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Looking for current information on the status of the Great Western Trail

This is a discussion on Looking for current information on the status of the Great Western Trail within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
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    12-20-2012, 10:04 PM
  #51
Yearling
This sounds like a great ride I hope you will have some body keep use up to date when you go
     
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    12-21-2012, 07:23 AM
  #52
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by prairiewindlady    
I am an amateur/hobbyist filmmaker/videographer, having gone to school for communications and worked as a professional photographer for a number of years....and I would be happy to help out any way I can:) I have been following this thread with interest as I have similar aspirations as far as long treks go...I am currently planning to backpack the 68 mile VA Highlands Horse Trail in the spring, along with my 2 Grayson Highlands ponies who will be accompanying me as pack animals.
Like I mentioned, the plan is to start out at Douglas, AZ on or about March 1, 2015. As far as I can determine from maps, etc, the route will be somewhere between 1500 and 2000 miles (Google puts it at 1152, as I recall, by roads, although the websites for the GWT indicate somewhere between 3,000 and 4452 miles of trails in the system) and end up at the Canadian border in Montana. I expect the trip to take about 4-5 months.

The plan is for a friend of mine and I to do the trip together, but his situation is a little different than mine, so I don't know whether he'll be able to make the full trip. In fact, I doubt he will, however I have several friends and family who have expressed an interest in doing portions of the trip with me. So, my thought is that I would open up the trip to other people who might also wish to do a portion of the trip with me as well. This is going to complicate planning, while at the same time, might simplify logistical support.

If we were to be able to plan for pick-ups and drop-offs of riders at specific places, I could use those stops for re-supply as well as dropping off and picking up riders. I expect to take two pack animals and that should be sufficient for myself and one other rider (2 people, 4 horses), so the incoming riders might also need their own pack horse, depending on the numbers, which I would try to keep down to 1-2 extra riders between stops. I think I could make most of the stops between 3-5 days apart. It would take extra time, but if the incoming riders were willing to contribute to the supplies expense (provide food and feed) and make a contribution to the charity, it might be worth the extra time and would take care of my re-supply needs for much of the trip.

So, there are my thoughts so far on the trip. Having a videographer along might actually pay for itself, since some of the folks coming along for the ride would probably be willing to pay for videos of their portion of the trip, like folks do on commercial outfitted trips.

As far as equipment, I'm starting from scratch. In all my years of camping and packing, I've mostly used my dad's equipment, since I moved a lot with my career and couldn't store it. I have now retired and am able to start accumulating my own gear and animals. I'm planning to build my own saddle and pack saddles (something I've always wanted to do). I have one horse I'm working with right now and have an eye open for a second. I'm starting to accumulate horse and camp gear that I'll need. I'm learning basic farrier skills and have basic farrier tools.

I'm planning to take a GPS unit of some sort, a good camera with an image stabilizer (as a backup if I can get a videographer) and possibly take a notebook computer and sat phone. I am planning for a solar charger unit to keep things charged. I would be able to update my website on my progress whenever there was cell or sat coverage. Since communications and computer stuff is changing so rapidly, I plan to wait until just before I go to purchase that stuff, but I'm starting to research it now, just to keep apace with the technology.

I'm not broke, but not wealthy either, so I'm trying to start accumulating gear now, so as to avoid a huge spending spree just before the trip.

So, you can also see why I'm considering making a website about the trip. I figure a lot of folks might like to keep track of my preparations as well as the trip.

Still, when it all comes down to it, I'm not as young as I used to be. I'll be 56 when I start the trip. My buddy will be in his 60s. We both have wives and families. A lot could change in a hurry between now and then. I'm taking one day at a time and trying not to get too far ahead of myself.

I attached a pic of my partners in crime, Penny and Clancy. As of now, it looks like they'll be accompanying me on the trip. The saddle is a 1947 Hamley I inherited from my wife's family. It's worn out, though and in need of a refurb. It is a little narrow in the gullet for Penny, though, so I'm planning on building a new saddle to fit her a little better - broad flat back.

