Wednesday, October 23, 2013

To be a Long Rider

As a teen, I read a book called Last of the Saddle Tramps. It was about a 63 year old woman from Minot, Maine with little resources, but a lot of pluck, who saddled up a horse named Tarzan and, with her little dog in tow, headed for California. This sounded like an amazing adventure. I've often wondered what it would be like to experience the nation from horseback. My summers as a counselor at Catherine Capers were spent camping and riding around our neck of the Vermont hinterlands. No, it wasn't much fun when it rained, but I took the bad with the good--and most of it was very good!

Day 2 of a 5 day summer trip--campsite know as "Aunt Eunice's" on the banks of the Mettawee River
Where am I going with this? Well, this past Sunday I saw a woman with two horses out in a hay field taking a break in the late afternoon sun. I thought, "Boy, wish my horses ground tied like hers!" That evening, while tapping away on Facebook, I found out she was riding across the country from California to Maine with a destination point of Minot, Maine--home to Messanie Wilkins--where they will be hosting a parade in her honor. Now I'm kicking myself for not stopping and talking to her. What a fascinating conversation it would have been! And I probably would have offered her stabling if it was OK with our barn's owner. But I was feeling poorly from a cold and wanted to get out to the barn and feed the ponies before it got dark. So I see it as a missed opportunity.

For those readers interested in long distance riders, check out the Long Riders Guild website. And to follow Sea G Rhydr, go to and follow their adventure. They also have a facebook page under the same name. Their plan is to be in Minot by November--she's almost there!

Oh, to be a long rider --at least for the summer! Here are a few more pictures from my youth!

Day 3 of the 5 day trip--Rush Hollow

Day 4 of the 5 Day trip--sunrise along Flower Brook
 **Note the sheets, proof of global warming! Late August nights used to be chilly in Vermont.


  1. lmel - Thanks for sharing this info and for the photos! How very cool that you got to do this type of long distance travel.

  2. I'm itching to do another one - a PROPER one, where we carry everything we need on our horses - but life keeps getting int the way.
    Maybe some day.


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