Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2013 > Daily Dispatch #1

August 10, 2014: Cody, Wyoming, Dorothy Sue Phillips, age 77

Pete and I met Dorothy at the Happy Jack Endurance ride when we were in Laramie. The pair worked well together and had a basis for commonality, which was that like us, she too had lived in Fairbanks.

Dorothy invited us to her place, so we headed on up here after the ride. We’ve been here four days and will be leaving tomorrow. It’s been a wonderful visit.

Dorothy is not your average 77 year old. She rides endurance, 50 and 100 mile events being her forte. She had to take the summer off because she got kicked in the knee, and has been wearing a soft cast. It hasn’t seemed to slow her down – she moves very quickly.

We’ve done a lot of fun things together – we checked out Cody and Powell, and spent an afternoon at the Buffalo Bill Museum. I was getting tired at the end,

but not Dorothy, who suggested we check out yet another exhibit.

I have been asking her a lot of questions about endurance riding. She’s a wealth of knowledge, which is evidenced by the fact that both she and her Arab, Montana Flyer, were inducted into the Mountain Region Endurance ride hall of fame. This is just the least of it. She has logged thousands of miles in competition alone.

Dorothy is strong, wiry, seemingly all muscle and bone. She has always worked out – as a runner she won first place in the Midnight Sun run in the over 50 age division, and ran the Equinox Marathon several times. Most recently she has been taking weight and strength training classes at the nearby college. She took up endurance riding in her 60s.

Dorothy seems a little less than optimistic about riding again, but I suspect that she will be back in the saddle shortly. Horses and endurance riding are her life, and she would be hard pressed to give this up.

Today we went shopping – Dorothy is in need of a vehicle that she can use to spread manure (she currently has three horses). We checked out ATVs – then pulled into a John Deere Tractor dealership. There we saw it – a 50 year old Ford 8 D. It seemed to me to be so Dorothy. She has not yet decided if she will purchase it, but I suspect that she will.

Dorothy has a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, so she won’t be going with us to Evanston. There is the likelihood that we might meet up with her at the Basin Ride, which will be held at the end of the month. It would be quite fitting to see her doing what she does best – riding horses.

Tomorrow we pack it up and head to Evanston. It will take us two days to get there because we’ll stop early and ride. We’ll do the endurance ride. Our itinerary after the weekend is wide open.

Next: 158: 8/9/13: Moving Forward, Finally