Sunday, July 26, 2009

Belinda Rides On With a New Partner

Long Rider Belinda Dougherty sent an update this week with some additional pictures from the first leg of the ride with Christina.


The really good news is that Christinas Mom is home and, although quite bruised, shold heal up great! She will have to see the Chiro. Those guys can do miracles, I know.

The second bit of good news is that Jim Robertson, from Scotland will be joining me at the end of July, to continue the ride! Yippei, I'm glad tobe able to go on. We will start from The Pahaska-Sunlightt Basin trail, heading up to Cooke City MT. Thanks, to all of you for your good thoughts, for this and more importantly, C's Mom. All those good thoughts can't but help.

I and Donna, a friend from Ten Sleep. are heading up to the Greybull River, at the foot of the Absarokas. This is where Christine and I would of been if we would of continued from Meeteetse. We are missing the ride up the road, from Meeteetse, about 26 miles. That would continue our continual trail from Ten Sleep. It isn't a perfect world. I'm glad to be doing this, all the same.

I've been looking at those mountains in the distance, getting closer bit by bit, mile by mile. They look majestic and refresshing, as they rose up inthedistance, dark flanks and mountain tops, dotted with snowfield. As I rode throught the badlands, I could imagine the pure water, trickling out of those snowfields. I can almost taste the clear, cool water.

We will be back at the end of the week.

Happy Trails,

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Start for Belinda's Long Ride

Belinda just provided an update that she will likely be able to continue on the trail. In her words:


I'm still waiting to hear from Christina about her Mom. My prayers go out to her.

Well, looks like I may have someone able to join me after all. It 'ain't ' a done deal yet. I will be going up tomorrow, with Donna, for a week in the mts, continuing the route. However, we will drive from here, with the horses, to the trailhead. I can't wait to get there. It is bear and wolf country. We will have to be careful and hang our food, etc.
I' downloaded a few photos- here's a few.
Happy trails, Belinda

I'm sure y'all join me in wishing Belinda and Donna a safe trip and we're hoping for good news from Christina's family.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bad Luck Hits the Long Riders

Bad luck hit the Long Riders as they completed the first segment of the ride. Here is Belinda's description of the ride and what happened:

Hi Everyone,
I'm afraid, after one week on the trail, crossing the Big Horn Basin to Meeteetse, that the ride is over for now. We arrived in Meeteetse and Christina got on line , only to find out that her mom had been hit by a car, while riding her bicycle! She sustained some head injuries and Christina had to fly home to take care of her. I dropped her off at the airport this am and picked up the horses in Meeteetsee. So... does anyone out there want to come out and continue the ride with me? I have all the food, horses, bear-proof panniers, etc and I am going crazy having to put the ride on hold.

We had a very hot ride across the Basin. By the second day, it was apparant that the little grey mule, Rosie, as not going to work. She is very round backed, short necked, narrow shouldered. The first day I had not only the britching on her pack saddle, but also a croupper. The saddle stayed in place pretty good. The second day we discovered that the croupper had rubbed her tail raw. Took off the croupper, tightened up the britching as much as possible. Didn't matter if we were in the hills or flats. The saddle slipped forward onto her shoulders. We had to constantly re adjust her pack, poor girl. Some of you may think that we could of tightened the britching more. Believe me, it was tight, didn't matter. So, once we made Worland, I traded her out for my old horse Reggie. He's an ace and I was gled to have him. The ride from Worland to Meeteetse was very hot and dry. There were times when I'd be dreaming of ice tea, or jumping in a big pool of water. It took us 3 days to cross from Worland to Meeteetse.( 2 days- Ten Sleep - Worland). We saw lots of antelope, some wild horses, eagles, hawks and crows. Had to use the water filter the last night. We camped at an old cow camp. There was a waterhole that looked like a milk shake. The filter worked great, although it plugged up. The water came out clear and tasted great. Took overnight to get a gallion. The terrain leading to Meeteetsee was colorful badlands formations, with no rhyme or reason as to the lay of the land. The steep hills ran everywhich way, and there was no easy way across. Up and down, back and forth we went. There were quit a few severe thunder storms that threatened us but always went around us, luckily. We were quite happy to finally make town, take showers and have a cold drink. I thought we were doing pretty good and was really looking forward to getting into the mountains. That is until Christina got the news. Then the world came crashing down. Hopefully, her mom will recover. Perhaps Christina may be able to come back in a few weeks. But, she may be strapped to get the $ for the plane tickets. Arggh!
The first day out of Worland, we saw a big cottonwood tree, in the middle of the hot sagebrush covered badlands. Rode over to take a break. Got in the shade and 2 great horned owls took off out of the tree, right over our heads. One more just sat there, 20 ft away, just staring. There were a couple nests there. I told Christina that the Sioux Indians consider owls bad luck and that we should take our break under another tree. I guess, in retrospect, that they could of been bad luck. Well, I'm ready for some good luck- anyone want to join me?

If any of you Mature Riders want to join Belinda to continue the ride, let me know and I'll put you in touch.