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A look behind…
From Rome, New York the trail took me due east one night I spent at John Furlong’s backyard.  I rode into Northfield late afternoon and met Rhea an artist with a flare for adventure…. and a host of others at the city park. Rhea found a place for us to camp at her friend Ruby’s farm, then I got passed on to another friend of a friend…. Jim Shriner who passed me on to the Clothiers farm in Corinth, New York who passed me on to Dick Manell for an over night south of Hudson Falls. There I met David and Cathy Lamando at the local diner. They invited me to over night near Granville, New York. Cathy runs a therapeutic riding program. From there I made my way across the Vermont state line and stepped into beauty beyond anything I have ever seen, there is nothing like it. Fall in Vermont…goodness who would have thought?

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When I rode thru Fort Edward I met Darlene Lundgren. She was on her lovely front porch talking on the phone as I rode by, I shouted out what a pretty front yard she had so nicely decorated in fall decor. Well, Darlene drove passed me later in the day and stopped (I was taking a break in a nearby park) Well long story short Darlene has kindly offered me and my horses a place to winter!!
I must admit I feel relieved to have a place secured, I’ll be close to town and Darlene has lived in Fort Edwards for many years and knows many people. I am looking forward to a long break. The miles do take its toll and all of us  Essie, Spirit and I do need a winter rest.

Rome, New York – September 13th, 2014

NEW YORK IS NOT SHORT ON HISTORY! Matilda Joslyn Gage Home/Foundation – FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y.

Of the three women whose historical homes I visited this past month, it is Matilda Joslyn Gage that I find the most interesting. She was not only concerned with women’s rights but in humanity, liberty for all. She cared deeply about the injustices inflicted upon the Native American Nations. Her home played a part in the abolition of slavery. She wrote fluently with sharp criticism against religion, politics, social norms. I have posted an excerpt from the foundation page as there is so much to say about this woman and I have so little time to do so. I had the privilege of meeting  Dr. Sally Wagner  Founding Director before leaving. I have watched her You-Tube videos several times and have admired her work for years.IMG_0800The folks at Matilda J. Gage Home – Sarah Flick (left)site director, Dave Kellogg – Board Member and my guide thru the home and Sally Wagner. THANK YOU


About the Foundation

One of the most radical, far-sighted and articulate early feminists, Matilda Joslyn Gage was deliberately written out of history after her death in 1898 by an increasingly conservative suffrage movement.  Equal in importance to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gage is all but unknown today.  Efforts are under way to correct that.
The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation took root in 2000 when Sally Roesch Wagner, the leading authority on Gage, brought together a nationwide network of diverse people with a common goal: to bring this vitally important suffragist back to her rightful place in history.
The Foundation is dedicated not only to educating current and future generations about the lifelong work of this major woman’s rights thinker, author and activist, but also its power to drive contemporary social change.
While restoring knowledge of Gage’s contributions, which continue to be of great relevance today, the Gage Foundation (soon to be called the Gage Center) is also an educational resource for discussion and dialogue about the human rights issues to which she dedicated her life.

“We know we are right; we know we shall be successful,
we know the day is not far distant, when this government and the world
will acknowledge the exact and permanent political equality of man and woman …”

Matilda Joslyn Gage

Gage stood for:

Gage opposed:

  • Egalitarianism
  • Peace and justice for all
  • Women’s rights / human rights
  • Separation of church and state
  • Religious freedom
  • Treaty rights and Native Sovereignty
  • A woman’s right to her own body
  • Helping slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad
  • Breaking the law to create justice
  • Suppression of truth
  • Degradation of women
  • Double standards
  • Church abuse of power
  • Religious fundamentalism
  • Forcing citizenship on Native men
  • Trafficking in women
  • Slavery and servitude of condition, denying any group their rights
  • Denying women the right to vote


“When all humanity works for humanity, when the life-business of men and women
becomes one united partnership in all matters which concern each,
when neither sex, race, color, or previous condition
is held as a bar to the exercise of human faculties,
the world will hold in its hands the promise of a millennium
which will work out its own fulfillment.”

– Matilda Joslyn Gage

 As I rode away I could not also help to be grateful for those dedicated individuals who keep these women’s lives on the history books and accessible to us. Without their hard work where would we be?

