Wednesday, July 06, 2011

'I love my life as a lady long rider' - Full Article

July 6 2011

Woman talks about her adventures after 16,000 miles in the saddle

KRISTI ALBERTSON/Daily Inter Lake Daily Inter Lake

Even after several years and 16,000 miles on the trail, Bernice Ende isn’t sure why she became a long rider.

She withstands shin splints, horrific weather and swarms of bugs that make the local mosquito population hardly worth mentioning. She has been hungry and thirsty. She has lost four-legged friends along the way.

But Ende has also seen breathtaking places as she, her horses and dog plod across the country. She has been the recipient of boundless generosity more times than she can count. And while she can’t explain why she rides, she knows she’s lucky to get to live a life she loves.

“I’m just captivated by this,” she said. “In my tent it says above my head, ‘I love my life as a lady long rider.’”

Ende shared photos and stories from that life during a recent presentation in Kalispell. About 25 people attended her talk at the Flathead County Library.

That day, Ende had wrapped up her fourth long ride, a 6,000-mile circuit from Trego to Oregon to Texas to Minnesota to Montana. The trip, Ende’s fourth long ride, took two years, three months and 10 days...

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