***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!
The latest updates from Samantha on the Nevada Discovery Ride.