Need more info?

The first trip, I was asked often what my cause was, that one I really didn't have one, but now I do. I am riding for awareness, not just about Uterine Cancer, but our health in general. We know ourselves better than any doctor, stand up and fight for yourself, it may just save your life.
Head to the Facebook page, Kathleen's Wild Ride, once again updated most days by my friends Mary and Jay.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oh Look, Cattle . . .

So today started off early, about 5 am, got up and slowly got everything packed up. I was moving slow since I had put my tent on a big rock and got about 2 hrs sleep. I had to get up early since I was headed from Juniper to Holbrook and that is a 25 miles, so up I got and packed up and tacked up to get on the rode by 7. Since Mystic is still healing her saddle sores, I decided to walk the first 12 miles, ya, I know, crazy.
It was a beautiful walk, on the back road between the 2 not towns. Juniper and Holbrook as well as Pleasantview are communities, not towns. Which means, no cafes, stores or anything and that means . . . no Coke!!!!!!!
In the first 4 miles a very nice older gentleman stopped to talk to me, laughing when I told him what I was up to, but rather impressed also. I mentioned my lack of caffeinated carbonated beverage to him and 30 minutes later he came back, with his daughter and a warm cola. It was fantastic!!!! When I started this trip I nominated all that let me take a shower for sainthood, then added those that let me wash clothes. Well now, I have added the providers of colas. Bless you sir, where ever you are.
After I left the bringer of Soda, I headed through the first of many ( and I mean many) cattle guards. I hate those! You have to open the pass through gate, and some of them are extremely difficult to open. After much cursing and a bit of jumping up and down, we were through. The country was beautiful, rolling hills, and my favorite, sage brush, and then, as I rounded a corner, cattle. We have seen many cows on this trip, steers, dairy cows etc, but this was the first time we were actually moving through them. I have to admit I was a bit nervous, but both the girls were amazing, as usual. Delightful actually finds cattle interesting, she always wants to go and touch them, hmmm maybe a cow horse in the making.
They were soo good that it almost made up for Mystic running my knee into a fence post, almost.
I walked about 12 miles before I got on Mystic, then it was off at the trot. Its the first time we were on dirt roads, so I took advantage of it and trotted several miles. It made it so we arrived in Holbrook around 3 pm. Here I stopped at the first ranch I got to, Ken and Kristy Eliason, and asked if I good water my horses and if they knew a place where I could put them and Ken said they had a corral and I could pitch my tent in their rock free front yard. Kristy, came out, invited me in and attained sainthood by providing a dicey cold Coke, bless her, and a shower, double blessing and clean clothes, if she wasn't LDS (Morman) I would nominate her for Pope. As I sit here, they are preparing a delectable meal, of steak and potatoes, so I will cut this entry short.
Tomorrow it will be up early again, we have another 25 miles to Malad. Yay!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thank you Daddy . . .

Now here I sit, in Buhl still. It is a lovely town, Penny and Fred are wonderful. Penny took me on a cart ride yesterday, where Cindy, her mare, managed to sneeze on me about 4 times and when I sneezed, lol, she jumped up her pace a little. I have to admit that riding in the cart did get me thinking for a few minutes, but decided to stay with the riding, especially since Joel, aka Daddy, sent me his endurance saddle. So very kind of him, even if it didn't have a cinch with it and none of the tack or farm stores near here carry Aussie cinches. So I sit, in Buhl, waiting, for the cinch to arrive. Should be here tomorrow, even though I ordered it yesterday and had it next dayed to me, apparently stateline tack has a 2pm cut off for their shipments. That's kind of annoying.
Thank you for the saddle Daddy, big hugs, hope Mystic's back and my butt like it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Who gave Mystic access to a computer?

O.K., who gave Mystic access to a computer? I had better not see delightful making any entries either!

So, anyway, back to our regularily scheduled entry . . .

The past few days have been wonderful and well, silly. Yesterday, I was staying with Monte and Diane Bruhn and they were wonderful to us. Monte helped me refit the pack saddle to Delightful to stop her from getting sored up and gave me a thicker pad to protect her more and he talked his shoer, Harold, into replacing Delightfuls back shoes for me. Harold was great, he is an excellent shoer, took his time with her and has helped a great deal in getting her more excepting of having her back feet done. Diane found me 2 massage therapists, Melissa Bench, who worked on both of the girls and showed me some excercises to do to keep there backs in top shape and Jason Cottle, who worked on me for 90 minutes and got my hip and shoulder loosened up again.

