Lambert's Big Adventure

First appeared in the July 2014 issue of The Equiery

Lem with Martha and Terry Fairbanks (above), friends he met at a horse hotel in Colorado last year. They are pictured here near the Piedra River in Utah. Lem says of the couple, "They were cautious. I take my horse anyplace. I was probably more reckless, 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 Easton

For 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 Lem’s 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.”

This year’s 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 Western, WI.

“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.”

Lem's Must-Sees
(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

 

Igee 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.

 

--hannah

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 visit 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."

Lem's Tips for Traveling with Horses

1 - Secure health forms and a Coggins before taking off. You'll need them in case you get pulled over.

2 - Pack a toolbox complete with (at the very least): air pump, electric tools and a chainsaw for cutting firewood.

3 - Buy hay in cubes. Less waste and less weight.

4 - Consider purchasing a solar-powered electric corral for when paddocks or stalls aren't available. Lem also high-tied Igee with a specially-rigged halter that he made himself.

5 - Check out trail magazines and websites for places to stay and things to see. Lem uses Horse & Mule Trail Guide USA and HorseTrip.com

6 - Look for Fairgrounds, Cabela's sporting goods stores and truck stops along your route. Fairgrounds run $10-15/night and offer water and electricity. Any Cabela's sporting goods stores offer free acommodations for horses. Truck stops are also an option, but get there before they fill up around five o'clock.

7 - Travel between April and June. Beat the bugs and the crowds and take advantage of the snowmelt for drinking water.

8 - Don't pull off the road into sagebrush! You will get ticketed--it's protected.

The pair went on a three-day trail ride with Debbie (pictured), a woman whose ability to use the most updated technology to fix virtually anything fascinated Lem. They spent a week on her property, riding working on his rig and sewing Saddelizers. Lem and Igee in New Mexico with Los Alamos, the atomic bomb testing site, in the background.

 

© The Equiery 2014