with Martha and Terry Fairbanks (above), friends he met
at a horse hotel in Colorado last year. They are pictured here
the Piedra River in Utah. Lem says of the couple, "They
were cautious. I take my horse anyplace. I was probably
but I had more fun than they did." Lem discovered some Native
American inscriptions on his ride (pictured below in background).
by Hannah Rosenberg and Alexa
Woodbine native Lambert “Lem” Cissel,
selecting the ideal road trip companion was a no brainer:
his horse, Igee. The six-year-old Missouri Fox Trotter has traveled
over 40,000 miles across the continental U.S. towed behind
truck and camper. The pair have trail ridden all over the
Southwest and Midwest, from Texas to Wyoming to Wisconsin.“I
don’t plan, I just
go,” the lifelong farmer will tell you. “I’m
75 years old—been married for 52 to an understanding
wife who always keeps my bags packed.”
adventure, which began on April 20, was the longest yet for
the duo. By the time they returned
on June 10, Lem and Igee had taken on wild
hogs in El Paso, snowdrifts in Alton and steep and narrow trails in Turbin
Meadows. The pair overnighted at fairgrounds, truck stops and horse motels
along the way, spending no more than $20 a night.
“It’s cheaper than people think,” Lem explains. “You’d
be surprised at what you can get just by smiling and saying ‘hello.’”
In their three-month journey, the pair stopped in Raleigh, NC, Little Rock,
AK, El Paso, TX, Tombstone, AZ, Santa Fe, NM, Alton, WY, Jackson, WY and North
“I’ve been across the U.S. a hundred times, but I’ve always
wanted to see it with a horse, off the beaten path.”
(in no particular order)
1 - Kanab, UT
2 - Yellowstone National Park
3 - Big Horn Pass, WY
4 - Alpine, WY
5 - Durango, CO
6 - Santa Fe, NM
7 - Tombstone, AZ
grazing after a long day of trail riding alongside the Greys
River in Alpine, WY, one of Lem's favorite stops of the
trip. He recommends spending at least a week there to experience
the beautiful scenery and abundance of trails. Lem customized
his camper (in background), complete with a shower, sleeping
quarters and basic cooking appliances.
Igee relaxing by the river at Alpine. Lem
says that he's worked hard to get Igee to the point where he
can graze loose without worrying about him taking off. The
two traveled rode 14 miles down the river to where it linked
with the Snake River. When it wasn't safe to let Igee loose,
Lem used a solar powered corral or high-tied Igee using a specially-rigged
halter he made himself.
On a previous trip, Lem
met this father-daughter pair in Utah. They invited him to
at their home in Alton, WY where Lem and Igee got themselves
into a scare with quicksand. They are pictured above pre-scare
in Idaho with the western Wyoming mountains
in the backdrop.
Elk at Big Horn Pass in WY, about 4-5 miles
off the road. "I had seen this at a distance and I wanted to
get there," Lem says. He and Igee came upon a herd of elk grazing
and spotted a baby that had gotten separated from the herd.
"We got about eight feet away before he ran into the bushes.
He thought we couldn't see him, but only his head was turned
away from us."