My dad recently gave me an old "cactus saddle" that I'm going to rebuild and duplicate. It appears to be from around the 1880-1920 time frame, although all that was left was the tree and pommel cover. I'm rebuilding and duplicating the tree now, and learning a lot in the process. I've recut the bar angle to 90* to better fit a modern horse, but leaving the cantle as-is. The duplicate saddle will be built with "full-QH" bars to fit my mare. I'm expecting to learn how to rawhide a tree this winter and hope to have the first saddle covered with leather by spring.

I guess I need to quit wasting time and get at least a blog started. Sorry this post is so long. Any information about the GWT is appreciated on this thread. I'm learning a bit about the AZ portion, but my knowledge of the rest is pretty scant. My buddy is supposed to be researching the Utah portion, but neither of know anything about the trail north of that.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2012-10-16 10.24.43.jpg (80.4 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg 2012-10-27 19.03.14.jpg (60.8 KB, 62 views)
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    12-28-2012, 10:41 AM
  #53
Yearling
These four guys are going to ride your route, mexico to Canada on wild mustangs.

Maybe you should keep tabs on how they do and what routes they follow.

Unbranded by Ben Masters — Kickstarter
     
    12-28-2012, 01:28 PM
  #54
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Painted Horse    
These four guys are going to ride your route, mexico to Canada on wild mustangs.

Maybe you should keep tabs on how they do and what routes they follow.

Unbranded by Ben Masters — Kickstarter
Oh! Great link! They are going to beat me to it. That should help a lot with my trip. I'm looking forward to tracking their progress. I expect to be able to take a lot of good information from their trip. They are planning their trip for next year (2013) and will be doing it at the same time of year as my trip.

They are looking for sponsors and are hoping to make a feature film of it if they get sufficient donations. They are doing it to benefit wild mustang preservation. I recommend the site to all.

By the way, I just purchased the web domain westerntrailrider.com today. I plan to use it to host blogs and a forum for folks who want to document their trail rides and offer information for others regarding their routes, water, feed, regulations and other information relative to western trails. I plan to document the preparations for my ride on the Great Western Trail in 2015 in a blog on that site as well. It will be a while before I actually get it up and running, because I'm not very smart. I have a pretty smart son-in-law who I think will help me get it up and running. Eventually I hope it turns into a good clearing house for folks like us who spend their time trail riding, or at least dreaming about it.
     
    12-28-2012, 02:41 PM
  #55
Yearling
A $5 donation will get you on their blog and newsletter so you keep up with their progress and problems. Should give you some great insight into what you need to plan for.


Down load WordPress and start using it. It's free and you will be a pro in no time for creating your blog or website.
     
    12-28-2012, 06:55 PM
  #56
Weanling
I think I'm going to make a $20 donation, so I get a peek at their video. You don't see many college age graduates doing stuff like this. Maybe we'd have fewer problems in the world if more of them did. I'm rooting for these guys. I'd like to see them get it done.

I already installed Wordpress and a bunch of other stuff to my site. I just have to wait for the domain to come up. I should be able to get rolling on the site in a couple days.
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    12-28-2012, 08:49 PM
  #57
Foal
Any questions on gear that cross references backpacking let me know. I've done lots... Glad to help...
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    12-31-2012, 02:38 PM
  #58
Weanling
I just re-read the rules and noticed that promoting other websites and forums is prohibited unless a link is created from the other website to this forum. Sorry admins, didn't mean to break a rule. I will create a link from my site to this forum. My site and forum will be pretty specific to western trailriding...once I have it up and going. I hope I didn't get myself banned, as I intend to continue to participate here!
     
    01-02-2013, 12:02 AM
  #59
Weanling
Ok. For anybody interested, I have actually started my blog. I'm documenting my planning and preparations for my trip on the Great Western Trail. You can follow it at westerntrailrider.com/wp or go to the website and select the "My Blog" link at the bottom. There's no profit motive in this and I'm not selling anything, and it's not very professional, but I'll try to put all the good and useful information in it that I can.

An yes, I put in a plug for horseforum.com.
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