New York  roads, although busy, I must say people have been courteous and move over or slow down even though I know I must be a nuisance to them. The state roads are not littered, creeks and most Rivers are clear.

I rode the Historic Erie Canal and it may have been the prettiest 36miles I have EVER ridden. Stopped at the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum off the Historic Erie Canal is fascinating a must stop. The whole Erie Canal story was really all new to me. We traveled the “tow path” which led along the deep canal. The mules walked this path with young children at their tails pulling the big boats up and down the canal.

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The horses now wear flannel sheets at night to keep the cool damp air off their backs. Mosquitoes and flies torment us less and less.
I could not be riding these roads without the Black Smith Shop(see sponsorship page) horse shoes that keep us safe on wet pavement. I am just plain loving my ride through New York!!

Fayetteville was one lively stop, thank you all of you that made the visit so interesting and just plain fun. Special thank you to the Hullars for letting us camp on their lovely grounds near the fish ponds.
Joanne Zimmer as if on cue stopped as I rode along a very dangerous busy road south of Fayetteville and asked if I needed a place to spend the night. I did but what I really needed was a haul around a very dangerous “I should not be riding-road” Thank you so much Joanne!!
Elaine MacLachlan put us up in her back yard and gave us a meal and quiet place to rest.
I have been in Rome for two nights at the Erie Canal Historic Village west of town. Stephen Bootroyd is the Curator and gave us a dry place to rest and take care of errands. It poured today, glad to be in. Times up this is all for now. Heading east for Vermont.


Rochester/Seneca Falls New York – September 4th to 6th, 2014 -next stop, Matilda Joslyn Gage Home and Museum – Fayetteville

1-IMG_0763 from Leo Roth – Democrat & Chronicle

Susan B. Anthony grave-site

September 4th, 2014 11:30 am

“In the past week I have met the Mayor  of Caledonia. I have spoken with the Master of the Hunt from Geneseo, I’ve been interviewed by a half a dozen news reporters. I’ve visited with a young teenager who is captain of the soccer team and I have spoken with a farmer managing a dairy herd. They all have one thing in common and that is they are all women. And like me who has ridden across the country-alone-a single woman, we are walking through doors unlocked by this courageous, self determined woman –  Susan B. Anthony.
She was the glue that held women together long enough for the radical idea of female emancipation, for not simply the right to vote but to self-govern themselves to take hold, sink into the minds of millions until finally, there was no going back.
I have ridden here from the Northwest corner of Montana where we commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. I am here to pay homage, to remember, to say “thank you.”
Please let us not forget these “brave beyond words” women and the men who supported the novel idea of liberty for all.” Bernice Ende
“Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.”
“The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball — the further I am rolled the more I gain.” ― Susan B. Anthony

Debra Hughes & Montana Spirit
Debra Hughes & Montana Spirit

visiting the Susan B. Anthony home
visiting the Susan B. Anthony home


Rochester Mounted police escorted us into the quiet lovely neighborhood
Rochester Mounted police (officer Cicoria center) escorted us into the quiet lovely neighborhood


September 4th, 2014

From Caledonia, to Rochester New York. Sergeant Gary Cicoria from the Livingston Mounted Patrol hauled Essie, Spirit and I to Mt. Hope Cemetery.  We unloaded the 3 horses nearby and rode in the north gate greeted by friends, press and representatives from the Susan B. Anthony foundation. Debra Hughes – director of the Susan B. Anthony home was also there with warm welcome. I was asked “how do you feel?, “what are your thoughts?” …. What do you say to  a woman who devoted her life to unlocking doors you now freely walk thru? What do you say to the woman who cleared what was once a pitiful path to become what is now a free-way that I travel on. I simply could not even believe I was there! I was moved and humbled to simply be there. From the grave site Sgt. Cicoria then hauled us across town for our visit of the Susan B. Anthony home. Where two more officers (whose names I sadly did not write down) from the Rochester Mounted Patrol joined the festivities and once again we rode into a neighborhood setting where history was made. In the park were bronze castings of Susan B. Anthony and Fredrick Douglass sitting in chairs having tea. If you EVER have the chance to visit Rochester please do see the Susan B. Anthony home. The home has been restored and is packed full of sentiments left behind from a time where women had only begun to see the possibilities. 