Monte and Diane are deeply involved with the Wounded Warriors program, organizing hunts for our veterns. They do this on a volunteer basis and if you would like to help them call Monte at (208)308-8386. They would appreciate any of the help you could give.

Upon leaving Monte and Diane's place, on my way to Buhl, I decided to hop off and check my pack saddle, tighten the cinch and adjust the load a bit. Then it was time to get back on. Thats when it happened, my first fall of the trip. I had placed Mystic next to a small stump and swung up into the saddle, as my leg cleared her back, she dropped her head, and backed up, out from under me. I flipped over her right shoulder and did a summersault back down to the ground. Mystic snorted and shook her head at me, laughing I think, but as a regained my feet she went rather still, and I think I heard her whisper "Oh Crap."

After a brief discussion about standing while being mounted, I was back in the saddle and headed for my next stop at Fred and Penny Hodges place in Buhl, where we had a busy afternoon of massages and shoeings, more delicious food, including strawberry shortcake (soooo love Penny) and to bed. I am running to Twin Falls today to pick up the saddle sent by my friend Joel and then its off to Filer.

You know that funny thing about that fall yesterday, as I flipped upside down, I thought I heard Mystic Quacking . . . Hmmmmmmm

A duck Killed my Mother . . .

Now some of you might have heard that person, Kathleen, complaining about how I, Mystic, keep spooking at ducks. Well, there is a good reason behind it.

One day, long ago, when I was just a young filly, my mother and I were turned out in a big pasture. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm, the grass was green, birds were singing and butterflies were flitting all around us. As a young horse I just had to run and play, all around the pasture until I was hot and thirsty. Well, there was a big pond in the middle of the pasture and I decided to go down to it and get a drink. As I reached out my nose to touch the cool water I heard it, the flapping of wings. I glanced up to see the most terrifying sight, a duck, zooming towards me, wings flapping like evil windmills, beak bared, it had murder in its tiny black eyes. I was petrified, I couldn't move, as it made a lunge for my throat I knew I was going to die. Suddenly, right before it hit, my mother threw herself between us, taking the horrific attack herself, feathers flying, blood everywhere and all that hideous quacking.

It was over in a moment, the water had gone smooth again and there she lay, at my feet . . . dead. So I don't want to hear anymore complaining about me running away from ducks, she just needs to realize I am saving her life. You people have been lulled into a false sense of security, ducks are deadly, don't turn your backs on them. Stomp them to pieces before they get you or someone you love.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hmmm, so how is that weight loss going . . .

I just have to say, that part of this trip for me is to get down a considerable amount of weight and if the people I keep staying with continue to feed me like they are, that might be a little difficult to achieve.

Cindy and Frank prepared me a wonderful meal of steak, potatoes and salad, followed by a delicious rhubarb crumble. This is just the last of many fantastic meals cooked for me by the kind people that welcome me into there homes. I appreciate all of this greatly, but at this rate, I might not make my weight goal. I guess I will just have to walk longer each day to burn off the calories, because I am not going to turn down a home cooked meal.

Mystic's back is already much better and I hope to be back on the road soon. I will be in Bliss tomorrow evening and picking up one of my packages on Saturday morning, the other was sent to Haggerman and will be there on Monday, so I will have to hang around for another day in either Bliss or Haggerman. Then once the new saddle has been verified as good for Mystic and me, its off across the rest of the state again. Though I need to find a brave and kind farrier to reshoe Delightful's back feet as she has almost worn through her shoes, and it appears to be the rest of their shoes will need to be replaced in about 7 to 10 days. So if anyone knows of a good, patient and generous farrier willing to help with my my trip, please let me know.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I've been through the desert on a horse, well 2 actually . . .

Greetings from Idaho. A lot has happened since my last entry. I made it into Idaho, after several days of long rides, the girls got their first sets of new shoes, and almost need the second set already, Mystic had her first real bad behavior of the trip and Delightful, aka Pei Pei, nearly yanked me out of my saddle, twice.

