Madison County Eagle
From staff reports
Published: August 13, 2009
The “Journey of Death” doesn’t sound like a welcoming route.
The trail – a 100-mile waterless stretch through the desert that was used by early Spanish travelers heading north into New Mexico – got its name from the many that have perished along the way.
“I can’t imagine how it was like back then not knowing when you’d get water again,” Syria resident David Londrey told The Eagle, soon after he had successfully made the trek riding his horse “Indiana.”
Londrey, 26, spent three days riding along the “Journey of Death” alongside about 15 fellow riders, who are all participating in a five-month horseback riding trek from Mexico to Canada.
Although the journey was tough, the group – which was only a portion of the trip’s approximately 50 total riders – had the luxury of traveling with a truck carrying containers of water for both the horses and the riders.
Even so, the travelers had to cut back on their water intake in order to make sure the horses would be adequately hydrated.
Once the riders re-joined the rest of the group in Truth or Consequences, N.M., they were “pooped beyond belief” both mentally and physically, Londrey recalled from his cell phone earlier this summer while stopped along the route in La Junta, Colo.
But Londrey was nowhere near finished with his journey from border to border, which started April 21. At the time, the Syria resident, and the rest of the participants of the trip, which was organized by the “Best of America by Horseback” trail riding television series, had only traveled about 650 miles of the total 1,800-mile journey.
However, the group was about to celebrate an important milestone for the television series, which Londrey films, produces and edits.
As the riders arrived in the town of La Junta, they officially reached the show’s 100,000-mile cumulative trail riding mark traveled by all participating riders since the start of the series, which is hosted by Culpeper resident Tom Seay. The show’s host is also known locally as a former Madison County horse trail guide for Graves Mountain Lodge and Aramark, a private company, that guides rides in Shenandoah National Park.