The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House was the home of the legendary American civil rights leader during the 40 most politically active years of her life, and the site of her famous arrest for voting in 1872. This home was the headquarters of the National American Woman Suffrage Association when she was its president. This is also where she died in 1906 at age 86, following her “Failure is Impossible” speech in Baltimore.  A sincere and heart felt thank you to all of you who work so hard at keeping these historical sites functioning and available to the public. WONDERFUL

Following our visit: Denea Van Bartel  hauled us out of the city to Bloomfield, NY where Beth and Peter Harrison hosted my night and I camped on their lovely farm with Essie and Spirit in a large paddock. We enjoyed dinner and wine with Denea and her two young  children as well as Sophie and Alexander Harrison  who showed me nearly everything in their colorful bedrooms. Thank you all of you, thank you.


I spent the night in Geneva at the Taylor residence. Tommy Taylor invited us in when I stopped him while in his pickup in front a big red barn (behind it would have been a good spot to camp, so I raced up before he drove off) The big red barn contains one of his businesses “TOMMY T’s” party tents and tables. Well long story short. I had delicious NY steak and visited with the whole family and had a wonderful time, even slept inside, well in the screen porch with the horses nearby, it stormed that night. I was up early as The Women’s Rights National Historic Park were expecting me at 2pm and I had about 12 miles to ride on hwy 20&5, very busy road.

The Women’s Rights National Historic Park



“All Men and Women Are Created Equal”

Gathered together on two hot days in July of 1848, one hundred women and men echoed these words with their signatures in support of the Declaration of Sentiments. Just 10 days earlier on July 9th, five reform-minded women met at a social gathering in Waterloo, New York and decided to hold a convention, a very common way to promote change in 1848. They published a “call” in the local newspaper inviting people to “…a Convention to discuss the social, civil and religious rights and condition of woman.” The convention was to be held on July 19th and 20th in the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, three miles east of Waterloo. Relying heavily on pre-existing networks of reformers, relatives and friends, the convention drew over 300

This is really where it all got started!! I tied the horses up behind the building and with in a few minutes Kimberly Szewczyk came walking out with a host of other women visiting from Buffalo one of which was Deputy Major Ellen E. Grant. Kimberly has a great knack for bringing the past to present and I was very impressed with her ability to connect yesterday with today.  It truly was an important stop for me. I have read about, studied about this town and how it provided the backdrop for these extraordinary women to mount up the courage and do something!!  John  on of several guides and interpreters  provided an excellent tour as we visited Elizabeth Cady Stanton home a 1/4 mile away on the other side of the Erie Canal. I found my self whispering “I am in her home,” “I am standing on the same porch that her  and Stanton wrote speeches.

Elisebeth Cady Stanton home with other guests touring
Elisabeth Cady Stanton home with other guests touring

The town of Seneca Falls is beautiful, the architecture unbelievable.  I would have ridden 5000 miles to visit these two sights I truly felt honored to be there. Very exciting for me. Thank you Kimberly and the park attendants that watched the two horses as I toured and visited the sights.

Thank you also to Jeff Shipley who works with the Seneca Falls Chamber of Commerce. He assisted in finding me a place to camp at Vince’s Park north of town where I now update the website. Thank you so very much all of you!!!


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photos from John Adamski

Kimberly Szewczyk chief of education and interpretation
Kimberly Szewczyk chief of education and interpretation


We now head east for Fayetteville to visit the Matilda Joslyn Gage home. I plan to arrive Wednesday September 10th,2014     10155850_236670743205702_1329745890219506050_n


I must share a few photos from the Caledonia stop. It was here I waited at the Fair Grounds for two days got a good rest, well kind of, it was pretty peppy at this stop also. What a pretty town Caledonia is, and so many people out on the streets walking and visiting, shade trees, park like setting and a roundabout in the center. I wish I had more photos. As I said earlier JoAnne Crossman was my overseer, in charge of my stay. The “Chamber Chicks” as she called Lisa Burns and Laura Lane called her and said “she’s coming in a couple of days, take care of her” or something like that. I don’t think JoAnne really knew what to expect but she is the kind of gal that hits the road running…

