People have been asking me about my future plans, and what is next on my adventure agenda, so here is the update on the exciting new developments.
First and foremost, my plan to ride long distance is still at the top of my list. It's now up in the air whether I'll be able to cross into Mexico with my horses. I have been hearing stories of horseriders not being allowed into the country, but I'm still planning at this point to try to get into Mexico sometime in January or February. I hope to be able to do this safely and the best chance for accomplishing that seems to be by trucking across the border (rather than riding). My plans for exactly where to cross are flexible and tentative depending on what is going on in Mexico closer to the time of my arrival. Reports of violence and mayhem, especially on the border, continue to increase. While I am not fearful, I am also not on a suicide mission, and need to feel that I have at least a good chance of safe passage.
In the meantime, my original plan to leave Fort Collins on horseback has changed. My Texas friends Don and Sue convinced me that it makes more sense to trailer the horses to Texas, have them drive me over the border, and then take my trailer back to storage at their ranch in Texas. That would allow me the opportunity to travel to some great places to ride (Bryce Canyon Utah for instance) on my way to Texas.
So that was sort of my evolving plan when I got off the Colorado Trail.
Arriving back in Fort Collins, my wonderful son Zak (19 years old), decided he would like to accompany me on the US drive/riding adventure and we were making plans to work our way to California via Utah and Arizona, stopping to camp and ride in incredible places along the way.
Then came an invitation from my old and dearest friend Rasmus, who I met 30 years ago in Palo Alto, California, while I was working as a nurse at Stanford University Hospital. At the time, Rasmus was an electrical engineer working for Hewlit Packard in the Silicon Valley. He has been working as an engineer ever since, mostly for Ericsson, a Swedish electronics company. His career has taken him from California, back to Denmark, to China, to the Ukraine, to Germany, and finally now, he has retired to a "place on the Lake" near Zurich, Switzerland. Years ago, he rode his BMW motorcycle all over the United States, down the West Coast, all the way to South America. Over the years, we have always kept in touch, occasionally visiting each other. I visited him in Denmark and China; he came to see me in Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Colorado.
We're both feeling like it's time for a visit again.
So Zak and I are in the process of getting ticketed to fly to Zurich in October. I'm excited to travel with Zak on his first trip to Europe. My other two sons have already been several times, and it's Zak's turn now. Their father, Denis, holds dual French citizenship, and my sons were eligible to get the same passports, allowing them opportunity to work and live in Europe if they desire. So Zak has tremendous doors opening to him, and I get to be there when he steps through to those adventures on the other side of the ocean.
In summary, the answer to your question is --- YES! I still plan to ride my horses to South America. However if the door to Mexico slams shut before I get into the country in January, there are still many options available, including shipping the horses and riding in Europe, or maybe circumnavigating the perimeter of the United States. Anything can happen when you're an "Equine Nomad".
A couple of days ago, I took Maggie in to the vet, Allan Landes, and she got a healthy report, except for being excessively thin. According to Dr. Landes, her teeth are not lining up with adequate grinding surface to give her the nutrition she needs just from grass or hay. My plan is to up her food ration, including free grazing on rich pasture and lots of Purina Equine Senior diet, a predigested food that should help her to gain back the weight she lost on the Colorado Trail.
So stay tuned - I'll continue to blog my developing plans while the horses rest and rejuvenate on green pastures in Colorado. By the time I return from Europe, the horses should be in top condition again and ready for action, and I will be too.
Thanks for reading and staying in touch. I love hearing from you, and please let me know if you have questions or suggestions...
May we all live our dreams with healthy passion.
Love, Trish, The Equine Nomad