The West meets East!

It started in the Auburn, NY post office earlier this afternoon.  A customer at the service counter was awash in muted earth toned clothes with a distinctive western type gear ambiance from the wide brim somewhat sombrero type hat to the boots to the corduroy pants with leather inserts along the backside and sides of the pants.  With a nice flowing shirt, I noticed the weathered and tan hands though I could not make out facial features.  I was reminded of the Gauchos of the Pampas in Argentina because this customer immediately brought that image to mind.   The person was ahead of me as we exited the post office and I said that man looks like he rode in on a horse.  As I chuckled at my joke, I was determined to see what car he got into.  As I panned the parking lot to guess the vehicle, lo and behold, there were two horses hitched to the fence down where the mailboxes are located and the person was soon engaged with another customer in what appeared to be a discussion about directions.  Packs were lying on the ground and the horses were saddled and amicably waiting.  I was in awe and regretted that my phone had no picture taking memory available. 

Once home, I shared the story with my wife.  She found it unbelievable and prompted me to take her back by the post office just in case the person was still there.  When that proved fruitless, she wanted me to scout the arterial or Route 20 (West) to look for a person who could not have traveled far and spun anecdotes about the plight of horses in a city of cars, trucks and buses. 

We needed to go to Big Lots and as I turned onto Genesee Street from Loop Road, I said to my wife, “Look…this is what I was talking about.”  The rider and two horses were heading east on Genesee and I was commanded to pull over into the Family Video parking lot so she could wait and capture a picture. 

Genesee St, Auburn, NY ~ "Look... this is what I was talking about!"  


Of course, I had to approach the rider and was taken aback when I realized the rider was a woman.  I let her know I saw her at the post office and could I take a picture.  She agreed and brought her horses onto the grass meridian and by then we were in front of the VFW where two gentleman joined my conversation with her. 

She had to go to Rite Aid and was trying to figure out the best way to move across the street, cars were stopping and staring.  She hitched the horses to the railing closest to Packages Unlimited and the folks there provided water for her horses.  Before she ventured into Rite Aid to replace her watch, she invited me to help water the horse and by then one of them resumed the nuzzling of my chest and hands that had started across the street.

Rite Aid parking  lot, Auburn, NY - the rider hitched her steeds to the railing, and then went inside to buy a watch.  (the one she had was broken) 

bill berry helped water the horses, and kept a lookout for their well-being while the rider went inside to shop.  This horse definitely liked him.

Here is the background story:

Bernice Ende, pictured on a postcard she gave to us today with details of her journey to the East Coast from her homestead in Montana

Lady Long Rider Bernice Ende lives in Trego, Montana and is riding to Portland, Maine where she will winter, and then head west to ride Canada from coast to coast and return home through Washington and Idaho.  She is doing a 8000 mile 2 ½ year ride that started in 2014 and will end in 2016.   Check out Bernice Ende's website to track her journey:

The horses are Essie Pearl, a 12 year old Fjord mare and the other one, Montana Spirit is a 5 year old Fjord/Percheron mare.

We share this story because the experience was a touch of enchantment and magic and adventure, as well as witnessing the vitality of the human spirit in a world so racked with dissension and lack of caring for the next person.  Bernice has been long riding since 2005 and My wife says Bernice is a retired ballet teacher who was interviewed on the Today Show a few years ago.        

Here is a video clip from the interview (2012):  


That's the story...