I was all excited and had just started to move on to finding places in each big city and every small hole in the wall to stay, when I thought I'd try the new Google maps.
The new Google maps put you right down on street level, they're updated and my guess is it's as close to real-time as you could get. Well I took my trail ride from the beginning and came across a few "bumps" in the road. Stretches of land, flat, ugly, treeless, water-less land for miles. It's not like you're going to get much shade from scrawny sagebrush, and to be quite truthful, I'm not sure how good I am at trolling for water in the ground. Sage is extremely hardy in the desert. It can survive extreme drought for a long time.
In the beginning of this trip, I would have to go up and over several mountains, some with trails, some without in order to find water. The problem is, there are also sheer drop offs and cliffs and most of them are on the eastern sides. This is just to get to the Utah border. So, I thought ok, no big deal. I'll pay someone to trailer us in to the first town. On-wards I go on my trail walking adventure to see how the travel will be... or at least get some idea of how it will be.
The next problem I found was a stretch of Highway between Utah State Hwy 10 on I-70 to Grand Junction, Co. Again, nothing. No stream, creek, tree. That particular stretch is roughly seventy miles of nothing. So, I am back to the beginning of this trail riding adventure across the states.
I'm not going to ride my horses into the ground just to find water or shade. They are far more important than the ride itself. I've already planned on packing some food for them for emergency purposes. Just in case there's a stop with absolutely nothing to eat. As well as some water pouches to wet the cubes down with so they'll get some water.
So far, it looks like I may have to trailer the horses up to a place near Provo, UT. That cuts off around 250 miles roughly, which is ok because I'm not looking to break any kind of horseback riding land record for the most miles. I just didn't want to put out a ton of money for hauling them because it will get quite expensive and I would prefer to only have to haul out of necessity. The more the horses are on the trail, the more experience they'll have. If the horses aren't use to all kinds of "scary" things by the time we get home, there's just no hope for them. lol!!
So if you're following my planning process, hang in there! I'll have a route mapped out before too long and then I can start finding places to stay all along the route, planning for short ten mile rides as well as twenty mile rides. I can't wait to see what God's country has to offer and get pictures of the unique and unusual as well as the plain Jane fabric we have available.
It is my hope and goal to make it home before the snow flies in the Midwestern states. As long as I'm on the other side of the Mississippi River, I should be alright. It's not that I mind snow. Not at all. I just don't care to have to sleep in it for very long and I'm not packing for a snowstorm.
So for now, I'm going to go back to mapping out this ride and correcting the route in areas that have no way of getting water or food for the horses.
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