A former ballet dancer and instructor, Bernice Ende is a long way from home.
Traveling across the United States and into parts of Canada, Ende, who hails from Trego, Montana, is an adventurist at heart. After retiring from teaching ballet and giving riding lessons, Bernice wanted to ride. More specifically, she wanted to be a long rider. To be a long rider, a rider must ride for 1,000 or more consecutive miles by horseback, relying on their own fortitude to survive.
This is her fourth ride, and having already ridden more than 10,000 miles on her previous three treks, this ride will take her over 5,000 miles and will last about two years.
Ende travels with her eight-year-old mare, Honor, her seven-year-old Norwegian Fjord, Essie Pearl, Claire, her “Montana original, origin unknown” dog and a new dog that she picked up somewhere around Andrews, Texas.
Currently she is heading to San Antonio with her crew. This past weekend found her in Lukenbach, and according to Andrea Brantly, who had the chance to speak with her, Ende had never heard the song made famous by Willie Nelson! Campers at Lukenbach invited her to stay for the weekend, and she agreed. She and her traveling companions settled in for good times and good food.
On Sunday, as she headed out, she was traveling down 1888 towards Blanco when the cold front moved in. With wind blowing at high rates of speed, she decided to set up camp in a ditch just off the road and settle in for the cold, frigid night. By morning, the group was on its way again, and wouldn’t stop for the night until they reached Blanco.
Coming into town on 1623, Ende told Kelly Silvernail that she was heading to Yett Park for the night before moving on to Wimberley on Tuesday.
Brantley said that Ende told her that “Texans have a great zeal for life.” Seems to me that Ende is the one who would know best. Her zeal for life is evident in her quest to follow her dreams of being the Lady Long Rider. For more information on Bernice Ende and to track her progress, visit www.endeofthetrail.com.