Tips 'n Tales from the Trails
by Vicki Evenson

"Time stands still while trying to absorb it all, and the worries of life seem to float away."

When the widowed author retired in 2007, she was suddenly free for an adventure she had long contemplated: to ride horses on wilderness trails in each of the fifty states. Taking on the challenge, Evenson soon gathered many remarkable tales and useful suggestions to share with others starting out. Trail riding as she undertook it requires highly specialized equipment: a trailer for the horse and an adequate vehicle to pull it plus special gear such as fencing, saddlebags, medicines, clothing and other necessities for both humans and horses. One must negotiate rough, winding roads by vehicle to reach the trails. Injured more than once, and admittedly unprepared for the differing demands that arose, Evenson succeeded in her goal, proving her grit and keeping a promise she had made to her father who gifted her with the first horse she ever owned.

The author shares sage advice with others who want to take on the hardships and reap the rewards of trail riding. Each trail is unique; many present special programs for riders, while others have gradually deteriorated. But all offer the great outdoors, filled with unforgettable vistas and the experience of bonding with the natural world. Evenson candidly describes the wonders she passed through and the many odd incidents that befell her and others, such as having a trailer too tall for highway underpasses, being kicked by one’s horse, and getting attacked by ticks on a woodland potty break. Many pages of photos underpin her narrative. She reveals a sensitivity to animals that doubtless made her journeys easier as she encountered creeks, steep hills, and rocky paths on her way to completing her objective. Her book can serve as a helpful guide for those wishing to follow the hoofprints and enjoy, as Evenson aptly puts it, “places that are never seen through a windshield.”

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