5-IMG_0757Here is Laura (Chamber of Commerce Geneseo) directing traffic, ie all of us!         She did a great job as did Lisa Burns organizing the event. I think it went very well and we had a fair amount of people who came and many many emails continue to  come in.4-IMG_0754
The Mayor Debbie Davis and Joanne Crossman came out to see us off.
Sergent Gary Cicoria mounted police hauled me in with his horse saddled in a Tuckers Endurance saddle I might add. Here we are ready to shake, raddle and roll into Rochester. There had been a shooting in Rochester the night before and one of his comrades a young police officer had been shot and fatally killed. The atmosphere  was a bit somber  on this morning
2-IMG_0748Bob Hilderbrant was the fair president and manager of the facility I could not believe this party that happened the night before I left.  Bob built a fire for heaven sakes , the sky’s cleared and we drank a bit of New York’s finest wines and how nice was that!
Here is all my stuff out side the library which was closed for the day.
AND last but not least there are the Caledonia Hookers yes that’s right each and every one of these fine ladies are a”HOOKER” and what a wild bunch they were when Joanne and I popped in to the WOOLERY down town.( before the party to invite them of course) Who’s their leader?  Major Davis!!!
Oh yes they hook rugs, beautiful rugs and wall hangings
I so enjoyed this visit, thank you all of you I leave with a big smile on my face.

Caledonia, New York – September 3rd, 2014

Thursday morning September 4th

From the Caladonia Fair Grounds, Essie, Spirit and I will be hauled into Rochester, NY by Gary Ciccoria (mounted police). First stop is Mt. Hope Cemetery to see Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass’s grave-sites. The Rochester Mounted Police will then escort me to the Susan B. Anthony home, 17 Madison St, Rochester, NY. Debra Hughes, Executive Director of the home is expecting us by 1:15 pm. This event will be televised and covered by the local press. As I said earlier I am stopping in this part of New York to pay homage to the women who so bravely planted the seed of “women’s rights.” Taking time to honor the legacy. It was here in Rochester, Seneca Falls and Syracuse New York, in the mid 1800’s that the call for female emancipation, equality and the right to vote became a reality. In an era when women had little or no rights a few remarkably courageous, intelligent women led by Susan B. Anthony cried out for change. Let us never forget the women who gave their lives to bring us liberty.

w3                                       susan                                                               ohio_1912_b
double click to enlarge
Susan_B_Anthony_by_Saroney Susan B. Anthony

Earlier this week:

September 1st 2014 The Pond residence
It happened again, an innocent bystander caught off guard by the sound of steel horseshoes on pavement, clip clop clip clop.
I watched the woman busy at her work as I approached her home on Reservoir road east of Genoseo. Her head popped up and she made a quick turn then a double take. She turned from her pick up truck which she was cleaning, both doors wide open, cleaning essentials brush, soap, sponge lay about when the distraction occurred. Her face lit up, she dropped the rag she had in her hand and walked toward me wearing a look of surprise etched on both corners of her broad smile.. I met Cindy Pond and stayed two days! I wasn’t going to – I mean it was never my intention to stay, first Cindy said, “why don’t you come in and rest the horses?” then it was, “would you like to hose the horses off with water?” then it was “why don’t we put them in the paddock and they can graze” then it was “come on in and have something to eat and drink” Then I met Pat, Cindy’s mother who’s historic white stately house the family lived in. Then Walter Cindy’s husband came in and then Geneva, Walter and Cindy’s daughter home for summer months from university study joined in on the festivities and I must say two “lively, chatty, dinners and guest days unfolded. However the rulers of the house were not the above mentioned it was these two characters 1-IMG_0707whom I will call “Prince charming to the left and your majesty the Queen and supreme ruler to the right. Smiles lots of smiles, many thanks to the Pond family.


I’ve been “handed over” to Joanne Crossman, bee keeper, retired USDA – loan officer for 30 years, community activist, wife of Bruce Crossman, sheepherder, spinner and all around shaker and mover. She made arrangements for a two day stop over at the Caledonia Fair Grounds.  Bob Hilderbrant, manager of the fair grounds has stopped by to see if I needed anything, as have a host of other people, tonight it will be local wine and cheese (Joanne’s doing’s). Thank you all so very much I am beginning to feel like a celebrity. However… I know I am just a long lonesome long rider, dirty much of the time.

 I have somehow ridden into the Genesse Valley. The oldest Hunt exists here… It’s horse country!! I think there may be more horses here than in Montana!  I will share more of that history with you later. I will say again the air is saturated with history. And people are very proud of the legacies that exist here. I am moved by the interest and willingness the New Yorkers have to share their historical stories.  I sometimes feel I’m in a National Velvet novel, the steeple chase field, the Hunt, the cobblestone homes. I am so enjoying my ride thru New York, its been one surprise after another.