The last entry I made had to do with some of the things I have learned on this trip and I must say that I have learned a few more. One of which was during the most gruelling day of out journey, traveling 36+ miles through desert with 85 to 90 degree heat. To get to that day, you need to know that I had traveled 26 miles, 24 miles, 28 miles, 14 miles and 25 miles. I was tired, the horses were tired and I was not expecting to have so many long days in a row, but between inaccurate estimates of distance and no place to stay or camp between stops, I had little choice. So the day before we crossed our first real desert, I was staying with the Smiths, Kevin, Aryann and their 5 wonderful children. They made homemade ice cream and brownies (worlds best dinner) and after a shower, laundry and a good nights sleep, I headed out for what I thought would be a 31 mile day. I stopped in Murphey where the kind man running the cafe made me a delicious and briefly best BC Burger, brought water for my horses and then called the Hipwells, the nice couple I was to be staying with that evening for directions. After I hung up and got back underway, I realized that the distance was actually 36 miles on the road and most likely more since I was following trails off the highway.

I am not normally a tearful person and have only broken down and really cried one other time on this trip, but I must say, the exhaustion and worry about my horses got the best of me. I had a pretty good cry, while walking through the desert, which turned to some brief swearing at Delightful, when she decided to slam on the breaks mid ditch crossing, almost yanking me out of the saddle and pulling the rope through my hands. . . twice. After a lengthy discussion about she going where I go, we were on our way again only to have me stop us after noticing a long stick across the path, that ended up rattling at us, causing me to decided that it would be a good idea to jump off the path and back onto the road for about 30 yards to avoid the large rattle snake in our way. Of course the stream of swearing that I leveled at the guy who drove by me and yelled at me to get off the road and onto the path was not brief, or very lady like, but really, come on, stupid guy.

Now I realize that I am riding the majority of the day, I only walk between 4 and 8 miles of the distance, but for all of you that ride you know that to keep riding day after day for hours at a time is exhausting. The entire time I am watching for cars and trucks and when off the road, guiding the girls through the terrain to avoid holes and rocks and now snakes. I have to say that I am tired, and the horses are tired and Mystic is sore backed, so we are taking a few days off. We will be staying with the Bachmans, Cindy and Frank, til Friday and then will be trailered to our next town. I know this might be cheating, but the health and well being of the horses is my first priority, so thfffpppptt lol.

I wish I had access to a computer more often, as there had been so many wonderful things that had happened up til I reached Idaho that have to get pushed aside til I write the book. If I didn't, these entries would go on forever, well for longer than they do already.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What I have learned so far . . .

Every day I meet new and interesting people and I find that I am learning some valuable lessons from them.

From Joie Smith I learned that no matter what difficulties you face in your life you can find a way to work around them.

From the people of Shaniko I learned that a strong sense of community can go a long way to overcome the difficulties caused by selfishness in others.

Jody Foss has shown me that friendship is like wildfire, if you fan its flames it spreads fast and furious.

From David and Heather I have learned that it doesn't matter what people expect of you, you only need to be true to yourself. And that I still find puppies adorable.

This trip has taught me that I can do what I need to, even if it is difficult and painful. I have learned that I am the strong person I always was and that I will not let anyone convince me differently again.

Most of all I have learned that my butt won't actually fall off, even if it feels like it really wants to.

I am a few days from the Idaho boarder now and am excited to meet all of the amazing people to come. I hope you are all ready for me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A girls just got to have some new shoes

Getting to make 2 posts so close to each other is a dream come true, and yes my dreams have become a little different since I started this trip.

When I last left you all, I was at the Austin House where I had a very restful nights sleep before getting up to the best French Toast breakfast I have had on this trip. Before I could leave, Delightful managed to bend one of the gates on Christy and Jeff's property, not very Princess Pei Pei like of her. And Christy got to witness the ungraceful early morning mount up. Sigh.

