***Written on June 18***
Though our journey demanded a backcountry route, I was surprised to have 2 weeks with little phone service and no Internet! Well we are approaching civilization again, and I can finally give you a proper update. Lucky for you I have been keeping excellent trail notes!
Most importantly Sage, Bella, and I are healthy and happy! We have covered hundreds of miles of intense terrain and had an amazing adventure. For brevity I will give you a few of the highlights and lowlights...
- One of our campsites was infested with ticks. I had five on me!!
- A rattlesnake got under the tent one night. He was discovered in the morning right under where my pillow and head were. Yikes!
- A herd of four wild horses charged our camp one morning. Plastic bag to the rescue!
- We attempted a short alternate route suggested by a well-meaning local. Unfortunately we got lost, stuck, and had to back track to get out of there! I also lost the tracking device in the process.
- A wonderful rancher in the Big Smokey Valley have me a brand new tracking device!! He also invited us to stay for the night. He and his wife treated us to good food, good conversation, and even some live music!
- Remember the beautiful engagement ring that Ryan gave to me on day 4? I'm embarrassed to admit that I lost it on the trail. In an attempt to not damage it, I put it on my necklace. Unfortunately it broke and the ring belongs to the trail now. Ryan I can laugh about it, but we are still pretty bummed.
- We climbed Ophir Summit, our toughest day on the trail in terms of elevation gain. Ophir Summit is at 10,000+ feet so we had a long, steep, rocky climb. It was an amazing feeling of accomplishment when we reached the top. We climbed a mountain!
- We took a rest day at Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park. The rangers took great care of us!
- We have had another thunderstorm, but mostly hot days in the last week. Dry terrain this side if the state too, so water breaks are critical.
- Sage and I have gotten a lot faster. When we started it would take us 10 hours to do 20 miles. Today it took us 6 hours!
- We are on the Pony Express Trail now, and I fulfilled a lifelong dream of galloping on it!
- We are approaching Fort Churchill State Park! It's amazing how far we've come. We are one day behind and should ride into Reno on Saturday. Everyone is invited to come out and see us ride in. Time to be announced, but the trail ends at the foot of Toll Road in South Reno. (Where the pavement ends. There is a little lot there.)
Finally, though our journey is almost complete we are still a long way from our $5,000 fundraising goal for the Wild Horse Preservation League. If you have been following the ride and if you support my mission of wild horse adoption, won't you please consider donating? Whether you can give $5 or $50 it all will go to help our wild horses. You can donate right through the website - just click the tab that says donate!
I can't thank you all enough for your support during this adventure. We're nearing the home stretch and I should have consistent Internet access now so stay tuned for updates as we wrap up!
It's hard to believe but after nearly a month and hundreds of miles we are almost home!
Unfortunately we have not had good enough Internet access to post updates to the website for more than two weeks. Lucky for you though I've been taking excellent trail notes. As soon as we get home I will post an update with lots of new photos and stories from the trail. It's been a wild ride but an adventure of a lifetime!
Everyone is invited to see us ride into Reno on Saturday, June 22. Sometime around 1:00pm Sage, Bella, and I will end at the foot of Toll Road in Reno, where the pavement ends. Please come out and see us as we end this amazing journey! See you soon!
Four days have passed since our rest day in Preston, but on the trail it feels like an eternity!! Each day is so long and full of their own unique challenges. We ran into our first wild horses in the White Pine Range. If you recall, I had been nervous about how that would go since wild horses can be so territorial. Well it turned out to be no big deal. The horses ran off and Sage didn't really care. Only once did we run into some trouble-maker bachelor stallions. They huffed and puffed and ran around us, but as soon as I shook a plastic bag at them they ran away! We've also seen lots of cows, antelope, one bull snake, and maybe a golden eagle - I couldn't really tell.
Today was our hottest day yet, coming out of the Pancake Range and crossing Fish Creek Valley. Now that we are entering the hot stretch we will need to alter our daily schedule a bit. We are going to get up earlier so we can get a head start while it is still colder, and we will take a long break during the hit afternoon before continuing on in the evening. The sun just zaps you and there's no need to push Sage and Bella through that.
Otherwise everything is going great. Everyone that we have met on the trail had been super nice, albeit a bit baffled that we are riding across the state. Today, I had two cars pull over to give me cold drinks and snacks!
I'm very impressed with how cslm and steady Sage has been thus far. he really is doing a great job of proving how great adopted mustangs can be.
The latest updates from Samantha on the Nevada Discovery Ride.