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Joanne showing me the Oldest fish hatchery in New York
Joanne showing me the Oldest fish hatchery in New York


Dansville, New York – August 28th, 2014 — The Hoag residence

William Hoag also known as “bulldog” is letting me tether my horses and camp down by the Canaseraga Creek off his beautiful park like lawn. Horses are  VERY happy, so am I as there is much to do on this stop.

Two day rest stop at ALLEN LAKE. Oh my did we all need rest and food, just rest and food. Two days of fresh farm vegetables, eggs and jam (a loaf of Sandy’s bread) thanks to Jan and John McElnery

Jan and John McElnery
Jan and John McElnery

and Dennis another visitor who brought hay and grain and checked in to see if I needed anything. I’d ridden into Jan and Johns place looking for water. John must have gone in after I left and told Jan because Jan and John came driving up from behind me in a little red car, pulled over to the side of the gravel country road, hopped out and produced a bottle of wine. Jan said something like,”every woman needs a bottle of wine when doing a thing like this.” Or something like that.
They came over to Allen Lake with bags cukes and zucchini, tomatoes, peach jam, potatoes and big white crisp onions. I thought oh good grief I’ll never eat all this. But I stayed two days, 3 long restful nights and ate… fresh foods. Thank you, all of you who stopped by to visit and brought one thing or another.


John Roberston came tooling out on his four wheeler, nearly dark and asked if I  needed a place to camp, indeed I did.
John Roberston came tooling out on his four wheeler, nearly dark and asked if I needed a place to camp, indeed I did.

new shipment of horseshoes from the BLACKSMITH SHOP,see sponsorship page
new shipment of      horseshoes from the BLACKSMITH SHOP,see sponsorship page

Essie Pearl my beautiful girl on ALLEN LAKE06-IMG_0640


I have been asked by Laura Lane from the New York Chamber of Commerce and Lisa Burns from the Dept. of Tourism to swing up thru Rochester, New York to visit the Susan B. Anthony home..of which I enthusiastically agreed to do.2-e6015e99c2c7e0a34086b6f6d49f696f

I expect to arrive next week either Thursday the 4th of Sept. or Friday. Then it is on to Seneca Falls to visit the Women’s Rights National Historic Park. Women like Lucretia Mott, Elisabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage and many other extraordinary women who literally gave their lives to bring us liberty are honored at these now historical sites. I think about these women, a lot. I think about what they must have persevered – the ridicule, violence, personal newspaper attacks. How difficult it must have been during a time when women had no rights. Think of it.1-w7

During the mid 1800’s. The only occupations open to a woman were a seamstress, cook, maid servant, governess or… prostitute. If she married as most had little choice to do otherwise, upon doing so everything she owned inherited and earned automatically belonged to her husband. A married woman could not make contracts, keep or control her own wages or any rents, transfer property, sell property or bring a lawsuit against another. A woman who remained single would attract social disapproval and pity. She could not have children or cohabit with a man: the social penalties were simply to high.
And it was in this atmosphere that a handful of educated women, brave beyond words, courageous and determined, set out to bring equality and emancipation to women. Beginning in the 1800s, women organized, petitioned, and picketed to win the right to vote, but it took them decades to accomplish their purpose. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change of the Constitution.3-expansion-and-reform_1

Few early supporters lived to see final victory in 1920. We take for granted these days that almost any woman can have a career if she applies herself. We take for granted that women can choose whether or not to marry and whether or not to have children, or how many. Women live considerably different lives now because of these few “radical” women and their pursuit of liberty. On Susan B. Anthony’s grave the words…”there is a word sweeter than Mother, Home or Heaven, that word is Liberty.”
I am here to pay homage to those women that cleared what was once only a pitiful path to become a freeway which I now ride.

(many of the paragraphs above were taken from Women’s Rights website)


Sandy Rust
Giant silos loomed behind the building that I must admit did not look like much as I rode in from the west on Humphrey Road (about 10 miles northeast of Salamanca, N.Y., at the junction of 18 & 67) Even though a line of car’s stretched out in front I could not make out what the “funky” structure’s purpose could be as it sat just in front of a dairy farm….it was part of the dairy farm.