Our ride that day was 21 miles up to the second pass through the blue mountains and into Baker county. We had little traffic to deal with, except for the trucks, both Log and ODOT. I am always surprised at how well both the girls are doing on the road since Mystic has been trail ridden limitedly and Delightful has never been out of the arena. On our trip out of the Mountains, I let Mystic choose her path and suprisingly she picked the scenic route a few times, turning off the road onto a forest loop a few times. Personally I think she was just trying to find a road that led back home, or at least to some nice grassy meadow. As we came down to the valley we were overcome with wildlife. Everywhere I looked there were tiny darting prairie dogs. Jumping out of their burrows darting across the road, waiting til we were near them before diving back into another burrow. I figured it must have been some odd Prairie dog game of chicken. Of course, all the darting furry critters didn't once bother either of the girls, but when a pair of ducks took flight Mystic nearly unloaded me on the road. I can't be too mad at her for that since it was really the first time she has actually spooked hard on this trip. Of course I would have seen it coming if I hadn't been looking at this amazing meadow, covered in purple flowers, and to make matters worse, I forgot to take a picture of it. Now that part does make me a little mad, but at me, not them.

I arrived in Unity around 5pm, my knees aching since I had to shorten my stirrups to prevent my leg from cramping, and road up to the Unity Country Store to meet Cindy, the owner of both it and the Motel next door. We put the horses up in a grass filled paddock and me in a bed and shower filled motel room ( YAY!!!) and Cindy jumped on the phone and started trying to find me a shoer as both the girls hare fast wearing out their shoes. Cindy is a wonderful woman with a kind and generous heart and after calling everyone she could think of found me not one, but two people willing to reshoe both the mares. Of course one of the potential shoers was a pair of cowboys that asked if I was pretty, lol, I should have asked if they were handsome . . .

I am waiting for the post office to open so I can send some items I don't need anymore back home and then I am off to Ironside, where new shoes are in order for my companions in this crazy journey. I know I say this most every entry, but, I am so humbled by how willing people are to help me on my trip. I am going to have to start calling it our trip, since now, I have hundreds of people following along with me.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Climb Every Mountain, well at least a few of the Blues. . .

This week has covered a full range of emotions for me. Total sadness with the loss of Solo to a heart full of hope and peace in response to all the work total strangers have been doing to find me places to stay along the way. I should say former strangers and now friends.

My last entry was had me ending up with Jody and Mark, who not only took great care of me, but made sure that I was taken care of through several more towns. I left Kimberly and headed to Dayville where I stayed at the C Bar C Bed and Breakfast and Kelly took excellent care of me and the girls there. It is a lovely rustic B and B where I had my first night in a bed since the first week of this trip and upon seeing me gimpying around after my 25 mile ride Kelly insisted I take a long soak in the tub (I am sure it had nothing to do with how bad I smelled . . . really). She also got up early to make me breakfast for my next day.

So we headed out with the 2 cranky ladies who grumped and grouched at each other for at least half the trip and at one point I could have sworn they got into a shut up no you shut up argument, it made for a tense ride on a long day. The Next town was Mt Vernon, I lovely town where I was to stay with Reena Winfrey (no relation to Oprah) and I discovered Delightful's achilles heal . . . wooden bridges. To get to Reena's we had to cross a long wooden bridge and poor Pei Pei would have nothing to do with it. After 8 attempts I finally called Reena and she came down with her trailer and we hauled the stubborn princess up to the barn where they had a lovely night in a paddock and after sampling the Silver Spurs bacon cheese burger (Emma is still number 1) I camped in the barn with the raccoons.

The next morning I was up at 5 am to get the girls ready to be hauled back over the bridge and we were off to John Day. In John Day I met up with John Aasness who had arranged for the girls to stay at the Fair Grounds, many thanks to Stephanie and Vickie for all their help, and I stayed with John and his lovely wife, Diane. I visited with the Chamber of Commerce and went to the Ranch and Rodeo museum for pictures and an interview with the Blue Eagle Herold. I have to say, the museum is impressive, and I would recommend that everyone that visits John Day stop in and go through. The Rodeo pictures alone are well worth the trip.

After a restful night in John's shop, and a delicious breakfast prepared by him I was on my way to Prairie City. On my way out of town, I was rooted on by a friendly gentleman who turned out to be the husband of my next contact, one Bonnie Nance. She drove out to meet me and after dropping the horses off at her barn, took me out to sample the local Bacon Cheese burger at the Hitchin Post, which was good, but still only second to the amazing Emma's burger in Spray. It was then home to spend the evening with Bonnie and her cheerleader husband, Ken.

