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[RC] Becky is back home - Cowgirgoof

Hi All,
Just to let anyone know who has followed my story that I arrived home safe and sound last night after two and a half months on the road.
I traveled a total of 8,870 miles, I only had two trailer blowouts the whole trip, and I had to put a new transmission and radiator in the truck the first week. After that though, it ran perfect and I never had to do anything else except change the oil and air filter. All in all, I was pleased with the truck.
As far as my summer, it couldn't have been any better. Every dream and expectation I had for this journey came true and more. (not exaggerating!)
I got to photograph endurance rides and horse events all over Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
Eli and I got to drive cows to summer pasture with the Stevens family in the Custer National Forest. We got to herd sheep in the Bighorns of Wyoming with a real sheep herder from Chili. We got to ride the treacherous trails of Glacier National Park (alone), and we got to shoot my cowboy pistols with the best of the "Wyoming Roughriders" cowboy mounted shooters.
I attended a bible ranch/camp near Douglas, Wyoming, and played all that week both in the water and on my horse. I canoed, I water-skied, I inner-tubed  behind a boat and down the North Platt river.
I visited good friends and made even more along the way. I visited cool ranches and prayed from high mountain vistas. I even managed to "find" myself somewhere along the way and come to grips with all the major changes that have happened in my life since completing Tevis two years ago. I learned that I didn't miss Florida, and can't wait to re-locate somewhere where there is less traffic and harried people.
My Moyle horse "Eli" is absolutely amazing. He is tougher than I gave him credit for at the start of this trip. He handled hay changes, place changes, trailering, and steep mountain trails without a single complaint. He stayed in strange (and small) paddocks at times and spent many nights tied out in National Forests. He learned to figure out being "staked" out on a tether, so when options were slim, he'd stay on that. He also never took a lame step, even coming from sandy Florida to some pretty bad rock.
After "Maurice" my goat got killed, Eli had to travel alone for the last four weeks of the trip.
He never threw a single shoe until the last morning I was ready to load him in North Carolina for the last leg home, and he was running around. It had been six weeks since his last re-set.
My horse never displayed a bad attitude about all this unusual treatment. He was almost always interested and happy. His only depressed time was when I traveled the last week 7 to 11  hour days straight from Fort Robinson, Nebraska to Amissville, VA. That was during the heat wave that was killing people too...Even then, he ate, drank and tried to be a trooper.
He learned a lot and grew up too. If you ever want to know how broke your horse is, ride him into a herd of 1500 sheep that are being moved toward you by dogs. That will test any horse! He even handled that without too much problem.
Here are some keen observations and "learnings" I made while out west for the summer:
America is still intact- alive and kicking with good people everywhere I went. Kind and generous people who would open their homes, showers, & food to a complete stranger...
It's funny how the "lawless" west of the late 1800's now does not need the law, but the east still does...
A horse can change hays regularly without a problem, but I still don't recommend it...
The dust in the west can (and will) get into every nook and cranny as effectively as the sand in Florida does...
The mountain trails in Glacier National Park have the ability to scare the SH_ _T out of you as easily as some of the Tevis trails do.
And mostly- follow your dreams while you can, because "for as you dream, so shall you become..."
Becky Siler and Moyle Eli