05-IMG_0606 Then I saw “Sandy’s Bakery” and I said “Bakery? What is a bakery doing out here in the middle of nowhere?” I could not believe it! As I slowly dismounted Essie Pearl I noticed a perfect white box in the hands of women leaving the building. A new perfectly white box, like the ones you see at a wedding or a flower shop or?…a bakery. I tied the horses to the dumpster off to the left side of the building – with plenty of grass in reach for the horses.

09-IMG_0611 The small green building was nothing fancy that’s for sure. (I learned later it had once been the tool shed) But Sandy’s Bakery was busy and when I opened the door a line of people stood patiently waiting to be served by the one and only Sandy. It was as if I’d stepped inside of a down town bakery but there was no down town and these folks had driven, some of them many miles to satisfy their sweet tooth. Three elderly men sat a round table with coffee and sweets, they’d come 10 miles for Sandy’s two day a week extravaganza. I couldn’t believe it…the assortment and how much people were buying, I stepped to the side, I couldn’t make up my mind. So I visited, stared, and visited, drank a cup of coffee and waited for the opportunity to talk with the the Queen Bee!06-IMG_0607
So here it is Sandy’s Bakery in the middle of nowhere, literally, and people are just lined up coming and going, coming and going as Sandy, only Sandy, behind the counter surrounded by two days of baked goods from bismarks to loaves of bread to thick molasses  cookies to brownies, big chunky cinnamon rolls drenched in frosting, buns and gazed donuts. She bakes for two days and sells for two days, that’s it. Not long ago she served up a breakfast buffet, all you could eat. “I had to cut back, I’m heading for retirement,” said Sandy. “It’s been thirty-five years, or something like that” said Sandy, she’s legendary, unassuming and tattooed many times over. She’s got five children and 14 grandchildren. She got started because,”she just wasn’t seeing her children enough when they were growing up so she started a home business.” I’d say she’s been on a long ride with her bakery business. At first she would not let me take her photo but with the encouragement of other customers she agreed.


these brothers locals who have been coming to Sandy's for years would not let me pay for my bread, coffee and gooey roll
these brothers– locals who have been coming to Sandy’s for years would not let me pay for my bread, coffee and gooey roll

She had a break between customers and slipped out from behind the glass counter to take a look at my noble steeds, now nickering.

“Times up,” I said, they want to move.” I packed my loaf of bread and cream filled bismark into the saddle-packs, swung onto Essie and waved goodbye.
Truly a one of kind bakery, truly a one of a kind gal. But then this is New York any thing could happen.



New York’s number one export is farming! We think of New York as well New York CITY. And its not. I have seen more small dairy farms in the last week than I have in all my years of riding – combined!                I measure a dairy farm by the way it smells. In my humble opinion a good dairy farm smells sweet and does not have an offensive smell to it. As I walked up the hill to visit Golden Windows Dairy On Shawmut Acres, I took a long deep familiar breath of sweet corn silage, I knew I was walking into a “good dairy.”1-IMG_0657 I wanted to interview Chelsea Bouffard a gal in her mid twenties who made a turn, a the fork in the road, from a major in Art and Education to Dairy Farmer.

She began milking for Harv and Sue Lacy when she was 14yrs old, Harv is her mentor and now business partner, he will phase out in a few years, retire….and pass the small farm on to Chelsea, none of his children wanted to farm, but Chelsea sure did and after 11 years working on the farm certainly must have felt a keen devotion to it, to the life, the cows, the sweet, sweet smell and end of the day satisfaction. The farm has been in the Lacey family for 3 generations. Harv’s grandfather milked 30 head. Today Chelsea and Harv milk 70 cows mostly the long legged black and white Holstein, with a 8 station milking parlor. Eight cows at a time come inside, are milked, then lumber out to feed.Each cow gives on the average about 80pds of milk a day.  Golden Windows Dairy does grazing, the cows are out on grass! not all do this, I am all for it, my Dad always had the cows out, but now on most big dairies the cows never see grass. I think, again in my humble opinion that a herd of cows looks and stays healthier when they have access to green pastures and exercise.

