Way back in March of this year I wrote about an expedition that was still in the planning stages but preparing to get underway. It was named Journey America and it featured cowboy Filipe Masetti Leite traveling on horseback from Toronto, Canada back home to Sao Paulo, Brazil – a journey of 16,000km (9942 miles) that is expected to take up to two years to complete. After months of planning, Filipe hit the trail in July and has been wandering southward ever since and documenting his progress at OutWild TV.
Over the past two months Leite has been enjoying his travels through the American west, first crossing the border into Montana and continuing South into Wyoming and now Colorado. His journey even took him through the heart of Yellowstone National Park, which had to have been a spectacular place to ride. He’s averaging about 30 miles per day and has just crossed over the 1000 mile mark. In order to keep himself and his two horses fresh, he takes two days off from riding each week, which will be important for maintaing the health of his mounts over the long haul.
Filipe has reportedly been overwhelmed the support he has received on his journey. Complete strangers have given him food and supplies and offered up a place for him and his horses to spend the night. That kindness has helped make his journey an enjoyable one thus far and hopefully it will continue in that way all the way back to Brazil.
In addition to following daily updates and twice weekly dispatches on OutWild TV, Filipe is also providing information via his Twitter feed and Instagram. Considering he still has a long way to go, it should be quite an adventure to follow in the months ahead. The video below is an example of life on the road for the intrepid cowboy.
Update: Shortly after I posted this story I received a note from the Long Riders Guild informing me that before setting off on his epic journey, Filipe received advice and training from ten different members of the guild, across five different countries, that will prove invaluable on his expedition. The guild also lent him a pack saddle that he is testing on the ride as well. Apparently the pack is part of a special ten-year field test and Filipe is the most recent rider to use it on this kind of sojourn.
The Long Riders also wanted me to point out that Filipe’s ride esd inspired by Aime Tschiffely, who is considered to be the greatest long rider of the 20th century. In 1925 the Swiss rider set out on a three year trek that covered 10,000 miles between Buenos Aires and New York City. Along the way he crossed over mountains, jungles and deserts to complete one of the toughest and most grueling equine adventures in history. It is quite a story which can be read in his famous book Tschiffely’s Ride.
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