43rd Chief Joseph Trail Ride is underway

kevinThese first two characters are Don Johnson (one of the originators of the CJTR who’s been on all 43 of them!) and Dr. John Corpolongo, CJTR physician, who’s been on more than 100 ApHC-approved trail rides (others besides the Chief Joe). Kevin Pullen, ApHC staffer who’s been filling the role of go-to guy, at least has figured out where we are on the map. Photos by Juli Thorson.

Sometimes you get lucky. I was totally glad to have the opportunity to spend the weekend at base camp as folks gathered for the 43rd Chief Joseph Trail Ride. Early Monday morning there were approximately 200 horses and riders winding their way up the authentic Nee-Me-Poo Trail in the Clearwater National Forest here in Idaho. It was an impressive sight!

Equally impressive is the coordination of logistics involved in feeding people and horses, moving the kitchen (and the entire support caravan of vehicles), hauling water, staging the picket line, organizing each new campsite, tending to equine and human health, etc. We are grateful for such an outstanding crew of contractors and volunteers.

The best part of the whole adventure for me was the chance to visit with trail enthusiasts from all across the country. We have riders from as far away as Nova Scotia, Kentucky, Florida, Texas and beyond. Everyone has a story about how they were attracted to Appaloosa horses and to the unique challenge of the “Chief Joe.” Each person I talked with also mentions the permanent connection to the friends they’ve made.

For several years we’ve especially enjoyed having young Nez Perce riders representing the Chief Joseph Foundation. It’s easy to get pensive and humble while considering the implications of sharing the trail with individuals whose emotions we’ll never quite comprehend.

I’m looking forward to attending Wednesday evening’s awards ceremony – assuming I can find my way through the National Forest road system. Stay tuned for more notes from the trail.

1 Comment

  1. Penny Whitehead Said,

    August 7, 2007 @ 12:45 pm

    Sure do appreciate the info. It was supposed to be one of the highlights of my life to again be at the ride, non-rider/vendor this year and last was a driver. Some serious medical conditions took precident both emotionally and financially so here I sit, pouting, tears at times wanting so share the fun and it is by the way connected to the other activity hubby and I enjoy, Mountain Man events and history of that era and Lewis & Clark so this would have been a twofold event.
    It will be with anticipation and pins and needles to wait for your report about Wednesday’s fun, dress-up night, great food, awards, friends, spotted horses, my spirit will share.
    By the way, glad to have info sharing via Juli Thorsen so I could get to the place on the ApHC site after the trouble of a hacker. Thanks to her and staff for working on a fix.

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