Originally Posted by AQHSam
Omgoodness does your idea sound fun. How long of a trip do you think that will be?
Best info I have so far is approximately 3,000 miles. I'm expecting it to be a four-month ride. I will likely have to take a break in the middle to attend my daughter's high school graduation, but otherwise we're hoping to do it all in one ride. Several family members and friends want to ride portions of it with us. I would even invite members of the forum on board for portions, although we want to keep the party small, for logistical and environmental impact reasons. As we get farther along in planning, if anyone is interested, let me know.
It's going to take a ton of planning and I'm still not sure we can do it logistically (or physically). We'll need a lot of help on the support side. That's where family and friends will come in. On top of that, I'll be 55 and my buddy will be in his 60s, so we're going to both have to start on our conditioning pretty soon. Right now this is just in the "I want to..." stage. We'll see how it pans out.
When I was in high school my dad and I wanted to take a pack trip from Tucson, AZ to Panguitch, UT, where he was born and raised. We had one chance to do it just before I got married and couldn't make it happen. So when my buddy mentioned he'd like to ride the GWT a couple months ago, the thought just sort of sprouted and took root. My dad, at 78, wants to ride part of it with us. He'll turn 80 during the trip, if we go when planned.
We'll have a ton to work out before we can even make a "go-no go" decision. It appears the route has been pretty much established now, so that will just be a matter of getting maps and GPS coordinates, but working out water matters and re-supply stops, logistical help, horses, and equipment, and last, but not least, money, will be the challenge. We may look for sponsors, or even adopt a cause to publicize, and look for funding help that way. I don't really think horses/mules and equipment is going to be a big challenge, but fuel for vehicles for logistical help and feed will be expensive, and if we could benefit a good cause at the same time, that would be a plus.
I've been looking at my gear with a critical eye recently and I think I'm going to have to start collecting new gear. I don't think my current saddle will make it (a 1947 Hamley) without a complete restoration. Maybe time to try my hand at building a saddle. Not even sure my horse is the right horse for this trip. Need to get her on some long trips to see how she handles mileage. I expect I'll be asking for a lot of advice regarding trails, routes, training, administrative stuff, and other things from forum members as I prepare.
I have to say, though, it's been a long time since I was this excited about a trip. If I had to lay a bet, I'd say this one is going to happen. Got to get my ducks in a row first, though.