Chelsea's newest addition to the farm, she's  patiently and attentively watching the milking
Chelsea’s newest addition to the farm, she’s patiently and attentively watching the milking

Chelsea said she’s not for the huge conglomerate factory farming. “I could protest all I wanted but this is one way I could do something about it.” She wants a well run small dairy farm, plain and simple. But its not- soon she will make ALL of the decisions, which heifers to keep, which to send to market, choice of breeding stock, daily feeding rations, to buy or not to buy a new piece of expensive machinery, if an older cow must be let go. A farmer is met with a fist full of decisions each and every day.  Chelsea can AI (artificially inseminate) a cow which gives her a broader choice of breeding. She also “scouts” for Western New York Crop Management, ie. she tells farmers whats going on in their fields if they have problems. For example if there’s a pest problem or if the crop is growing  slow or if the soil is deficient in minerals etc.  They have two other gals who help with the milking which takes place twice a day. Mornings begin at 4:30.  I noticed that when Chelsea called the cows in from the pasture she used a lighter high pitched “come bessie, come bessie” My dad called out deep and low “come boss, come boss” so did Harv. Evening milking ends about 8pm. Long days, hard work, dirty, poopy, muck boots are a must. 4800 pounds of milk pour forth from this herd in a single day. The milk truck had just pulled up as I was leaving. The farm is inspected often by state and federal inspectors. We visited as milk machines were sterilized and walk ways were washed down. My senses were bombarded with memories all of this familiar to me. I have noticed over the years more and more women taking on the position of rancher or farmer. I have even read articles detailing the changes that these brave new women are incorporating into the business. I think we are naturals at it. I was delighted to see this energetic young woman stepping into a position that would not have been open to me at her age. Farming is not easy never has been never will be. When you pull that jug of milk from your refrigerator next time remember its been a long haul from that cows utter to the plastic container you now pour so easily. Remember every once in a while that there may be a young gal in muck boots, washing a cows utter, asking that cow for another load of its precious cargo which will eventually find its way to your table, to your lips.13-IMG_0668     Harv Lacey and Chelsea Bouffard at Golden Windows Dairy On Shawmut Acres, LLC  oh by the way email Chelsea and ask how the name “Golden Windows” got in there.– – I think you’ll like the story.



NEW YORK WOW — August 21st, Salamanca, New York


Rode in this morning via a Railroad track. Camped out last night first time we’ve been alone away from people for sometime. It rained, nice.

The mornings are no longer so early, the end of the day comes sooner. Cooked blueberries that I picked at a U-pick with wild apples, cinnamon, salt and honey, oatmeal-delicious.


3-IMG_0578Had Essie’s and Spirit’s hoofs checked by a professional Farrier. Jim Burdick from Townsville PA. came out–on short notice, really nice of him. I do my own shoeing but I feel the horses need a check over  every 2/3000 miles. Jim did a real nice job and am rest assured that the horses are sound. Had this done at Robbie and Greg Kirr’s home,Torpedo, PA… a 2 nighter. good rest and route decisions made.


3-IMG_0587Look at this 1795! goodness I just can not help but feel submerged in history its everywhere, the houses are breathtaking, ornamental and reflective of wealth, class.

Want to say thank you to Russler Ranch, Pierpont, PA  for the rest over. They have a faith based therapeutic riding program, they hosted a couple of nights while it stormed we 3 girls rested well, lovely facility.
Spent a night at the Spartanburg,PA fairgrounds, very nice. Where I met Liz McDannel who led me to Robbie and Greg Kirr’s home. Rode thru Warren, PA.
Made the front page ()
Here is another article from Midland, Michigan I received
4-IMG_0588  Barns like this every where I go… it is so beautiful.
1-IMG_0580These were from Warren,PA.  But before I got into Warren I was pulled off the road by the folks at The ROUSE  HOUSE, in Youngsville, PA. who asked if I might come in for a visit, and of-course I did. Had a wonderful visit, very very nice facility.
Did not make it as far as I had planned that night and as I headed out of Warren a woman came out and asked if I needed anything, WELL! I do indeed I need a place to camp and so I met Debbie and Fred Nuhfer, Sorry that is not spelled correct but Debbie I can not read your hand writing. Smiles… I made little time the next morning as so many stopped to wish me wel,l it was a string of hand shakes and smiles as I rode out of town.
Ok Horses are waiting out side and this is all she wrote- more later. MANY, Many thanks to all of you that have helped to pass me along thru your  country. Happy Trails