This brings us up to today, a day of mountain climbing, up Dixie to the pass and down to Austin House for Dinner. This trip was beautiful, it was a lovely day with all sorts of weather, Sun, rain and even thunder storms and I am happy to be back in the forests of Oregon's mountain ranges again. The Highway runs next to several raging creaks that zig and zag under the highway and the pass is about 5200 feet and there was actually some snow there when I passed. I stopped to see the remains of the Stump Jumper rail road and marvel at the will it must have taken to build it through that heavy forested area. The owners of the Austin House welcomed me, having been called by both Jody and Bonnie, Christy and Jeff made me a great burger, though still not better then Emma's, and let me have free run of their computer. As always I am amazed at the sheer generosity and kindness of people to a total stranger and every time I meet a new person, I find my faith in people growing.

So tonight I stay here and then its off to Unity and beyond.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

And the Legend's name is Jody Foss

Alot has happened since I left Antelope, Solo Got his booties sent from my friend Joel and after his initial embarrassment at wearing them he was off and running. We journeyed from Antelope to Clarno, 15 miles and he trotted along happily til we arrived at the farm of a wonderful young couple and their beautiful 7 month old daughter, Nora. They kindly fed me and offered me their spare room to sleep in, but something told me to stay in the tent. Which was a good thing since Solo was up all night vommiting. The next morning he was very depressed and I was concerned for him and Tom, the farm owners hired hand told me he would bring him to Fossil for me. So with worry in my heart I headed out to Fossil, a 20 mile ride. In Fossil I met a wonderful couple that helped me get a stall at the fair grounds and I waited for Solo's arrival that evening. Tom dropped him off and I started coming to the realization that he might not be going to be with me much further in this journey.

The next morning was spent trying to figure out a way to let the dog ride on the pack saddle, and after many attempts at putting first a kennel and then foam on it for him to ride upon, all attempts failed. So with worry in my heart I headed out to my next destination. We camped that night in a state park about 10 miles from Fossil and while he was tired he was able to keep up and so the next morning we headed for Service Creek.

Upon arriving at the Stage Stop, I asked one of the waitresses if she knew of a park where I could graze my horses and she recommended one a short distance away. Upon arriving there I found that there was absolutely no grass and after talking with the Rangers, ascertained that was the situation in all the parks in that area. So I high lined the horses and walked back to the Stage Stop for lunch and to see about buying some hay. The same waitress told me she would sell me a bale and bring it to me when she was off work. I returned to my camp and waited, til 10p.m. She never showed up, so the horses went hungry.

The next morning I was up early to get on the road to Spray, but Solo was not doing well at all, he was lethargic and the pain pills I had been giving him had stopped working, but I needed to get to the next town to get feed for Mystic and Delightful so we hit the road. We had gone about 4 miles when Solo appeared to have a heart attack. He was in a lot of pain and could go no futher, so I picked him up and carried him in front of the saddle for about 2 miles til I realized he was not going to recover and could no longer hold onto him. I found a beautiful spot near the river and laid him to rest. This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and I miss my dog terribly.

I continued on to Spray and when I got to town was greeted by its wonderful and kind residents who not only offered me a corral for my horses but provided them with all the alfalfa they could eat. I only wish I had arrived on any other day so that I could have been more expressive in my thanks for their kindness.

Just about everyone that I met said that when I got to Kimberly I should look up Jody Foss, a true legend amongs Long Riders, so I did exactly that. It turns out that Emma, the young lady that made me the best bacon cheese burger I have had so far on the trip, is her step daughter. She told her dad about me and when I got to Kimberly he invited me to their home to stay for the night. They let me shower (Yay) and do laundry and set out such a repast of food as to honor a head of state. And Jody found me a place to stay in Dayville, my next stop. The kindness and generosity of others is heart warming and calms my shattered spirit.

I am sad, I miss my dog, my heart hurts but I shall continue with the help of all of my dear friends and the new friends I shall meet along the way and Solo will be with me, running faster than before, nipping at the heels of Mystic and Delightful, keeping them in line for me, just like the good dog he always was.