Friday, June 16, 2006

More interview questions with Bernice Ende

Here is some additional information about Long Rider, Bernice Ende and her trip. We now have a map showing her basic route around the West.

Where are you going and how long will it take?
I have planned an 18-month, 5,000-mile round trip journey from Trego, Montana via Minnesota, New Mexico, Arizona and Washington. I've planned breaks of 2-3 weeks along the way, but have also set deadlines to reach certain destinations.
East Glacier, MT to Waconia, MN
Waconia, MN to Las Vegas, NM
Las Vegas, NM to Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ to CA and the Pacific Crest Trail
Pacific Crest Trail, then north to the mouth of the Columbia River in Naselle, WA
Naselle, WA to Trego, MT

What is the biggest challenge during the first week or two on the trail?
Getting the routine down and getting everyone accustomed to the routine and accepting that this is it, we are out here and always going forward.

What do you miss most when you are out on the trail?
Not much really. Sometimes food, sometimes a hot shower. I was so happy out there last year. I really feel like I belong out there.

What do you miss most about the trail when you finally arrive home?
Time and freedom. When you are out there, it’s like another world, another time. Life takes on a different flow. Regular cycles as we know them do not exist. There are no gaps, no regular routines. The rest of the world seems bigger because my world out there is so small. And not having so many things out there makes me really appreciate having them when I am home. We have so much.

Did you have any trouble with wild animals last year?
There was something there just about every night. They come and check you out. I would know they were there because the horse would stamp and snort. He wasn’t bothered by deer or elk, so I knew it was a bear or a coyote or mountain lion. My usual reaction was to talk to it in a really loud voice for a minute or so. Then they would usually wander away. By dawn, they would stop visiting and the horse could relax, eat and rest. Their presence basically became part of our routine. I would purposely ride late, so I could set up camp late.

As I said on Wednesday, we'll keep posting more updates and Q&A's as we get them. If you have any questions for Bernice, please be sure to send us an email at or comment on this post. We can't promise when we will get the answer, but we will be sure to pass the question along. Happy Trails!

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